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UK Broadband ISP Freeola Launch Own IP Based Home Voice Service

Friday, Jul 28th, 2023 (12:01 am) - Score 1,192
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Internet access and UK web hosting provider Freeola has recently launched its own Digital Voice (VoIP) style services for home broadband users, which enables you to keep your existing analogue landline number and to make or receive calls over your internet connection instead.

The service is available to anybody in the UK with an internet connection (i.e. you don’t have to be taking one of Freeola’s own broadband packages) and comes in the shape of two tariffs – Freeola Voice (£6.50 inc. VAT per month) and Freeola Voice Pro (£8 per month). The non-Pro tariff is a pay-as-you-go option with standard call charges (see below), while the Pro option includes 500 UK Landline minutes and 500 UK Mobile minutes per calendar month.

NOTE: UK national calls are charged at 0.9p per minute, and UK mobile calls 3.6p per minute, outside of an allowance.

Both tariffs only come attached to a monthly rolling (30-day) contract and if you need to port an existing number to the service (typically takes around 10 days to complete) then they’ll charge a one-off fee of £18. Customers who need to connect old analogue handsets can optionally add an ATA adapter (Grandstream HT801) for £46.80 or a Zyxel VMG8623-T50B AC1200 Modem Router (includes phone ports) for £59.99.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
16 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Tom says:

    I do wonder how these providers get traction from anyone other than business customers, given mobile plans at £4 a month include unlimited UK calls, and the cheapest PAYG networks charge 1p per minute?

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      You’re forgetting a landline service (be it traditional or VOIP) is guaranteed to work provided the internet connection is fine whereas there are no such guarantees for a mobile service, since not everyone can get a signal indoors and can’t/won’t use wifi calling.

    2. Avatar photo Tech3475 says:

      In my case, the issues are:
      1) It’s not for me but someone else
      2) They want a ‘landline’ and ‘landline’ handsets (so I obviously use an ATA)
      3) AFAIK you can’t port a ‘landline’ number to a mobile

      Yes I know about XYZ options, but if I can get a reasonable priced VOIP provider, this is the easiest option for me which will be accepted.

      Even when the broadband was down and therefore no VOIP, I offered to put an app on their mobile to at least receive the landline calls, they said no.

    3. Avatar photo Tom says:

      My point is how they get *traction* not that there is no market at all. I get some people may want to keep numbers, may feel a VOIP solution is more reliable etc. But running a business on a very limited number of customers can’t be that sustainable, can it? Especially when there a lot of already established and cheaper players in the VOIP market.

      As for “can’t/won’t” use Wifi Calling, well both of those low cost solutions I mentioned support Wifi Calling. I’m not saying there’s no market for it, I just don’t really understand why people would spend their money on this – over either Wifi Calling on a mobile operator OR a cheaper VOIP provider.

    4. Avatar photo tech3475 says:

      @TOM

      First of all, you exclusively referenced mobiles as a comparison, not other VOIP businesses.

      In this case, Freeola has my attention because they offer a relatively cheap calls package with a decent number of UK landline and mobile minutes.

      Most of the other VOIP providers I’ve looked at either don’t offer any included minutes, landline only minutes and/or offer relatively expensive packages as they’re aimed at businesses.

      The domestic VOIP user base also has the potential to grow as the POTS network is shut down.

  2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    I did not know they were still around.

    1. Avatar photo hehe says:

      been around since the late 90s – they had an ISP called firenet at one point.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @hehe or who ever you are now,
      I know when they started, I have just not heard anything about them lately, so I thought they had gone belly up or been gobbled up by another company

  3. Avatar photo Nick says:

    I guess these guys haven’t heard of A&A ISP who have been doing this for years! And a lot cheaper.

    1. Avatar photo Mark says:

      The first thing I thought.

      What do you get on the standard package for the extra money?

    2. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      BT Digital Voice charge £8.00 a month including 700 minutes of talk time + basic voice mail + call diversion facility so you can forward incoming calls to a mobile for example (any forwarded calls are debited against your call allowance). You obviously have to be on BT broadband and use their equipment (Smart hub 2).

    3. Avatar photo hehe says:

      They were doing e-mails domains and internet before AAISP was even a vision in RevK’s eyes. I was using them in 1999.

  4. Avatar photo Just a thought says:

    What’s the difference between this and numberpople.co.uk at £1 a month?

    1. Avatar photo MilesT says:

      Numberpeople seems to be a service which captures the landline number (ported in) and just forwards the number to a mobile (or somewhere else); Freeola (and others including BT digital voice) provide a “full VoIP” offer to enable a phone in the house (connected via broadband) to ring and ring out using the original landline number.

      There is a place for both kinds of services–personally once people realise that they can “keep” an existing landline number via cheap porting/redirect service then that will become very popular (even better if there was a simple, legal and non-scammy way to use a porting service to make outbound calls with the original landline shown as the Caller ID. Maybe an app on phone/laptop)

  5. Avatar photo Dax says:

    Hi,

    Number people do “Full voip” as well, I did try them but for a single number found their control panel confusing, not to mention the charging structure.

    I had a look at Freeola but they seem to have hardly any areas with numbers available, perhaps that will change in time.

    1. Avatar photo Tech3475 says:

      Yeah, I was hesitant to try numberpeople as I wasn’t entirely sure of their pricing, for example, is it £1pm for incoming, £1pm for SIP and then £10pm for unlimited outbound calls?

      I think I heard somewhere as well that it was free to port to them but they charge for porting elsewhere.

      The Freeola Pro package does look tempting in comparison just for simplicity.

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