One of the big news items this week in the VoIP world was the new calling plan that Project Gizmo announced that will allow completely free calls to anyone that is signed up with Gizmo in 60 different countries and on your buddy list, regardless of whether it ends up on the PSTN. Yet another example of the cost of voice calling rapidly approaching zero. The Gizmo “All Calls Free” plan is permanent (unlike the recent Skype free calling plan that has an end date in sight) and is clearly modeled after the old MCI Friends and Family plan. It should help boost the Gizmo user base since your contacts have to sign up for a free Gizmo account to be able to be called as part of the plan.
The news was met with excitement in the blogosphere: Andy Abramson broke the story and thinks it’s a “major move that has proven that the cost of calls has really dropped to zero”, Om agrees that we are “seeing the price of plain vanilla voice collapse to almost zero”, Russell Shaw predicts we’ll soon see “short-term free world calling to any phone (member or not) as a loss-leader sign-up incentive”, Engadget notes how the new Gizmo plan easily trumps Skypes recent temporary free calling within the U.S. and Canada, TechCrunch said Gizmo punches standard VOIP business model, Alec Saunders thinks it’s an interesting chess move, and Jon Arnold notes this is “yet another example of what happens when voice becomes a total commodity, and at this stage of the game isn’t really much different than email.”