Callnet, the international telecoms partnership thatlaunched the service last Monday, said yesterday that its initial plans to sign up 200,000 users by Christmas now appear "conservative. We could see up to one million people registered with us by Christmas if the present rate is sustained," said a spokesman, Chris Klopper.
That would make the company a direct rival to Freeserve, the first subscription-free - but not freephone - Internet service, which quickly forced most other Internet service pro-viders (ISPs) to scrap fees. Callnet will put further pressure on ISPs to cut costs.
However, it will be expensive.Just 100,000 people using the service on an almost constant basis would cost up to pounds 1m in call charges daily. Mr Klopper insisted that Callnet is prepared for that - it sees the ISP as a loss-leader for its voice telephone service.
Callnet has introduced an online signup at www.callnet0800.com to try to ease the pressure on its operators. Those without an Internet account can call 0800 058 0800.Reuse content