Free Vonage App for iPhone, BlackBerry Cuts Rates By 50 Percent

Vonage Mobile, a new, free app for BlackBerry devices and the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, offers low-cost international calling over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Users keep their cell phone numbers but get to ditch calling cards.

iPhone and BlackBerry users now have a new, inexpensive option for placing international calls.
Voice-over IP (VOIP) phone company Vonage has introduced Vonage Mobile, a free smartphone application for placing calls over cellular or Wi-Fi networks. The service is said to offer savings of more than 50 percent on calls to dozens of countries, compared with the rates of wireless carriers.
Vonage announced the new Vonage Mobile app on Oct. 5.
The app is geared toward anyone placing frequent international calls, particularly those used to purchasing calling cards or placing calls over Wi-Fi via services such as Skype or JaJah. Once the application is downloaded, customers simply enter an international number or select a contact from their address book. There's no new number or ID to share with friends, and those receiving the call see the user's usual cell phone number.
"When developing Vonage Mobile, we focused on creating a more convenient alternative for customers who use calling cards or Wi-Fi-only applications," said Mike Tempora, senior vice president of product management for Vonage, in a statement. "Vonage Mobile is easy to get and use, and gives customers the best possible calling experience from a trusted provider."
Vonage Mobile enables cellular and Wi-Fi-based calls on an iPhone; cellular calls on BlackBerry devices; and calls over Wi-Fi networks on the Apple iPod Touch.
In the fourth quarter of 2009, Vonage will offer the Vonage World plan-similar to the home plan it rolled out in August-which offers unlimited calls to more than 60 countries for a set monthly fee.
"Our new mobile app is an important step in establishing Vonage as a software technology company that enables high-quality voice and messaging across any device in any location, providing great value over any broadband network," said Vonage CEO Marc Lefar, in a statement.
Vonage launched in 2004, and VOIP calls have since become more common and of increasingly quality. VOIP is an industry that is said to be defying the recession-if not growing as a result of it-with service revenues expected to grow 20.1 percent in 2009, according to research firm IBISWorld.
Vonage's service is sold online and at retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart; it is available in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The app can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes store.