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.
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 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.
|Free VoIP Calling via WiFi|
|Monthly Fee Required|
|Uses up Cell Phone minutes|
|Uses up Cell Data plan bandwidth||(3G/4G)||N/A|
|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 free, the calling is 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 incredible cheap international rates that are available by using a mobile voice over IP app.
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. Example of this is Skype application.
Cheap International SMS - More commonly known as texting, it can also be done up 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 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.
Home phone service integration - these mobile apps only work 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.
Author: Andy Forgrieve
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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?
-> WHICHVOIP Response: Yes that seems to be case for Skype. Please review this information at the Skype community.
Posted by Jake on March 29th, 2013:
Just got a Magic Jack. Wanted to install it's app for cell phone. Unfortunately, it does not support Windows based cell phones. Can you suggest any decent free or low-cost voip for Windows based cell phones?
-> WHICHVOIP Response: Good question Jake, both Skype and Rebtel now support Windows phones. We updated the table on this page so thanks for the heads-up.
Posted by Jessika on March 13th, 2013:
Can I use an ipod touch for this?
-> WHICHVOIP Response: Sure. It just means you can't make or receive calls on the road (i.e. you need WiFi) but you can download apps from the providers on this page to your ipod touch and make/receive calls. Some of the older ipods do not have microphones so keep that in mind (but you can purchase ear buds that have a microphone attached to the cable).
Start saving today by checking out these popular providers in the table below. Rebtel is an extremely popular option that offers service in almost every country while providing savings of up to 95% on international calls.
|VoIP Providers||$/mth||Plan Highlights & Specials||Details|
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 service.
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 required but you pay the per user fee for an in office extension. Good example of this is 8x8 mobile service.
Mobile office solution with no in office phone extension. Perfect for mobile workers who are always running around. Monthly fee is based on number of minutes required but is typically cheaper option than in office solution. VoIP over WiFi or 3G can save on monthly minutes. Both Nextiva and RingCentral offer this solution.
Personal mobile solution that leverages your home VoIP phone service and takes your home service and 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 the house.
Simplest and most mobile solution is a free App that simply offers you free nationwide calling by leveraging either VoIP over WiFi or your cell phone data plan. 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 our list of some of the best VoIP providers and decide if one of them is right for you.