VoIP service Jajah today announced that new user registrations jumped by over 50 per cent during Skype's downtime at the end of last week. Since Jajah is free to try and doesn't require a download, headset or a contract, many Skype users reportedly flocked to the rival service.

Jajah works in a rather different way to Skype. Instead of making calls via your computer, you visit the Jajah website and enter in your own phone number and the number of the person you want to call. Jajah does the rest and rings you both on your actual phones.

"As soon as Skype went down, we started to see our numbers climb," said Roman Scharf, Jajah co-founder. "Thousands of users searched for alternative ways to contact friends and family and Jahjah was ready to serve up endless free and low cost calls.

"Being long-time Skype fans, we are happy that they are up and running again. At the same time, we are glad we were able to provide back-up for consumers that needed a quick alternative during their outage.

Is Jajah better than Skype?

"We find when someone tries out Jajah, they tend to stay with it because of the call quality and other advantages over traditional VoIP providers."

With the summer bank holiday weekend coming up, British travellers will be able to save on their calls to friends and family back home. For example, Jajah says that a 10 minute call to the UK from Spain will cost around £3.90, while Jajah users can call home free.

Jajah also released figures today showing that British Jajah members are saving around £26.58 a month using the service. They're also spending more than eight times as long on international calls thanks to the savings, which allow them to call friends abroad for less than the cost of a text message.

"With Jajah, people can call friends virtually anywhere in the world for free, using their own phone rather than a headset. People can now make calls, where previously they have had to make do with a text message or email," said Scharf.

"Some of our members use Jajah for just one call a month, while others are using it as a primary international telephony provider. So, while there is no such thing as a standard member, there is such a thing as low cost, long distance calling without needing a headset."