By Ari Zoldan on Fri, 08/12/2011
Last week, Vonage released a competitive app aimed at Skype’s voice-over-IP calling service. This app offers some benefits over its competitor. Time to Call, which is the name of the new app, is available for free in 87 iTunes stores around the world. For between $1 and $2, app users will have the ability to call people in 100 different countries at 15 minutes per call.
Time to Call operates on WiFi Worldwide, and in Canada and the U.S. callers use WiFi or 3G. 15-minute Vonage calls to a mobile or landline phone in Spain, for example, cost $.13 per minutes, whereas the same call on Skype would cost $.2 cents per minute to a land line but $.27 to a mobile device.
“With the launch of Time to Call, Vonage has simplified the process of making affordable international calls for iPhone users around the globe,” said Marc Lefar, CEO of Vonage. “Not only does this service offer tremendous value for international callers dialing from their home countries, it also provides a great solution for international travelers who want to avoid the bill shock associated with international calls and roaming charges when they call back home. Time to Call requires far less effort than calling card services and other international calling plan options, and is substantially less expensive than dialing direct through a mobile carrier. It’s simple, fast and fair.”
Calls through Vonage are paid for through a user’s iTunes account, which will prove to be very convenient. Unlike Skype, subscriptions or Vonage for home use are not essential for the use of the app. A subscription which includes monthly payments is required by Skype. However, the per minute rate for calls is cheaper when paying for the subscription through Skype. Both services are undoubtedly attractive to the business traveler. According to TeleGeography, nearly 50% of all international calls originate from a mobile phone. This is a huge opportunity for Vonage to tap into a large and growing market.