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New Vonage app to directly challenge Skype

Vonage is crossing deeper into territory currently ruled by Skype with the launch of a new app for Android and iOS. Vonage Mobile opens up the internet calling service to anyone with a smartphone, whether they are a Vonage subscriber or not. Users get free VoIP calls and texts over WiFi, 3G, and 4G, and Vonage looks to undercut the competition by offering international calling at 70 percent the average per-minute rate of mobile carriers. More importantly, the rates best Vonage’s biggest competitor Skype by 30 percent. Calling credit can be added in increments of $4.99 or $9.99 and calls from the app to Vonage home or business lines are free. Vonage Mobile takes advantage of the user’s current mobile phone number and contact list, meaning integration is instant.

The app is a big step for Vonage, a company that was on life support just a few years back. Vonage Mobile has the potential to attract a whole swath of mobile users looking to save big on calls. They’ll still have to clear that Skype hurdle, an even bigger challenge now that the service is backed by Microsoft, but an improved smartphone experience is a big step towards doing so.

Android Market Link: Vonage Mobile

[via TechCrunch]




  • http://twitter.com/sgarriques Stephen Garriques

    Got super pumped, bought 5 dollars worth of credits, and tried to make an international call and it just hangs. I guess it works for domestic use but for international there are too many bugs. Back to google voice.

  • Itchy_Robot

    Can you use your current carrier mobile phone number when using this? Or do you have to create a new number?

    • ShangTsung702

      Yes, you can port your number to Google Voice.  However, doing so will cancel your contract with your provider.  You cannot get a new number from the carrier and then simply choose your current number with Google Voice.  The number goes back into a pool of numbers that can be re-used, and you MIGHT be lucky enough to get it.  But, all things considered, I would count on just getting a new number.

      EDIT: When I wrote this, my mind was Google Voice-centric. I am unsure about the Vonage service. My apologies for the confusion.

      • Itchy_Robot

        I have a Google Voice number already set up. So, from what you said, it sounds like I can use that number. Cool.

        • ShangTsung702

          Yes, you just have to link your phones to it and you’ll be good to go.  Explore it, and I think you’ll really like it.

  • ShangTsung702

    Hmmm…. Google Voice is free and does all of that. So…… yeah.

    • http://anishkothari.posterous.com Anish Kothari

      only in the US and Canada

    • http://twitter.com/wesbelt5 Wes Belt

      Does Google voice offer a HQ audio codec when calling GV to GV?  That is the part of this that is most interesting to me… standard cellular voice quality is horrible.

      • ShangTsung702

        I talk to my family via our Google Voice account all the time.  The quality is loud, clear, and seems as if they are in the other room.

        With this method, it is VoIP and calls can be choppy depending on either side’s network traffic.  So, that’s something to consider.  However, if you have a trustworthy ISP at a 5MB+ subscription, this shouldn’t be a problem.  It’s free, give it a shot. :)

    • Tim242

      Google Voice is not VOIP. It places calls over the cellular voice network, which is why it uses plan minutes.

      • ShangTsung702

        This is only partially correct.  Only if used on a cell phone.  Landline/Gmail usage is determined by the native method of use.

        Also, allow your Google Voice number to be on a “Friends and Family” list with T-Mobile/VZW/ATT, and incoming calls are free… outgoing are also free if used in the free manner (Call Google Voice, initiate a call via an IVR menu).

        • $8357570

          you can’t reliably do that Vonage’s idea from a cellphone via google voice.

          The friends and family equivalents aren’t a solution.

          So Vonage is doing something we’ve been looking for, for a long time. This is kind of a very big deal.

  • nardva

    You can use your current number and you get a free 3000 mins a month as long as you are calling US, Canada or Puerto Rico over a data connection. Good way to save anytime minutes.

  • abc

    Doesn’t google voice still use minutes to place calls? What about Vonage, will it still use minutes? Do you even need a phone plan anymore or can you just take a spare phone without any plan, turn on the wifi and make free calls with a Vonage number?

    • Tim242

      Google Voice uses minutes because it is not VOIP. Calls are made over the cellular voice network, that’s why it uses minutes.

    • ShangTsung702

      It used to place all calls over data, if you used the Google Voice app.  Google has since changed.

      • abc

        Tim242 says differently. Which one of you is correct. I always thought Google Voice App still used minutes.

        • ShangTsung702

          When the Google Voice app was first launched, it was a data call.  Now, it’s a voice call (which is still data, if you want to be technical).

          We are both correct.

          • abc

            Seems like Google Voice actually does use minutes because it places an outgoing call using a special Google number.

  • Eyad (formerly CTownOL)

    Wait… what costs money and what does not? VoIP (which is voice right?) and texting is free so what is the pricing for? Is it only for international minutes?

    Slightly off topic but is that the Nexus One behind the iPhone in the pic? It may just be my opinion but I finally think with the Ville, HTC finally made a phone that looks better than the Nexus One! I hope they keep it up.