The main reason to use a Mobile VoIP service is to get access to cheap or even free local and international calling.
There are also many other benefits to this service that makes it worth
the effort to evaluate if it is the right choice for you.
Mobile VoIP Benefits and Comparison
The easiest way to evaluate the benefits of using
VoIP for calling on a mobile device is to compare features. We have
created a comparison table that looks at the key differences between
making calls using the regular cell phone method, and making calls on
a cell phone that is running a mobile VoIP application. Every provider
that offers this service seems to offer it in a slightly different way
so when we show that a feature is checked, then we mean that it is
definitely available from some providers although perhaps not from all.
||Mobile VoIP App
|Free VoIP Calling via WiFi
|Monthly Fee Required
|Uses up Cell Phone minutes
|Uses up Cell Data plan bandwidth
|Cheap International Calls
|Free International Calls
|Cheap International SMS
|Virtual Office Capabilities*
|Integrates with home VoIP service
* Additional fees may be required
Let's go through these features one by one:
- Free Calling over WiFi -
If your cell phone is
connected to the internet via WiFi, then a mobile calling app will
automatically use this connection for voice calling. As WiFi is usually free,
the calls are free.
- Monthly Fees - There are no monthly fees for
services that enable VoIP on mobile devices.
- Unlimited minutes - A typical cell phone plan costs
are structured based on monthly minutes used.
- Cell phone minute usage - This calling service will
never use up any of your calling minutes.
- Data plan usage - This is only applicable if you are
NOT connected via WiFi.
- Cheap International Calls - One of the biggest
benefits over regular cell phone calls is the incredibly cheap
international rates that are available by using a mobile
app. For more information, consult our article on cheap International calling options.
- Free International Calls - Hard to believe but this
is actually widely available. This typically involves a bit of upfront
planning to ensure that the person you are calling is also setup with
the same service and has the application running on their phone or
computer. An example of this is the Skype application.
- Cheap International SMS - More commonly known as
texting, it can also be done up to 65% cheaper than regular text methods.
Services such as Rebtel achieve this by creating a local number as a proxy for you to
text to and then this local number forwards the text to the
international number that is assigned to this proxy number. This saves
on the international portion of the text but you are still charged for
the local text through your cell phone plan. You can also send texts in
this way from a PC in addition to your cell phone.
- Virtual Office - This is useful for business people
who are on the road a lot as it can effectively give your cell phone a
lot of the functionality of your in-office phone and callers will never
know that you are out of the office. For more information take a look at our article on why mobile apps are essential for your business.
- Home phone service integration -
Home phone integration only works if you already have a home phone service powered by the
provider that offers the mobile application. It basically means that
your home phone becomes mobile when you are mobile and you can answer or make calls from your mobile using your home phone number.
Mobile App Providers
Start saving today by checking out
these popular providers in the table below. Each of them offers mobile VoIP apps for their service.
||Plan Highlights & Specials
- For USA/CAN residents
- Great for Int'l calls
- Unlimited calls USA/CAN
- 60 int'l mins/mth
- For USA/CAN Residents
- Free ITP management App
- Does not use cell minutes
- 500 free minutes
- For USA/CAN residents
- Great for Int'l calls
- Free 2nd line + Int'l mins
- iOS and Android
- Cheap International calling
- Save up to 95% on Int'l calls
- FREE calls to 50 countries
- 100% Bonus: Limited Time!
- Skype-Skype calls free
- Free IM and group chat
There are many other companies that have Apps for your smartphone (Android, iPhone or Blackberry) or WiFi enabled device. Here is a list of some of the many companies.
Feel free to add a comment at the bottom of this page if you know of others or have an opinion.
- Vopium: Vopium works on over 900 cell phones (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Java, Symbian & Windows Mobile) and WiFi enabled devices (iTouch etc). When you call international with Vopium,
it catches your call and sends it to the country you are calling. You pay your phone company for a local call and Vopium
for the rest. If you are WiFi connected, you do not even pay for
your local call. When you are both on Vopium and WiFi, it's totally free!
- Fring: Fring is growing rapidly in popularity and is one of Skype’s main competitors. It allows for totally free phone calls to be made to any mobile phone anywhere that has Fring, Skype, VoIPStunt, SIP, ICQ, MSN Messenger or GoogleTalk installed.
- EQO: EQO is also very easy to use. Simply download the VoIP app to your phone and once you sign in your
phone contacts will be displayed in your account. Both domestic and international calls are cheap and calls between EQO users are free, irrespective of location. IM can be done for free with phones that have Yahoo, Google Talk, AIM, Jabber and ICQ installed. Like Rebtel EQO does not offer many extra features, but the low call costs and reliability of the system make is a useful business tool.
- VOXOX: VOXOX is available for iOS and Android devices and is free. Neat features include in-chat sharing of pictures and videos, translation to over 30 languages, fax and International calling.
There are many different ways in which Mobile VoIP is used
and different providers offer different levels of service. So do
your research and ensure you get the features you need at the best
price available. Services such as Rebtel are not only for USA based
use and people in almost any location can take advantage of the
Confused about what Service you need?
It can actually be very confusing as to
what type of service you are getting as different providers
offer different options. Although the actual App is free for
your mobile phone, the features offered can be dramatically different.
Here are a few examples, so choose wisely:
- Mobile extension of an in-office business phone system.
Everything on your mobile phone is effectively
identical to your office phone. No fee is required but you pay the per user fee for an in-office extension. A good example of this is the 8x8 mobile service. For more information on this see our
Business mobile calling apps article.
- Mobile office solution with no in-office phone extension.
Perfect for mobile workers who are always
on the go. Monthly fee is based on the number of minutes required but it is typically a cheaper option than an in-office solution. VoIP over WiFi or
3G/4G can save on monthly minutes. Both Nextiva and RingCentral offer this solution.
- Personal mobile solution using your home phone service allowing you to take your home number on the road with you.
Great example of this type of service is PhonePower which allows you to leverage your free international calls while you are out of your home.
- Simple free App that offers you free nationwide calling by leveraging either VoIP over WiFi or your cell phone data plan.
This is a popular solution with limited features and cheap international calling. Lots of providers such as RebTel, Skype and Vopium offer this type of service and make their
money from the cheap international calls.
Although this is a great solution
for anyone that is on the go, it is often a smart move to use this as a
supplement to a regular VoIP service for your personal home or business
use. If you are interested in comparing some of these residential or
business offerings, please check out some of the
most popular VoIP service providers
and decide if one of them is right for you.
Author: Andy Forgrieve
Related Articles for Further Reading:
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WhichVoIP Visitor Comments
#5 : Posted by Skip on May 4th, 2014:
Can I call a landline using Skype?
-> Response: Yes you can call a landline but you need to purchase Skype credit and you are then charged per minute rates (around 2c/min). Alternatively you can pay for an actual plan each month for unlimited calls to the USA/CAN.
#4 : Posted by Bob on May 31st, 2013:
I have wasted an
entire day trying to
delete contacts from
the program on my
phone and online.
Would someone make
this process known
to us! How is it
-> Response: Usually you can delete all contacts. Which type of phone do you have?
#3 : Posted by Olive on May 16th, 2013:
I had a message on cell. This is it: Setting a VoIP app (ex.skype) as the
default call dialer on your Android device may restrict your access to
911. So is this true and how do I change it?
-> Response: Yes that seems to be case for Skype. Please review this information at the Skype community.
[VIEW ALL 5 COMMENTS]