I’ve been using Vonage for one year, and after getting the kinks worked out, the service works very well. For $25 a month you get unlimited phone calls, both local & long distant plus international calling to certain countries. Vonage is now expanding to include services for mobile devices, including the BlackBerry, iPhones and iPod Touch. These new applications should expand the number of people who will take advantage of Vonage and who can ditch their Ma Bell service.
According to a recent news article it states the following information:
The application, which is free, will allow users to place low-cost international calls over Wi-Fi and cellular voice networks. Once it is installed, users load up their calling accounts using a credit card. Rates vary by country. Vonage said it will eventually release a flat-rate plan with a recurring subscription fee for frequent callers.
“Given the penetration of smartphones and the global increase of phones that can access broadband networks, the time is now for a company like Vonage to take advantage of the market,” said Marc Lefar, Vonage’s chief executive.
Vonage’s announcement comes on the heels of queries by federal regulators about Apple’s decision to keep the Google Voice application from appearing in its App Store. Google Voice, which is available for BlackBerrys and phones powered by Google’s Android software, lets users make free domestic calls and inexpensive international calls, and send free text messages.
Some applications that offer cheap or free Internet calls from the iPhone, like Skype, will only work over Wi-Fi networks. Apple has said that it had agreed to consult with AT&T before approving applications that allow so-called voice-over-Internet-protocol calls over AT&T’s data network, bypassing its voice network.
Google’s voice application does not work over Wi-Fi. Instead, the application dials a special Google number using the standard voice network, and then Google routes the call to its destination.
The Vonage application for the iPhone makes calls over Wi-Fi when in range of a hotspot, but it can also route calls over the voice network, said Michael Tempora, senior vice president of products at Vonage. In the latter case, it works similarly to the Google application. The Vonage app for BlackBerrys works only over the voice network; the iPod Touch version works over Wi-Fi.
It should be interesting to see how well Vonage will be able to penetrate the mobile market and how many people will sign up for the service. What do you think? Will you be trying Vonage?