VOIP from a mobile without Wi-Fi

Here’s a good offer from UK Voice over IP provider Voipfone. Call any number from a mobile at landline VOIP rates. The potential savings are huge, especially as the service works internationally.

The deal is described here. The first one aims to make use of included minutes on contract phones, for calls that otherwise would not be included in the bundle, like international calls. Voipfone customers dial a UK access number, and get a dial tone. Dial the number you want and get connected.

The deal for pay-as-you-go users is more cunning. Customers call a special number, which is never answered: you get an engaged tone. Voipfone calls you back and you get a dial tone. You dial the number you want and pay the cost of the VOIP-to-mobile call, currently around 14 pence per minute, plus the cost of the VOIP call, say 1.1 pence per minute for a call from the UK to the USA. For international calls that is likely to be a big saving.

Hmm, don’t the big mobile providers have small print about schemes like this? Still, I’m right behind it. Mobile call costs are a disgrace, and the profits from them subsidize a horribly inefficient and non-Green contract system which encourages users to trade their perfectly good phones for new ones every time they renew. Voipfone says:

We think that mobile telephone calls are not only far too expensive but also priced and sold in deliberately confusing ways. In particular, calls to and from mobiles and all international calls are wickedly expensive.

Can’t disagree there. Now, how about a scheme to make data transfer more reasonable as well? I have a phone here with all sorts of neat Internet features which I can’t afford to use.

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