Phoning Home

Voice Over the Internet Protocol

The main points for an ordinary, non-technical consumer to note are -
  • No computer is needed
  • A broadband connection IS necessary
  • A normal phone is used
  • It is MUCH cheaper than landlines, ESPECIALLY for international calls
  • It is the way of the future
There are many services available.

In the past I have used Australian Technology Partnerships. I liked this company as it gave me an Australian phone number and my friends could call me as if I was back in OZ. However it did not allow me to make "local" calls overseas.

I now use Vonage from America, and all calls except to mobile phones are "free" in the sense that there's a flar-rate monthly chage of around $40 USD (inc tax). My Australian friends just call me, and hang up, incurring a very small charge, thenm hang up and I call them back.

I also use Google Voice on my iPhone in America. Calls to non-mobiles are 2 cents per minute and to those countries that charge for incoming mobil calls, 14 cents per minute.

Then of course there's skype

For a good Australian site that has an up-to-date list of VoIP providers, see whirlpool.net.au.

Aussie expat Linden (Sweden): "The company I use for $5 AUD a month gives you a DID 'direct dial in' (for example a landline phone number where you want it, I chose Melbourne) included in the $5 is the first 100 landline calls (untimed) included each month, to call a mobile 12c a min. I have a second 'Melbourne' phone number on my mobile phone that I can receive or make calls on like as I was in Melbourne. for an extra $5 a year. Both lines use the pool of 100 calls. They do have zero a month, where you just pay $5 a year to have a number to call in on and then your calls. Broadband wise I have found it to use about 20Mb an hour, about the same as 3-4 loads of a webpage like www.news.com.au.

Plans can be found HERE.

You can purchase a little box to plug your existing landline into your broadband, or what I did brought a new cordless phone that can accept normal plug in the wall calls and also VOIP calls. I brought this from CDON online store in Sweden for under $100 AU

My phone bill for 12 months is what I used to pay for 2 months with other services." (August 2012)