updated 02:50 pm EST, Wed February 8, 2012
Vonage Mobile app undercuts Skype in calling
VoIP provider Vonage has just released a new Vonage Mobile app that will allow for free calling and texting between users who have it installed on their smartphones, as well as discounted calling rates to those who don't. It uses Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G data networks and is now available for iOS (free, iTunes) and Android (free, Android Market) devices. The app is meant for frequent travelers, or those who have friends or family abroad and want to use their phones to contact them.
Vonage touts per-minute international calling rates that are 70 percent lower than mobile carriers and cost 30 percent less than Skype calls, on average. Credit can be added from the respective app stores in $5 and $10 increments.
Once the app is downloaded, it will use the existing contact list and highlight users who also have the app installed and can therefore be contacted for free.
Vonage Mobile uses the phone's existing mobile number and contact list, eliminating the need for unique user names and duplicate identities for contacts. Users can instantly build a free global calling and texting network using the app's multi-invite system from their existing contacts.
For a limited time, calls made through the app to any phone in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico will be free for a limited, unspecified time, though they can't exceed 3,000 minutes. Users don't have to be Vonage subscribers to download the app, which also works on tablets and the iPod touch.