We’re not sure if Internet phone services provider Vonage’s latest initiative is a sign of desperation or a smart move.
This morning Vonage rolled out free international calling powered by its Vonage Mobile app.
Available for iPhone and Android devices, the free app lets users call others who have downloaded the app.
Vonage Mobile also allows users to send free texts to users of the app, worldwide.
The app works over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G wireless data networks.
Why the Free Service?
The wise ones ones at SI think the logic behind the new free international service is the reasonable expectation that not many users outside the U.S. have iPhone or Android phones.
Ergo, they’ll have to use a paid service like Vonage or Skype (offers both free and paid services).
Vonage Mobile users can call people who have not downloaded the app at per-minute rates that Vonage claims are 70% less than major mobile carriers and 30% less than Skype’s paid version.
Free Already Available
If you have an iPhone, iPad or new iMac or Mac notebooks, you can use the device’s built-in Facetime app to make video calls to other iPhone or iPad users anywhere in the world via WiFi for free.
But Facetime won’t let you call those without an iPhone, Android phone or iMac or Mac notebooks.
Or you can use the free version of Skype app to call other Skype users.
Vonage Mobile – The Details
Users can add calling credit directly from the app through iTunes or Android Market in increments of $4.99 and $9.99.
Vonage Mobile uses the phone’s existing mobile number and contact list, avoiding the need for unique user names and duplicate identities for contacts.
Calls to any phone in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico from anywhere in the world will be free for a limited time (up to 3,00 minutes a month).
Users do NOT need to be a Vonage customer to use the app. Calls to Vonage home or business lines are also free.
Besides the iPhone and Android phone, Vonage Mobile app works on iPod Touch, iPad and Android Tablets.