Sipgate has launched a free VoIP service in the US aimed at capturing a share of the 100 million users that make up the landline market.

Called sipgate one, the new internet-based service uses a VoIP phone – or softphone – and offers a fully-featured service.

The package provides a free telephone number, no set-up costs and no monthly charges or minimums.Users can also make free calls to other Sipgate users.

Sipgate says it only charges USD $1.9 cents per minute for calls made or received from wireline or mobile phones – which it says is cheaper than Skype’s rate.

Thilo Salmon, CEO of Sipgate, said that other features offered include click-to-dial, flexible call routing, and an online voicemail interface.

Based in San Francisco, Sipgate is a well-established in Europe where it has been operating its "network agnostic" phone service since 2004.

"There is simply no barrier to people disconnecting their old phone lines anymore," he said.

"Phone and cable companies have long been pushing voice plans in the region of USD $25 to $40 per month – which end up being as much as $60 or more with extra charges – and that’s just ridiculous.

"Even with calls to other landlines and mobile phones, most users will spend less than $5 a month using sipgate one.

"And for those people only receiving incoming calls on their VoIP phone, the service is completely free."

Sipgate also announced plans to roll out a multi-user edition of the service, which will target small businesses also seeking to drop expensive landline offerings.

Other features include:

  • Need to write down a number while driving? Record any phone conversation by pressing *6
  • Want to customize your voicemail? Upload an mp3
  • Want your calls to follow you? Have your home, office and mobile phone ring in parallel
  • Left your mobile phone at home? Simply go online and divert calls to your office line
  • Want to talk to friends in an ad-hoc conference? Bridge them with the touch of a button
  • Missed calls while on a flight? A list is waiting for you in your email

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