PhoneFree.com to Revise Look, Flagship Product

Internet telephony outfit PhoneFree.com next week will raise the curtain on
its redesigned Web site to go along with the introduction of version 7.0 of
its multimedia communications software.


Higher quality Internet calling and video applications notwithstanding,
Version 7.0 will also feature a sound quality monitor which includes an echo
suppression control and a firewall “sniffer” that will alert people to
whether or not they are operating behind a firewall.


The software also has included something unique in the form of embedded HTML
code, which allows users to surf the Web while talking on the phone without
having to access a separate browser.


The fully redesigned site introduces PhoneFree.com users to its new “Talk
Shop” store interface with an expanded portfolio of products. Additionally,
PhoneFree.com’s ‘The Source’ will be introduced as a resource center for the
latest news and information, special features and promotional offerings.
Both PhoneFree.com’s ‘Talk Shop’ and ‘The Source’ are immediately-accessed
HTML pages within the user’s ‘Personal Communications Center.’


Jan Robert Horsfall, president and chief executive officer of PhoneFree.com,
told InternetNews.com that because his firm’s technology is proprietary, or
created on site, it should further the firm’s push to stay ahead of rivals
such as DialPad.com Inc. and Net2Phone Inc.


“Version 7.0 is a reflection of PhoneFree.com’s excellence in software
design and engineering,” said Horsfall. “I would say that our multimedia
software is the most sophisticated consumer application on the Web.”


“Our technology is complex and is very difficult to replicate,” he
continued. “We have a distinct advantage in that we can always bolt on new
technology. Net2Phone and DialPad license a lot of their voice services and
offer no video.”


Horsfall also said PhoneFree.com’s model was unique in that users can choose
from about 240 countries around the world to call, and that because the firm
doesn’t rely on networks or underground infrastructure, his business can
undercut telcos by 96 percent in some cases.


According to a recent Media Metrix study, PhoneFree.com bypassed Dialpad.com
in unique visitors last month, making it the leader of the Internet
telephony pack in terms of traffic to their domain and application.


In September, 1,578,000 different people came to the site, a 200,000 visitor
increase from August. PhoneFree.com is also the top gun in terms of average
daily visitors to the site/application — 179,000 people visited the site
per day in August.


Another important yardstick to measure Net telephony plays by is the average
minutes per month. Media Metrix said people spend
43.9 minutes per month visiting PhoneFree.com and the application, numbers
that dwarf DialPad’s average user time of 30 minutes and totally eclipsing
Net2Phone’s rate of 8 minutes per month per user.


PhoneFree.com, which targets mainly consumers and some small business
ventures, is a portfolio company of eVentures Group and is led by a group by
former members of Lycos’ marketing team, including Horsfall.


Because most of the firm’s revenue is generated from products, equipment,
and services, the firm can offer free PC-to-Phone calling to and within the
U.S., free PC-to-PC calling anywhere in the world and fee-based global
PC-to-Phone.

News Around the Web