IDT Corporation

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IDT Corporation
Traded asNYSEIDT
Russell Microcap Index component
IndustryTelecommunications, Technology
FoundedAugust 1990
HeadquartersNewark, New Jersey, U.S.
Key people
Howard S. Jonas, Chairman
Samuel Jonas, CEO
Bill Pereira, COO
David Wartell, CTO
Marcelo Fisher, CFO
Revenue$1.621 billion USD (2013)
$29.39 million USD (2013)
1.8% operating margin
$11.61 million USD (2013)
0.7% profit margin
Number of employees
1,310 (2013)
Headquarters at 520 Broad Street in Newark

IDT Corporation (originally standing for International Discount Telecommunications) is an American telecommunications company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.


IDT was founded by entrepreneur Howard Jonas in August 1990. He founded the company after opening a sales office in Israel, receiving large international phone bills and then discovering a way to lower them by re-originating calls in the United States.[1]

In 1996, IDT founded Net2Phone, the world's fourth-largest VoIP provider (2017),[2] and sold an unnamed share of Net2Phone in August 2000 to AT&T for $1.1 billion in cash.[3]

In November 2004, IDT launched its retail energy business, IDT Energy.[3] As an electric and natural gas supplier, IDT Energy started with customers in New York State.[4] They have entered many more deregulated markets since then including those in New Jersey, Pennsylvania,[5] Maryland, Illinois and Washington, D.C.[6] In 2014, IDT Energy was awarded the Industry Leadership and Integrity Award at the NYC Energy Marketing Conference.[7]

On January 26, 2006, IDT Telecom, Inc. sold to GVC Networks LLC all its IDT Winstar Solution subsidiaries: Winstar Communications, Winstar Government Solutions, LLC and Winstar Wireless, LLC.

On February 17, 2006, IDT announced it would reacquire full ownership of Net2Phone, a company it had launched in the mid 1990s.

On May 16, 2006, IDT agreed to sell its IDT Entertainment division to Liberty Media "for all of Liberty Media's interests in IDT, $186 million in cash and the assumption of existing indebtedness."[8] On August 31, 2006, the sale of all of IDT Entertainment's US operations and several international operations was completed. "The remainder of the deal, to include the Canadian and Australian operations, is expected to be closed in the next few weeks after regulatory approval has been given."[9] This sale was completed on 29 September 2006.[10]

In March 2006, IDT sold its Russian telecom business, Corbina Telecom, to a Moscow-based consortium of private equity investors for net $129.9 million in cash.[3]

On October 12, 2006, IDT completed the sale of its Toucan consumer phone business in the UK to Pipex for $46.3 million in cash and Pipex stock.[11]

In 2007, IDT acquired a controlling interest in, a social networking community for mobile users and platform for sharing free mobile content.[3]

Also, in 2007, IDT would acquire a 53% majority interest in comic book, graphic novel, art book, and comic strip collection publisher Idea and Design Works (IDW) from its founders, removing two, while reducing the other two to minority owners at 47%. In 2009, IDT increased its interest to the current 76%, while again reducing the other two to minority owners at the current 24%. Shortly afterwards, IDT created CTM Media Holdings via a tax-free spin-off. This new company consisted of the majority interest in IDW and CTM Media Group a distributor of print and online media advertising focused on tourist destinations.[12] On September 14, 2009, IDT spun off CTM Media Holdings to its shareholders. Six years later, on April 3, 2015, CTM Media Holdings would announce it will continue operations under a new name, becoming IDW Media Holdings, which would continue to consist of the majority interest in IDW and CTM Media Group.

On October 31, 2011, IDT spun off its energy-related businesses to its shareholders as Genie Energy (NYSE: GNE).[13]

The IDT-owned building at 520 Broad Street in downtown Newark was home to the former Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company from 1957 to 2000.

In January 2017, Net2Phone, subsidiary of IDT Corporation, acquired LiveNinja, a Miami-based messaging and live chat technology startup. LiveNinja’s messaging technology is currently being integrated into its new product now in development. Leveraging LiveNinja’s technology, net2phone will offer a multi-channel platform for Small and medium-sized enterprises that spans phone, messaging, SMS and web chat.[14]

On 24 January 2018, IDT began a pilot test on using Ripple's native cryptocurrency.[15] The aim to simplify cross border payments, in order to free up billions held in foreign Vostro accounts.[16] This could potentially be an exciting new turning point for the company, and Ripple could possibly mark the way for future cross border payments which currently are very expensive and take up to 5 workings days.[17]

National Retail Solutions[edit]

In 2015, IDT launched National Retail Solutions (NRS).[18]

Straight Path[edit]

Straight Path is a communications asset company, holding 39 GHz (millimeter wave) nationwide spectrum and on average, 800 MHz of bandwidth in top 30 US markets. This spectrum is well suited for next-generation 5G mobile applications.

On April 10, 2017, AT&T entered into an agreement to acquire Straight Path (NYSEMKT : STRP). The offer represented $1.6bn enterprise value and $1.25bn equity value. The all-stock deal was a 162% premium to last close.[19]

After the initial agreement, Verizon and AT&T entered a bidding war which ended with Verizon ultimately buying Straight Path for $3.1bn at a 400% premium [20]

Straight Path was spun off from IDT on July 31, 2013.[21]

Boss Revolution[edit]

In 2009, IDT introduced Boss Revolution, a PIN-less international prepaid calling service. Boss Revolution PIN-less allows smart phone users to make single touch international calls. Since its introduction, Boss Revolution and other PIN-less providers have largely supplanted the traditional prepaid international calling card industry. IDT subsequently announced initiatives to add various payment services to the Boss Revolution Platform, including international money transfer.[22]

Rafael Holdings[edit]

Rafael Holdings
Traded asAMEXRFL (Class B)
Russell Microcap Index component
Founded1990 Edit this on Wikidata
Headquarters Edit this on Wikidata

In March 2018, IDT completed its spinoff of Rafael Holdings, Inc. (NYSE American: RFL) with IDT founder Howard Jonas serving as Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer[23] Rafael Holdings holds commercial real estate assets and interests in two clinical stage, oncology focused pharmaceutical companies.  The pharmaceutical holdings consist of interests in Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and a majority stake in Lipomedix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., both of which are focused on development and commercialisation of drugs in the oncology space.[24]


IDT inaugurated a service of low cost international calling called PennyTalk. Of note is the use of an Australian actress to play a woman from London during the initial PennyTalk commercial campaign.[25]


Union Telecard Alliance is the distribution arm of IDT Telecom, and one of the largest distributors of prepaid phone cards in the United States with over 200 different phone card brands throughout the country.

Tuyo Mobile[edit]

IDT operated a wireless MVNO, Tuyo Mobile on the T-Mobile network. It was terminated on May 1, 2012.[26]

Genie Energy[edit]

IDT spun off Genie Energy to its shareholders on October 31, 2011. It is a holding company comprising several energy-related businesses. IDT Energy, a retail energy provider (an ESCO) serving New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Genie Oil & Gas, which controls the company's ventures in oil and gas and oil shale research and development in Colorado, Israel, and Mongolia. Despite the name, IDT Energy is fully owned by Genie and no longer belongs to IDT.

Corporate Holdings & Operating Units[edit]


Zedge is a mobile content discovery platform and community where users can download content to customize their mobile devices. Zedge was purchased by IDT in December 2006.[29]

Zedge was founded by Kenneth Sundnes, Tom Arnøy, and Paul Shaw in Norway in 2003. Zedge has over 30 million unique visitors per month across web, mobile web, and Android.[30]

Fabrix Systems[edit]

Fabrix Systems is an Israel-based software company that developed and licenses a proprietary cloud based, scalable storage and computing platform optimized for media and other big data applications. Fabrix's platform currently powers a Tier 1 US cable operators cloud based DVR offering and is used for cloud based DVR and deep storage by other system operators in North America and Europe.[31]

Cuba Services[edit]

In February 2015 the company announced it had reached an agreement with Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA), Cuba's national telecom provider, for international long distance telephony between the United States and Cuba directly.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ramirez, Anthony (January 9, 1992). "Hot-Wiring Overseas Telephone Calls". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d IDT Annual Report 2007
  4. ^ "Company Overview of IDT Energy Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  5. ^ "PA Power Switch". PA Power Switch. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Green Power Markets". US Department of Energy. Archived from the original on 7 June 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  7. ^ "The NYC Energy Marketing Conference Honors IDT Energy, Inc. with its Industry Leadership and Integrity Award". Market Watch. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  8. ^ "IDT Corporation - Press Releases". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2006-05-29.
  9. ^ UK Film and Television News - Liberty Completes First Stage of IDT Acquisition
  10. ^ IDT Corporation - Press Releases
  11. ^ IDT Corporation - Press Releases
  12. ^ IDT Corporation - Press Releases
  13. ^ - IDT Corporation press release dated October 31, 2011
  14. ^ - Miami startup LiveNinja is acquired by telecom player
  15. ^ "Ripple Adds New Partners in Push to Make Case for XRP". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  16. ^ "Blockchain technology – speeding up and simplifying cross-border payments". Deloitte Nederland (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  17. ^ Browne, Ryan (2018-10-01). "Ripple's cryptocurrency product goes live for the first time with three financial firms". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  18. ^ "The All-in-One POS System | National Retail Solutions". National Retail Solutions | Retail POS Solutions. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  19. ^ - AT&T to buy Straight Path Communications for $1.25 billion
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ - IDT Corporation press release dated July 15, 2013
  22. ^ IDT Corporation - Press Releases
  23. ^ Inc., IDT Corporation; Rafael Holdings. "IDT Completes Spin-Off of Rafael Holdings". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  24. ^ "Rafael Holdings - Home". Rafael Holdings. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  25. ^ (Out of business? Messages bounce back undeliverable. No way to reach support from international base.)
  26. ^ , 2012, archived from the original on May 13, 2012, retrieved 2012-05-09 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "IDT Corp (IDT)". Reuters. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  28. ^ IDT Forms Zedge Studios, Acquires Indie Comic Publisher IDW' Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. DigitalMediaWire, 25 July 2007
  29. ^ Acquired by IDT, Pete Cashmore, Mashable, December 17, 2006
  30. ^ "Zedge home page". Zedge Ltd. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  31. ^ [IDT Annual Report 2013, Fabrix System website,]
  32. ^ [Reuters,]

External links[edit]