Dialstation, low-cost platform for international mobile phone


Launched on May 1st 2006, Telekommunisten is the first proto venture communist enterprise, one hundred per cent workers’ owned and operated technology company. Based in Bootlab (Berlin), this self-declared ‘anti-war, against corporate globalization, against racism and inequality’ company, has started a project that combines business and radical ideas. Dialstation is indeed a very low-cost platform for international mobile phone. The aim is keeping the trans-local communities in touch, cutting down long distance expensive rates charged by the telecommunications corporations. How does it work? Dialstation can be used with a normal telephone and requires no special software, and no Internet access. People can make calls in three different ways: calling with a Text Message (SMS) to telekomunisten SMS, through a classic callback scheme, calling with Touch-Tone (DTMF) telekomunisten voice gateway, same callback model, or converting any international number into a PDN, which is a special number that use Dialstation to call. According to Dmytri Kleiner, Telekommunisten founder, far more people in the world have access to a mobile phone then to computers or even regular phones. Telephone cards and vouchers have then become a sort of currency in remote places, being used as a payment currency instead of cash, which is often hard to transfer where bank accounts and Internet are not easily available. Thus money held in Dialstation accounts can be transfered between accounts using the voucher feature, available to all user, opening up the possibilities of being used for both market opportunities and gift economies. However Dialstation is still a Beta test and, ironically enough, still requires Internet connection to be explained and promoted.

Valentina Culatti