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Thread: Russia calling, Russia calling - but what should it cost?

  1. #1
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    Russia calling, Russia calling - but what should it cost?

    My new Russian penfriend telephoned me last night. I think it was her first international phone call, so I was well impressed!

    She didn't want to chat for long, because it was costing her 10 rubles a minute. Surely it can be done for less, I said. I can phone you for 2p a minute, thanks to my cheap international telephony provider. My German penfriends explained this trick to me, and if you use penfriends to help you learn a language, it's very useful. I won't tell you which company I use but if you google for "cheap international phone calls from UK" then you are spoiled for choice.

    But alas, neither of us is good enough in the other language for a discussion on telephony. Also if you are of a certain age (i.e., mine) it just doesn't seem possible that you can phone half way round the world for coppers. It took Mr Worrier and a lot of googling to convince me that this really was legal.

    So here's my question, how do I explain this to my Moscow buddy? Can anyone recommend a Russian web site that would explain the options to her?

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    It's probably not possible. Cheap calls like that depends on the telephone market and regulations in the country you are calling from.

    It's only been possible in the UK for a couple of years, since the government implemented EU legislation that forces the big telephone companies to open up their networks to competition. Basically, they have to sell space on their networks to smaller competitors at cost, or very slightly above cost.

    Obviously, that EU legislation doesn't apply in Russia, and I am fairly sure there is currently no domestic equivalent.

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    You can make international call from Russia using telephony cards.
    It goes like this - you buy a card, dial an exchange number - enter your card number and then dial a number you want to call to.
    It costs really cheap because such a connection uses a Voice over IP protocol (the voice data is transmitted over the Internet, not through the standard telephone lines).
    There are a wide range of cards available in Russia - they're not difficult to obtain.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Why pay at all? If you both get google talk it's free.

    http://www.google.com/talk/

    I take two hours a week of lessons with someone from the Ukraine (I'm in the USA) using google talk. There are other like skype, yahoo messenger.

    Scott

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    Another penfriend tells me to get Skype. I couldn't get it to work on my old Pentium II. Mr Worrier says the sound card is too old, it won't recognise the microphone. Or something. Maybe it just takes too much memory.

    What is the sound quality like on voice over internet calls? Sometimes I listen to streamed voice/video, and I can't make out what they are saying, even over broadband. It makes it really tough when you are listening to a language you don't know well.

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    Who the hell is Mr. Worrier you always mention. Is it your alter ego?
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Quote Originally Posted by rainbowworrier
    Another penfriend tells me to get Skype. I couldn't get it to work on my old Pentium II. Mr Worrier says the sound card is too old, it won't recognise the microphone. Or something. Maybe it just takes too much memory.

    What is the sound quality like on voice over internet calls? Sometimes I listen to streamed voice/video, and I can't make out what they are saying, even over broadband. It makes it really tough when you are listening to a language you don't know well.
    My first lesson we tried skype. The teacher's voice was echoing so much that I couldn't understand her. We then switched to google voice. It works good. Once in a while crackling noises are heard but for free it works great.

    My main computer is Suse 10.1 linux. I never tried these programs on it because I still have a couple of windows computers. I use google voice on a HP pavilion ze1210 laptop running windows xp professional. It's an amd 1400+ 1.2 ghz processor with 496 meg of ram.

    My internet connection is over dsl. Running a speed test at www.bandwidthplace.com gave results of 2.6 megabits per second.

    Scott

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    Mr Worrier is my husband. Does that make him my altar ego?

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    At least he makes you almost quote himself every time.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Who the hell is Mr. Worrier you always mention
    Mr Worrier is my home I.T. Manager. He understands home computers and web-based applications. He's been muttering darkly about my antique sound card, which may well be the cause of my problems.

    Strangely, kitchen appliances baffle him completely. If it doesn't have an ISB port, it needs a woman to make sense of it . javascript:emoticon('')
    Smile[/quote]

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    You must mix up with people more
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    You call your husband Mr. Warrior??? It sounds kinda... kinky...

    When I was in Russia I got a phone card from the local store to call the US for dirt cheapness...
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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    You call your husband Mr. Warrior???
    No, I call him Mr Worrier. I'm the Rainbow Worrier.

    Ok, a bilingual forum is probably a bad place for puns. ''

    Anyone here old enough to remember the Rainbow Warrior?

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    You and your Russian friend can try www.freecall.com . It is not necessary to download the software. You can make short free calls there using the free trial option. Type in the number you are calling from and the number you are calling to in international format. The caller then receives a telephone call, answers and waits for the person being called to answer. So you are speaking on two normal telephones. I speak with a friend in Novosibirsk, Siberia.

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    Re: Russia calling, Russia calling - but what should it cost

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbowworrier
    My new Russian penfriend telephoned me last night. I think it was her first international phone call, so I was well impressed!

    She didn't want to chat for long, because it was costing her 10 rubles a minute. Surely it can be done for less, I said. I can phone you for 2p a minute, thanks to my cheap international telephony provider. My German penfriends explained this trick to me, and if you use penfriends to help you learn a language, it's very useful. I won't tell you which company I use but if you google for "cheap international phone calls from UK" then you are spoiled for choice.

    But alas, neither of us is good enough in the other language for a discussion on telephony. Also if you are of a certain age (i.e., mine) it just doesn't seem possible that you can phone half way round the world for coppers. It took Mr Worrier and a lot of googling to convince me that this really was legal.

    So here's my question, how do I explain this to my Moscow buddy? Can anyone recommend a Russian web site that would explain the options to her?
    As Ramil said earlier, your penfriend could use phone cards. I also sometimes have to call Poole, England and there's no way I'm paying 10 roubles a minute. 10 roubles a minute is what the state-owned company which provides phone services to most of the population charges for international costs. It's rather a big sum for most Russians, so many prefer to make international calls through widespread phonecards. There are loads of them in the market, so there's surely a choice. As for me, I use the "Arctel" phone cards. In Russian it's spelt АРКТЕЛ. I can't recall exactly now how much they charge but it seems like a 20-dollar card lasts for over 3 hrs (calls from Moscow to Poole). If your penfriend needs more info about Arctel, I could work out the cost of a minute.
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
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    I use Arctel too. The price per call went up in January but from Russia to the USA is still only 4-6 cents per minute. I believe you can buy them for 100p, 300p or 500p amounts so if your friend doesn't have a lot of cash she can buy the cheapest one.
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    pentium 2!!! does that beast run on coal or what :P
    Не откладывай на завтра того, с кем можешь переспать сегодня
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB
    I use Arctel too. The price per call went up in January but from Russia to the USA is still only 4-6 cents per minute. I believe you can buy them for 100p, 300p or 500p amounts so if your friend doesn't have a lot of cash she can buy the cheapest one.
    Anyway, it's much cheaper to make international calls via Artel than using the state-owned Rostelecom which charges 10 roubles per minute which is almost 40 cents.
    Do they use rouble amounts now? I remember them using dollar ones not so long ago.
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
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    Everything is in rubles, I just do the math for clarification.
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    pentium 2!!! does that beast run on coal or what
    You can now buy Pentium IIIs at boot sales for

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