Lypp, a Vancouver-based mobile startup, launched recently to offer Blackberry users (and soon other devices) a way to bypass long distance charges in Canada and the US. With Lypp calls are initiated using Instant Messaging but work with your existing phone number.
BlackBerry users can simply register with Lypp online. You will need an Instant Messaging account and an Instant Messaging application on your BlackBerry. You'll also need an Instant Messaging ID. Add Lypp to your buddy list in your Instant Messaging account and initiate calls. If you send a message to the Lypp buddy using the following format:
One to One Calls: call 6046297990
Group Call: call 6046297990, 6046297991, etc
Here are some screen-shots of how it might look (I snagged these from the Lypp site).
In talking with Dan Gibbons the Co-Founder of Lypp he had this to say:
"The real story about Lypp, is our API, which we believe provides developers with absolutely the simplest way to add real telephony to their application. We see Lypp becoming the voice equivalent of Amazon EC2 / S3 ( i.e. on demand, no cap-ex, scalable to whatever volume you want to push through the system, but extremely low barriers to entry)."
So if you are a developer looking to add telephony to your application you might want to check out the Lypp API. He also hinted at some additional features like commercial service and address book functionality will be rolling out soon.
If you are a BlackBerry user, give Lypp a whirl to save on long distance calls and let me know what you think.