Vonage Holdings Corp. is expanding beyond the home with a mobile VoIP client for iPhone, iPod Touch and BlackBerry.
Vonage Mobile is a free downloadable application aimed at replacing prepaid calling cards for wireless international calling. The company says it will save customers more than 50 percent on calls to dozens of countries versus the rates charged by wireless carriers. As a bonus, it uses existing contact lists, eliminating the need to dial an access code or add extra steps beyond normal dialing behavior.
Vonage Mobile on the iPhone allows calls on both cellular and Wi-Fi networks; even so, a Vonage minute will use up a cellular minute from the AT&T service plan so it’s not a true toll-bypass application. The cost of that international minute will be charged according to Vonage rates rather than AT&T rates, however. The Vonage BlackBerry app allows calls over cellular networks. And the iPod Touch allows calls over Wi-Fi networks only.
iPhone users will need to open the Vonage widget to use it, but BlackBerry users will automatically fail over to Vonage rates whenever the user calls an international number.
For Vonage, the app allows it to take its service plan outside of the home, marketing mobility as an extension of the home landline. It had hoped to find a differentiator in being a VoIP service for the iPhone that worked over cellular as well as Wi-Fi; but AT&T announced on Tuesday that it will now allow any VoIP service to run over its cellular networks from here on out.