VoIP Makes Your Calls Cheaper

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1 VoIP Makes Your Calls Cheaper Thanks to deploying of broadband network in last years, more and more users have fast internet access. With VoIP, every call you make can be treated as a "local" call, the internet does not differentiate between local and international. When you access an American website from Europe you don't pay an "international" rate - you simply have a flat rate connection fee. This simple example gives you a general idea of how VoIP makes your calls cheaper. You pay for your data plan and that is all. The only thing you need is to set up a necessary application (for instance sipmaniac in case of cellular VoIP). Actually it seems very simple and it really is. But still VoIP has a great potential and there is a great number of other features of VoIP that help you to cut down your communication expenses and today we ll try to observe them. Nowadays people pay more and more for communication. Economic downturn we are facing make us look for ways to cut down our expenses. The first factor that has made VoIP so popular is its low cost on the comparison with legacy telephony. As we ve mentioned there are several VoIP solutions you can try in order to decrease your expenses. It applies to any kind of user, from the mobile-savvy teenager to the corporate manager. No matter what your communication requirements or preferences are, doing one or more of the following should help. So, - replace your legacy phone with VoIP, - buy a VoIP device and get rid of monthly bills, - install a PC soft-phone and make free calls anywhere, - use cellular VoIP to save on mobile calls, - use VoIP to make low-price international calls, - choose VoIP solution for your business. Replace your legacy phone with VoIP 1 / 6

2 The majority of households and companies still use PSTN phone service. Many people, especially the elder, consider it difficult to change their habitual phones to something new or more profitable. They would rather pay more than change the order they are accustomed to. They think that using VoIP is too complicated. But in reality getting a VoIP line at home keeps that simplicity during use, and even allows you to use ordinary phone sets. The price of this service is from $10 to $25 a month, depending on the plan you prefer. Operators offer a large variety of service plans and you are sure to get a package that suits your requirements and optimizes your expenses. In order to set up this service you will need an internet connection (digital subscriber line with sufficient bandwidth is the most preferable) and a special device called an ATA (also called a phone adapter) has to sit between your phone set and the DSL Internet router. The phone adapter device will be provided to you with any new subscription so don't care about hardware. This kind of VoIP is commonly used by SME-companies and some carriers have special service plans that meet the demands of small business. This service is common mostly in the USA and Europe, and people elsewhere tend to consider other types of VoIP service. This is however not the most profitable way of using VoIP, as there are services that may be absolutely free under the certain conditions. So let s go further. Buy a VoIP device get rid of monthly bills This kind of service has much in common with residential VoIP services, but with an important distinction - no monthly bills. You purchase a device and install it at home or in your office, and you call 'ever after' free of charge. Today, there are very few companies providing services like that. There is a trade-off between initial cost on one side, and call costs and restrictions on the other side. Again, this type of VoIP services is favorable mostly to those who live in the USA and Canada. There is no definite geographical limitation, but since the existing services are based and centered in the USA, using it outside the US and Canada involves difficulties that somewhat cancel the money savings. 2 / 6

3 Companies that provide such a service are ooma, PhoneGnome, 1ButtonToWifi and MagicJack. The idea of absolutely free calls, while being true in many circumstances, is not completely translated in reality in all cases. You need to incur some costs: expensive hardware, international calls, renewing subscription, getting additional features etc. Use soft-phone for computer and make free calls anywhere This is where VoIP absolutely free, and this is where VoIP has the greatest popularity. This service does not require any special hardware and there is no restriction on location or country. All you need is a PC connected to broadband internet and a special VoIP-client for computer which is also called a soft-phone. A soft-phone may be downloaded from the internet and then installed to your computer. With help of a headset you can call anywhere you need for no cost at all. The most popular soft-phone is Skype with 350 million users from all over the world. Many people have been using PC-based VoIP-services for several years and have made hundreds of PC-to-PC calls without ever paying a cent for it. Usually the application itself is free as well as calls to people who use the same soft-phone. Charges apply only when making calls to or receiving calls from fixed or cell phones, through traditional PSTN or GSM networks (so called SkypeIn and SkypeOut in case of Skype). Accessibility of software-based VoIP services made them extremely popular. And the next step of software-based VoIP developing is VoIP for mobile phones. Use cellular VoIP to save on mobile calls Everyone is moving towards mobility. Heavy mobile users can significantly save on communication using cellular VoIP services. The amount of money you can save is determined 3 / 6

4 by your communication requirements and habits and by the characteristics of the service you choose. Under the certain conditions you can make mobile calls absolutely free of charge. First of all, make sure that the service you want to use supports your cell phone or portable device. Then your caller or callee needs to be using the same service. And finally, your mobile device needs to be connected to the internet. A usual way to make completely free calls to use a high-end device (e.g. a Wi-Fi or 3G mobile phone) to call a somebody who uses the same service on his/her cell or computer while you are in a Wi-Fi hotspot. In this case even international calls would be free. Examples of such services are Fring and sipmaniac. That is rather limited and not everyone can make it possible. Not everyone has a latest smart phone or PDA, not everyone has a mobile phone connected to the internet, not everyone has access to Wi-Fi. But even when mobile VoIP not free, it can be very inexpensive, with rates starting from 2 cents per minute on international calls. The existing services are not all the same. Actually there are two ways of working: some are based on Internet exceptionally using 3G or Wi-Fi. Others start calls on the GSM network and then route them through ordinary telephone lines and the internet. Use VoIP to make low-price international calls This possibility will interest those who have relatives, friends or business partners living in other countries. There are several ways to save on international calls. The simplest way to make absolutely free calls abroad is to use an internet connection and a special VoIP application for computer, a soft-phone (as we ve already mentioned). The similar way of communicating people living in different countries for free can also be used on cellular phones. You need to install the service's program on your cell and make sure your 4 / 6

5 friends, partners or relatives do the same as well. Then, with an Internet connection, you can call at no cost through the same service as your friends. Sometimes you need to call someone abroad on their cell or home phones, and this is not free. But with VoIP it is significantly cheaper. Some service carriers (for instance 1ButtonToWifi and Vonage Pro) have special plans with positively inexpensive call prices. I should tell about device-based services that also can help to decrease international calls expenses. For instance, with MagicJack or PhoneGnome, if two persons using the same device-based service and living in different countries communicate to each other these calls will cost them nothing, because in-service calls are free. One more thing that should be mentioned here is virtual number. A virtual number is an anonymous number that you attach to an actual number, So when somebody calls you on the virtual number, this call is readdressed and your phone rings. Choose VoIP solution for your business In business sector VoIP services are becoming more and more popular. First of all it helps to cut costs but also contributes business in some other ways. New VoIP solutions for SME are moving towards UC (Unified Communications) converging into one device voice, text and video. As we wrote before VoIP may help a company to organize, optimize and improve its client service. «The VoIP offers everything required to make a "good impression on callers", but without the high call costs of legacy telephone systems Besides, VoIP is helping companies to enable remote working opportunities for their employees, and cooperate with freelancers from all over the world». Phone calls are not costless yet. As a rule for everyday use and local calls, a paid subscription is not a bad choice. But for people whose communication needs are significant or for international or remote calls free services will become an excellent solution. Nowadays one way of calling unlimitedly anywhere for free is to use software-based services for PC or cellular 5 / 6

6 (such as Skype or sipmaniac) providing that callee is using the same service as the caller. This condition is sometimes inconvenient. But it can really cut your communication expenses. 6 / 6

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