I know what you are thinking. Bud Who? Yup, thats right, Bud Phone. It’s an application for your smart phone that will give you free long distance in several cities across Canada and it just might be your new found buddy.

Freephoneline.ca and Budweiser have partnered to bring this amazingly simple, yet powerful application to the masses so here’s a toast  to them both.

So what do you need to get started?

All you need to have is a smart phone with data as part of your cell phone plan.  If you don’t have a smart phone as yet or you have a smart phone and are just looking for a plan, find your Canada cell phone plan deal at myCELLmyTERMS.

How do I set up Bud Phone?

It couldn’t be easier really.

  • Visit budphone.ca and create an account by following filling in the following information: Your phone  number; and the kind of smartphone you use
  • Once you register you will have to confirm your registration and they will send a text message to the number entered on step 1 of registration.  Currently the Bud Phone app has been developed for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android phones so that just about covers all of us. Sorry, early adopters of Windows Phone 7.
  • Click the link in your text message and install the app on your cell phone.
  • Run the app and it will ask you to verify your location in order to find a local access number for you to utilize to make your calls.

So what’s the catch?

Bud Phone offers free calling to various cities across Canada so make sure you review the list.  Also note the application relies on GPS in order to locate the appropriate local access number thereby allowing you to make local calls from wherever  you are before your call can get out to its destination.  For example if you lived in Toronto and travel to Montreal for whatever reason. While there you decide you want to call your buddy in Vancouver, Bud Phone will allow you to do this for free. The Bud Phone app will recognize your new location and offer you a list of cities.  Once you select Montreal the application will dial out from that local access number.

So what’s in it for them?

As you will notice, the Bud Phone is powered by freephoneline.ca, which is owned and operated by Fibernetics.  Fibernetics is a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) located in Cambridge Ontario and they offer a host of other services that by generating awareness through this partnership you may be willing to sign up for.  Services include Highspeed DSL internet, home phone line service over VOIP – so in otherwords you can ditch the computer dialer (i.e. softphone) and with a ATA device make calls with your physical phone – and of course long distance calling at great rates.  For Budweiser it’s an opportunity to gain insight into consumer behaviour given the questions they ask during registration as well as build a healthy database list.

What’s the bottom line?

Download the Bud Phone for your computer or smart phone (BlackBerry, iPhone, Android) or both and enjoy some free calling.  Finally a tool developed for Canadians by Canadians that can help us save some money on our cell phone bills.

Kye Husbands is co-founder of  myCELLmyTERMS, a Toronto-based company that helps cell phone users negotiate wireless plans with independent dealers.

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