They refuse to let Belizeans take advantage of low cost computer based phone services like Skype or Vonage and for that and other reasons few people will be singing the praises of B.T.L. this Christmas. But as of December fifteenth the phone company is offering an alternative that, while not as economical as we’d like, at least is a whole lot cheaper than we had before. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports.
Kendra Griffith, Reporting
It’s called the Webtalk and according to Senior Marketing Rep. Lisa Stanford, it’s just one more means by which B.T.L. customers can make cheaper international calls.
Lisa Stanford, Sr. Marketing Rep., B.T.L.
“It’s B.T.L.’s internet phone service and with that service customers could make calls from their PCs to a regular telephone number or a mobile number to destinations over the world. It doesn’t have to be the U.S.; it’s international calls at very low rates.”
And while you might not need a phone, you will need…
“They need to have computer, internet access-–preferably B.T.L.’s high speed internet access-–and they also need to have a headset. We’re recommending that they have a headset that they could have on the ears like you did, we’re recommending a one hundred twenty-eight k high speed internet connection.”
You will also need to have access to an international credit card.
“It’s simple to register, to get on to the web site, and it’s just one two, three steps, and you’re on, and you can make calls.”
Step One, log on to http://www.webtalk.btl.net
“Once you are here, the first thing you are gonna do as a new customer is register your account. So click on register and fill out your necessary information.”
Step two, Purchase calling time
“We have four denominations, five, ten, twenty, and thirty. They are all U.S. dollars. You click on the one that you want, and it will automatically change here. You don’t have to write that in. Then you put in your information, your credit card number, your security code and everything that’s needed in order to purchase it.”
Step three, download the software.
“Every time you want to use the service, you just need to put in your username and your password and login to the service.”
Step four, place your call.
“With this service you just dial the country code. For the U.S. it’s going to be one and then the area code and then the seven digit number.”
Webtalk also comes with features like a phonebook, call history, and how much money you have remaining. Stanford says another plus is that the service doesn’t tie you down to one computer.
“Once you’ve registered your account, you could use that account while you are travelling abroad, you could use it while you’re at home or at work, it doesn’t have to be stationary, anywhere that you are, and you have access to internet and your credit card, you could use the service. The reviews have been very good, and the service being that it’s voice over IP is very good. So we’re recommending that you know people could come out, they could use it.”
Like its other promotions, calls on Webtalk get cheaper after five minutes, Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.
For more information on rates or to try the service, log on to http://www.webtalk.btl.net. As for those other lower cost computer phone services, many Belizeans have discovered that there are ways to electronically beat the system and continue to do so.