1. Computing

Mobile VoIP Services

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Description:

Mobile telephony has an important role in our modern world. VoIP would fail if it stayed wired. Most VoIP users are now scrutinizing the pipeline for services that will allow them to conveniently make free or cheap calls using their mobile phones, anywhere. A few mobile VoIP services have emerged, pioneering into a promising industry.

Mobile telephony as we know it works on GSM networks, which, in a way, cover the whole world. VoIP has to use IP networks like Wi-Fi, 3G, WiMax, GPRS, EDGE etc. This is the main obstacle barring the way to seamless free VoIP telephony. Yes, if you want to make free calls using your mobile (as with your PC), you need to find a wireless way of connecting to the Internet. A data plan for mobile phones is very often required, if you are under a Wi-Fi hotspot. There is a way to still use VoIP services through GSM networks, but the GSM part remains charged at the local mobile rate.
For using mobile VoIP, you need to have a mobile phone that is compatible with the service you choose, download and install a softphone, and use it to make and receive free calls to and from your buddies who have the same service (see Yeigo and Fring). Other companies have pioneered in saddling VoIP over GSM itself (see Packet8's MobileTalk), and in embedding VoIP functionality into a SIM card (see Yackie Mobile).

Cost:

You could call through VoIP on your mobile phone just like you would on a PC, but through a wireless network. So, basically it can be as free as with software based VoIP service, as long as you call people using the same service on their PC or mobile phone. But your cost will not always be nil since you need connection through a wireless service - a data plan (which is not free, in most places). WiFi can be free in hotspots or at home - if you have a wireless router showering your house with Internet connection from your ADSL line. But then still, you need to have a mobile phone that has WiFi connectivity.

Typical users:

Anyone that has a need for mobile telephony (who hasn't?), and who wants to cut down the cost of this expensive way of communication. It can prove to be more profitable for heavy mobile users like business people and travelers.

Pros:

Cons:

  • The need of a data plan or a wireless network, to connect your mobile device to the Internet
  • Mobile VoIP services are not compatible with all mobile models.
  • Call quality is not always very good, due to the wireless carriers.

Read more:

  1. About.com
  2. Computing
  3. Voice Over IP
  4. Services and Solutions
  5. Making Calls Through Your Mobile Phone Using VoIP

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