By Alok Saboo on May 18th, 2009
Are you always worried about using up your cell phone minutes? Are you worried about the roaming charges when you are on a business trip? Do you want to make cheap international calls using your cell phone alone? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you must read this.
What is mVoIP: Mobile VoIP or mVoIP refers to using your mobiles (instead of other devices like computer, ATA, etc.) to make or receive VoIP calls. All that is required to use VoIP is a device to convert analog voice to digital and a network to carry the packets. The traditional methods to access VoIP use computers or other devices like ATA to carry out the task.
Lack of phones with data capability, low availability of fast networks made it difficult in the past to use mVoIP. However, with the latest advancements in technology, these are not a hindrance anymore. Most phones sold today are sophisticated enough to be able to use VoIP. Further, the availability of high speed networks (WiFi, LTE, EDGE, 3G, WiMAX) has made the use of mVoIP completely feasible.
Why use mVoIP: The primary motivation to use mVoIP is to free yourself from the computer (and other devices) and access VoIP using the ubiquitous mobile phones. You could obviously do that using local access numbers, but calling local access numbers is usually not free (depending on the carrier). Moreover, local access numbers are not available in all the countries. Further, if you have already paid for the data plan (most smart phones in the US come with a data plan), it makes sense to make the maximum use of it. Finally (and probably most importantly), if you are on roaming then using mVoIP is probably the most cost effective way to make calls as dialing local access number can be prohibitively expensive.
What do you need to use mVoIP: All you need for mVoIP is a handset with SIP capability and a network (e.g. WiFi, LTE, EDGE, 3G, WiMAX). You could even use Skype on your mobile (does not require SIP support). If you have one of the latest smart phones like the iPhone and access to internet (using the data plan or wifi) then you have all that is required to make cheap or even free international calls.
Hopefully, I have convinced you to start use mVoIP. If you are already feeling the itch to start using VoIP on your mobile phones, but are lost about how to go about it, hold on till my next post. If you are already using VoIP on mobile, share your experiences with others and let the community grow bigger.