app iconVonage, the home voice-over-IP company, has introduced an iPhone app to compete with Skype. The new app, Time to Call, lets users make VoIP calls over 3G (in the US or Canada) or Wi-Fi (worldwide).

The app doesn't require an existing Vonage account. All billing is done via in-app purchasing, so users pay for calls using their existing iTunes account. The app is free to download and includes a free 15-minute call to just about anywhere in the world.

Vonage charges for calls in 15-minute increments, though "unused minutes may be used for additional calls to the same country or calling region."

vonage
We compared pricing between Vonage and Skype for a few different countries. Note that a number of countries charge different rates for calling mobile phones versus landline phones. Skype charges different rates depending on what type of phone is called. Vonage does not.

For calling France, for example, Skype charges $0.023/minute to call landlines, and $0.209 to call mobiles. Vonage charges $1.99 for 15 minutes or $0.133/minute for mobile or landline.

A call to China is $0.023/minute on Skype, and is $0.99 for 15 minutes or $0.066/minute on Vonage.

Calls to Russia on Skype are $0.052/minute for landlines and $0.089 for mobiles, though calls to landlines in Moscow or St. Petersburg are $0.023/minute. On Vonage, it's $1.99 for 15 minutes or $0.133/minute for mobile or landlines.

So, in some cases Vonage is cheaper, but not always. Its main advantage over Skype is in-app purchasing of calling blocks, and users aren't required to setup an account. Plus, new users get a free 15-minute call just for downloading the app.

Top Rated Comments

res1233 Avatar
133 months ago
You now have a phone in your phone so you can call while you call.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aindik Avatar
133 months ago
Does it do incoming calls?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
133 months ago
What if I am on wifi out of the country?
As far as I can tell, the best deal for this situation -- if you're calling the United States -- is to use Google Voice, previously configured Google Talk, and the Talkatone app on an iDevice (iPhone/iPod touch/iPad).

Properly configured, this combination will allow one to call the U.S. for free while abroad via WiFi.

I've used Talkatone myself to make free calls back to the U.S. on my iPod touch (via WiFi naturally since the device has no cellular hardware).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Snowy_River Avatar
133 months ago
I want the ability to place and receive calls from/to my Vonage home number. Attach it to my Vonage account, charge me a little extra, and call it good. Please?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brian82788 Avatar
133 months ago
Has anyone tried downloading the app, using the free fifteen minutes, deleting and redownloading? Will you again receive 15 minutes free? It probably won't work, but it's worth a shot.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BJB Productions Avatar
133 months ago
You now have a phone in your phone so you can call while you call.
Lil' phone inception. :D
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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