Talkster – Free International Mobile Calls?

TalksterTalkster ( is a VOIP based service that lets you make “free” ad supported phone calls between 22 countries (North America, most of Europe, plus Hong Kong and Israel) using any phone – mobile or landline. The ads are about 10 seconds long and are heard by both parties.

Talkster doesn’t charge anything for the service but the calls aren’t really completely free. You’re making a mobile or landline call to a local Talkster access point. If you are using free night and weekend minutes or an unlimited landline then Talkster calls really are free. But even if you have to pay for the local call, Talkster will be much cheaper than a normal international call.

Using Talkster is a bit complicated. Say you want to call your friend in Spain. You go to the Talkster mobile or PC web site and enter your number and the number you want to call, Talkster texts you a new permanent local number that connects with your friend and also texts your friend a local number that connects to you. You call your friend’s Talkster number and are connected. Now here’s were it gets tricky. The initial connection disconnects in about 10 seconds – just enough time to tell your friend to call you back on the number that Talkster SMS’ed to her and which also appears in her caller ID as the number you are calling from. You stay on the line and Talkster completes the connection after you have both listened to a 10 second ad. Obviously not something you can use for business calls or booking hotels but completely practical for calling friends and family members. Pluses for Talkster is that it doesn’t require 3G or WiFi as the local loop is provided by your mobile or landline phone company and you don’t need to register or install anything to use the service

Talkster competes with Jajah and Rebtel which also offer cheap and limited free international calls from mobiles and also require you to initiate the call on the mobile web. The others are easier to use, cover more countries and are more business call friendly (no ads and generally no callbacks) but Talkster has one big advantage – unlimited free calls.

I have my doubts about the long term viability of Talkster’s business model. Can they sign up enough advertisers at high enough rates to cover the cost of access points and bandwidth? Their target market, personal calls between friends and family members, is one were calls tend to be long. Can a single ten second ad cover the cost of a two hour call?

Update: Thanks to Chai340 for pointing this out, Rebtel is now offering unlimited free calls without ads using a callback scheme similar to Talkster.  Nice, but obviously not economically substainable, enjoy it while you can!

Talkster (xhtml-mp) Content: **** Usability: XXXX

31 thoughts on “Talkster – Free International Mobile Calls?

  1. How might I connect by using ‘talkster’ to communicate between Florida (USA) to the Bahamas (Eleuthra)?

    • First dial your country’s international access code (011 in the US, etc.) then 91 (the country code for India), followed by the 2-4 digit area code, followed by the 6 to 8 digit phone number.

  2. i am in saudi i want free calling in india i use mobie handset nokia c5 please tell me any idea to free calling in india

  3. i m from india..and want to call in pakistan..m using samsung s3500..can it possible to call free or much cheaper rate..plz help.

  4. Hi, I have great cheaper facility for international calls from Zambia to india.
    through computer to mobile, its just .75 Paisa.
    and from Landline to mobile = 3.20 rupess
    mobile to Mobile = 8.40 rupees.
    for more detail, please send me mail on [removed]

  5. That’s terrible.

    Calls to Haiti are free on T-Mobile, Cricket and Google Voice. If anyone else knows of an providers that are also doing this please add a comment.

    missick, posting your email on the web will guarantee that you will get unbelievable amounts of spam.

  6. plz if any one know how to make free international call please let me know how specialty for haiti a earthquake happend to my country an kill most of my family i can not go.plz plz let me know if can find a way to make free international call i will appreciate it. you send the information on [Email Addreess Removed} thanks guys counting on y,all

  7. use skype computer to computer. that is free and works well + can see each other if wish. talkster no work no more

  8. Plz tell me how to get free call. I want to use that service. Hoping waiting for your reply thank you.

  9. Jam you are rite …… i also try to call some1 bt i guess talkster is no longer free ,,,, thats very sad ;-(

  10. Talkster no more. I guess they couldn’t make money out of the ads. It’s really sad.

  11. Missy, you’re right, i also try to call some of my friends in Spain, and i got the same message !!…..i guess talkster is no longer free!
    THAT SUCKS !!!!!!…..People in talkster, why you change your mind? i use it for almost 3 years, and never had a problem, you lied to us !!
    NOT FAIR !!

  12. hi im am currrently facing problems with talkster…i was trying to call australia this morning and it said somethin abt 5 dollars being charged..why did talkster change its mind..i had free calling internationally!!! really disappointed. is there any way u can get me my free calling back again?

  13. The local number that Talkster gives me in order for me to call out is _not_ local – it is an area code of a city over an hour away!

  14. summil,

    I do not have a “mobile calling system”, I just write about them.

    Talkster does not work in Zambia. I looked around and couldn’t find anything cheaper than mig33 for calls from Zambia to India.

  15. dear sir

    i am from zambia now we are using mig33 and some bit expensive and line is not clear.

    could yo send me your mobile caling system details?
    Is any free call from zambia to india?


  16. Jajah is a much better service than any of these. I travel from U.S. to Spain a lot because I live in SFO and my mom lives in Malaga, Spain. So.. I’ve tried Rebtel, Talkster, Jajah, SkypeOut, and just about all the others. Jajah is by far the best for call quality and it gives me 150 min a week (if you deposit like 5 bucks in your acct) if I use the web to connect my home or cell phone to my moms land line with absolutely no drop in call quality vs direct dial. The paid min from my cell or home to my mom’s land line is only .025c/min USD. So an HOUR of talking only costs me $1.50 which in my book for an international call is DAMN near free. Also, I have an iPhone which jajah has and interface like the iPhone keypad. Very Very good service. Talkster: **1/2 (delay) Rebtel *1/2 (big delay poor quality) Jajah: ****1/2 (Great quality. Free calls not available if you direct dial from mobile interface only on web connect. other than that it would have been *X5)

  17. Been using Talkster for a while now. It’s a pretty good service. It has a second or two delay though, but hey, it’s free. What do you expect? Also, it’d really help a lot if they could have accounts on their web site for the users to check the numbers they’ve registered for.

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