today launched Time to Call for the iPhone, a new mobile VoIP app that aims to deliver low-cost international calling. Vonage claims Time to Call is the first downloadable app that allows pay-per-call international dialing to more than 190 countries. The app, designed for iPhones, lets consumers make 15-minute international calls and it features payment directly through iTunes, which will no doubt improve the adoption rate.
For a limited time, Vonage will provide a free international call, up to 15 minutes, to 100 countries. 15 minute calls seem a bit limiting, no? Those would have to be short calls. I'm assuming only the free trial is limited to 15 minutes and if you "pay", it is unlimited talk time. Interestingly, when I installed it on my iPhone this morning and tried to make a free U.S.-to-U.S. call it said it was $0.99 per call and only ONE free call allowed (picture below) vs. the 15 minute free calling for an international call. Guess this app truly is targeting the international calling business.
Time to Call launches globally today and is available for download in 87 iTunes stores.
“With the launch of Time to Call, Vonage has simplified the process of making affordable international calls for iPhone users around the globe,” said Marc Lefar, CEO of Vonage. “Not only does this service offer tremendous value for international callers dialing from their home countries, it also provides a great solution for international travelers who want to avoid the bill shock associated with international calls and roaming charges when they call back home. Time to Call requires far less effort than calling card services and other international calling plan options, and is substantially less expensive than dialing direct through a mobile carrier. It’s simple, fast and fair.”
With Time to Call, there’s no ongoing commitment and calling is quick and easy. After downloading the app, customers simply select the country they want to call, touch the Buy button and enter their iTunes credentials, then make the call either from their address book or by directly dialing the number.
Fifteen-minute calls to 100 countries range from $0.99 to $1.99; more than 90 additional countries can be called for flat rates ranging up to $9.99. Calls to landlines AND mobile phones are the same rate. Time to Call users do not have to be Vonage home phone service subscribers.
According to Vonage, "Nearly 50 percent of all international calls worldwide originate from a mobile phone, according to TeleGeography. The market opportunity is huge and growing, and Time to Call meets the need with a simple and affordable pay-per-call service that requires no commitment or advance planning."
Vonage stated that later this year, Vonage will introduce an Android version of the Time to Call app. The Time to Call service works on Wi-Fi networks and 3G wireless networks in U.S. and Canada. You can download it via iTunes here