Mobile VoIP Provider
Mobile VoIP providers are the bridge that allow you to combine cellular and VoIP technology. With the explosion of Wi-Fi and powerful 3G smartphones, VoIP for mobile phones has become a popular alternative for long distance and international calling.
Mobile VoIP providers offer two basic types of service, based on how the VoIP service is run: software-based mobile VoIP (which can allow you to connect via cellular phone to a VoIP provider's network) or hardware-based mobile VoIP.
|Provider||Plan Details*||Long Dist. Rate*||Monthly Fees*||Setup Fees*||User Rating*|
Software-based Mobile VoIP
Mobile VoIP providers use your cell phone as a SIP trunking station. If you're already paying for data through your cellphone provider and you're already paying for VoIP from your VoIP service provider, mobile VoIP means you don't have to pay anything extra. Just download the softphone from your VoIP provider.
Software-based mobile VoIP providers rarely, if ever, charge for calls within their network. Usually, mobile VoIP providers have a debit-based system: you deposit a certain amount of money to your account and they charge that account for the off-network calls you make. Remember, calls within the network are free.
Since software-based mobile VoIP provider services can be downloaded, they run on computers and smartphones. As 3G coverage improves, 4G connections bring faster connection speeds, and Wi-Fi hotspots increase, mobile VoIP software will become more and more widely-used.
Mobile VoIP Apps
VoIP applications for your cellphone are becoming more common. VoIP providers may include a free app for download with your phone service, or providers may be entirely based around softphones and phone apps.
Skype, among others, has a free app for mobile phones and tablet computers. You can make calls to other Skype users for free (except for the data usage on your phone) or you can call other phones with Skype credit. Many other mobile VoIP providers have the same terms.
Local Access Mobile VoIP
Some mobile VoIP providers like Rebtel use local access numbers for the both your origin and destination you want to call, allowing cheaper, local minutes for both parties.
While Rebtel's main feature is the array of phone apps, the same service has international phone calls from its website. You sign up and give Rebtel your phone number and the number you want to call. Rebtel gives you a unique local number for the contact, which you can call from the phone you signed up with. You pay for the local call to whatever phone service you currently have, and a small per-minute rate to Rebtel for the international part of the call.
Mobile VoIP Providers with Apps:
- Bria ($7.99)
Mobile VoIP Providers with Local Access Numbers:
Hardware-based Mobile VoIP: Bring your own phone.
We're far enough down the page. We can let you in on a secret (well, sort of):
Most IP phones "work" as mobile VoIP devices. Since they are frequently provided and programmed to work with the VoIP provider managing your system, you can unplug them and take them anywhere. The number will still be the same (since it is registered to your phone). Literally, you can just take your phone with you. It's one of the reasons why virtual numbers are so valuable.
However, we should mention that using your VoIP phone in this way can cause major problems for your e911 service, since your e911 is registered to a specific location. Just don't dial 911 when you're travelling with your VoIP phone.