History of Free International Calls
Some VoIP providers offer a certain amount of minutes for free international calling with a service plan (so, the international minutes don’t cost extra). Other VoIP providers offer a specific international calling plan.
Obviously, paying for a service makes it not free.
Other providers that offer "free" international calls by convoluting their billing cycle - and requiring a deposit before you can get free calls (again, not really free). See our articles on Betamax for more information on this phenomenon.
Finally, for a period of time, there were some VoIP providers based out of Iowa that would offer international and long distance calls for free by taking advantage of a forced fee structure of American telecommunications.
These were the only completely free international calling providers out there - and they survived by charging high calling rates to telecom carriers (who were forced to pay those fees). Since the FCC shut down that practice, many of these international call providers have gone out of service.
There are many VoIP phone service providers that offer free international calls to more than 150 countries. All you need is a service subscription.
How Do I Make a Free International Call?
Call one of the free international calling providers based out of Iowa. Use Skype-to-Skype calls with a friend. If you’re trying to call an actual phone number (and not a skype user name), you’re out of luck. But the good news is that VoIP makes international calls very cheap.
To make free international calls to most major developed countries, VoIP users pay next to nothing because these phone calls are routed through the Internet.
Phone providers—which can be in the form of a website, software program or application—limit the number of VoIP free international calls or length of the call. Some companies offer a trial offer for free international calling for a limited time.
VoIP providers that use a downloadable program only have free international calls if both parties have the software or application. Mobile phone providers may advertise this as "free app-to-app calls to anyone in the world."
Some of these free international calling services make users watch or listen to advertisements before making a phone call.
Who Can Benefit from Free International Calls?
Services for free international calls benefit mostly those who do not often make or receive international calls, as well as those who do not need advanced phone call features.
As a result, free international calling services are not recommended for businesses. This is because services for VoIP free international calls are not as reliable, customizable or secure.
Examples of Different Providers with Free International Calls
Evaphone provides free international calls on their website, which has a telephone interface. This VoIP provider offers 2 free calls to anywhere in the world, in addition to calls to any country with a time limit.
Rebtel offers VoIP free international calling services from a smartphone or computer using an Internet connection or local phone minutes. Rebtel is available on the iPhone, Blackberry, Android or Windows PC.
To make free calls, users dial the number they want to call. Then, the person receiving the call must record the caller ID number displayed on their phone. This number is a local number in that country, so Rebtel saves money by getting both parties to call a local number.
Skype is a VoIP software application that has free international calls only if both the callers and the person being called have the program. This rule also applies to other programs like Google Chat, iChat, ooVoo, and Yahoo! Messenger.
Vonage Mobile is a mobile phone application that has free app-to-app VoIP international calls. This application works on WiFi and 3G/4G networks worldwide.
Features of Vonage Mobile:
- Extension lines
- Visual voicemail
- 411 calling
- Caller ID with name
- Call waiting
- Call forwarding
- “Do not disturb” message
Use a mobile number as the caller ID
WiMobile offers VoIP free international calls to only five countries: Italy, United States, China, India and United Kingdom. Users can make calls from a mobile device or a computer, which needs a SIP softphone.
To use WiMobile on a desktop, a user needs to add a WiMobile account with a SIP client. Some SIP soft phones that are free include x-lite, Blink, Zoiper, or 3CX. As for a mobile device, users need to download a WiMobile client or connect a mobile SIP client with WiMobile.
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