Update: Jaxtr – Free calls made better

Yesterday I talked for almost half an hour with Jeff for free. No news here. But the fact that he called me from his mobile to my mobile, without the aid of computer – that’s something else.

Jeff and I were using a new service called Jaxtr (can someone please explain to me why all these new companies have to find strange, unpronounceable, stupidly spelled names?). The service is very simple – you sign in, invite your friends (yes, I know, another annoying 2.0 feature), and get a local number to call your friend. From that point onward, you don’t need to use the computer anymore – just call the number and you get to the guy you want, in local call fee. It is easier to use than Skype, cause you don’t need a client, and simpler than Jah-Jah cause you don’t need to go to the website every time you want to make a call.

Cool isn’t it?

Well, nothing is perfect, as they have a strange credit system. When I signed up, I got 100 credits. After Jeff and I talked, I had zero credits. Jeff called me – and I lost my credits. Mmm… a bit stupid isn’t it? If these guys want me to use their service, I shouldn’t pay if someone calls me – it should be the other way around. For years, one of the major obstacles for mobile adoption in Israel was the fact that call receivers had to pay for each incoming call. That caused people to ask their friends not to call them on their mobile. Not really the best way to encourage usage isn’t it?

Another interesting question is how these guys are going to make money. It’s hard to find a reason to buy new credits, now that the free ones are used. Jaxtr have cool widgets for blogs and email signatures – but so do Skype. So, if I want someone to call me, I just put my Skype widget (as you can see already on the right) and get the same functionality. I hope that this is not another free-as-a-business-model companies.

Anyway, now I can get 20 credits for each new person I invite as my friend. If you are interested in this service, or calling me and wasting my credits, please leave a comment below and I’ll happily invite you.

And if anyone from Jaxtr is reading this post – I’d love to have a short chat with you guys, and better understand your business.

Notes – Jeff wrote about these guys, and also Mike. The company is stressing their social network affiliation as main value proposition and differentiation. I am still not convinced that they have a real edge on Skype and others.

Update – Konstantin Guericke, Jaxtr CEO left me a comment several hours after the original post was published:

“…Free calling is a feature of jaxtr, but so are things like being able to receive calls on your phone while keeping your number private and controlling who gets through to voicemail and who gets to ring your phone (and which phone). Also, you can do more with your widget than just receiving calls–for example, you can record an update in your own voice. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but some of our users like this as much as the “Skype without the hassles” feature. Like LinkedIn, we plan to offer our basic service for free, but charge for premium features (and integrate some advertising to support the free version)…”

Scoble interviewed him here .

Paris Hilton

Hey, Even I Can Use Jaxtr!

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13 Responses to “Update: Jaxtr – Free calls made better”


  1. 1 Konstantin Guericke April 15, 2007 at 5:30 am

    Free calling is a feature of jaxtr, but so are things like being able to receive calls on your phone while keeping your number private and controlling who gets through to voicemail and who gets to ring your phone (and which phone). Also, you can do more with your widget than just receiving calls–for example, you can record an update in your own voice. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but some of our users like this as much as the “Skype without the hassles” feature. Like LinkedIn, we plan to offer our basic service for free, but charge for premium features (and integrate some advertising to support the free version).

  2. 2 Dan Masq April 16, 2007 at 2:52 am

    You should check out http://www.icall.com/

    It’s how skype used to be (completely free). You can’t do the vid chat or anything with it, but it will be a free way to do computer to phone (or phone to computer calling) for a long time. Check it out

  3. 3 guinnessisgood April 27, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    The advantage of Jaxtr though is that you can go directly between phones….cell, home, business and anyone else for free. My friend in Sweden signed up for Jaxtr and now we can call mobile to mobile, across the Atlantic for free. And since we’re both Jaxtr users, the minutes are unlimited. Where you run into running out of minutes is when the user calls from a non-Jaxtr registered phone. To avoid that problem though, just let them go to voicemail.

    I don’t want to be tied down to a web app on either my phone or my PC to call. Skype and iCall tie you down. As well as my phone does not support Skype. Also, it’s nice to have some anonymity in places like Craigslist or wherever.

    I’m a new user to Jaxtr, but it seems pretty cool, easy to use, and free.

  4. 4 Lemak June 22, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    Hi there,

    With Jaxtr you can call anyone and everywhere (mobile + landlines), really anywhere an anywhere, I tried it myself!!!!. But they allow you to call your friend only 1 time (Jaxtr connect your both phone directly).

    If your friend is a jaxtr user also, you can call him again through a local phone number provided by jaxtr, but your friend must have jax credit on his jaxtr account. You can call your friend through the local phone number ONLY with your registred phone number on Jaxtr account

    Jaxtr provides every month 100 jax credit for free.

    Enjoy, it

    Sorry for my bad english,
    Lemak

  5. 5 Rob Clark June 25, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Here is a non-US perspective/experience.

    1 – There seem to be a few bugs with the Australian implementation. People have to call a ‘local’ number in a different state to get me. That is – long distance call even if they are next door to me.

    2 – In Australia local calls are not even free (unlike USA). I still appreciate that to call a long distance friend via a local number is ‘very cheap’ – but not ‘free’ as the Jaxtr banner shouts.

    3 – I can see that implementation in USA can be cheap. The PSTN outgoing call can be free from jaxtr’s point of view as local calls are free in the US. They just need POPs in a whole bunch of area codes – or VERY CHEAP long distance from a telco. But – can’t see how their business model can survive if they want to terminate calls to the PSTN outside USA – where EVERY call (local or not) usually costs.

    An exciting concept. Still trying to get my head around it.

    Rob (http://www.jaxtr.com/robclark … timezone = GMT+8. Don’t wake me at 2am my time please)

  6. 6 Vikas Dhiman July 4, 2007 at 9:04 am

    “(can someone please explain to me why all these new companies have to find strange, unpronounceable, stupidly spelled names?)”

    because when you search for JEXTR, you get only results related to your brand. If it was a common word, it would not have been easy to search the real site from millions of search results.

    I was just about to use jextr, (due to ROB CLARK’s views) but came to know about the local charges i would have to pay for jextr (Indians also pay for local calls). So I would prefer to remain skeptic to it.

  7. 7 sweetgirl July 24, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    hi..can someone help me how to call free between jaxtr users without running out of my credit minutes as tey have mentioned..coz wen my jaxtr friend called me i lost my credit minutes..is there some other procudure to enable this free option between jaxtr users

  8. 8 suresh September 22, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    hi this his suresh. from vizag

  9. 9 Ericka November 10, 2007 at 3:50 am

    Before you gullible folks start jumping, let me state what the fine print on services like Jaxtr is: It is NOT free. Again, it is NOT free. Jaxtr is NOT free. You still have to pay a subscription fee. It could be VERY CHEAP in the US, but it is not free for pretty much anything else, and given that local calls are VERY CHEAP in the US already, this is a strange thing to consider. So, Jaxtr is NOT free.

  10. 10 Adeel November 25, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    hi i dont know how to use that jextr

    can anybody explain here to use it so it will be a great effort for me THANKS

  11. 11 muskaan zia December 1, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    i dnt know how to subscribe this facility,can sumbody plz help me..

  12. 12 Anmar December 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Well if jaxtr is NOT free then:
    – Does it make profit from a percentage of local call fees for each country? yes or no
    – Does it make profit from mobile companies in anyway?

    if FREE:
    – then would it that the real reason behind is to draw a Whole tree of everyone’s email + numbers + relatives & friends across the globe, and have a database where the u.s. can have all information about most people in the world?
    if that’s a case even 1%, then it’s called Intelligence
    and therefore it could be CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) of the United States of America. if a budget of 10Billion Dollars spent for this, then it’s ok for the CIA and everyone knows that…

    Thanks. i’d like to have a Short and clear answer about that from jaxtr CEO. Please.

    Note: I don’t think CIA would say that it’s CIA if it is a CIA project.

  13. 13 edner May 11, 2008 at 1:02 am

    I would like to have jextr


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