I’ve recently been looking into a Voice Over IP solution for cheap communication to some guys around the world, aswell as providing a real phone number that can be published but routed easily, and cheaply anywhere in the world.
Voice Over IP seemed the obvious solution, so after a quick chat with some people, and a good read of VOIP.org.uk, I started testing voiptalk.org. It costs nothing to get set up for just an IP phone, and you just buy some talk-time if you want to call real phone lines. I picked up a soft SIP phone from x-ten and tried it out, here on my ADSL line everything worked great, calling out sounded good, there a few tweaks whilst I got the microphone balance right, but you always had to do that with mic’s.
I then spent 3 quid to get myself an incoming number - an 0870 number, so not cheap for people to call me, but still at least they can, I could also get voicemail etc. delivered by email, and outgoing calls are cheap all over the world. Getting a geographic number would be good, but that seems to cost 90 quid a year, so not really only useful if you wanted a presence in a particular UK region. Still it might be a good idea to get a London number, I’m looking for a job at the moment, and people always seem put off about my west-country address - even though it’s really just because that’s the only place I’ve got for a postal address.