As your cell phone’s data pipe gets fatter, there will be less and less reason to use your cell phone minutes, when you could be using a VoIP app to make your calls instead. As 4G broadband becomes more widespread, there will no longer be any reason not to kill your cell phone’s per minute plan, and just go with unlimited data. As a matter of fact, if you’re not much of a data user, you could opt for the cheapest data plan, and use it for VoIP calls, because VoIP calls need only low data streams to work.
If you’ve got an Android phone, and you’d like to try out some free VoIP apps, head over to the android store, and try some out. according to current download stats, Skype has the most downloads for their VoIP and video chat app, with 377,390. Viber is second, with 82,042 downloads of their app, but they claim over 40 million users. Which reminds me, these VoIP apps only work for free in network… That means if you’re using the Skype app, you can only talk to other Skype users, unless you want to pay for it.
If you’re looking for an app that you can use to call regular phone numbers for free in the US and Canada, then you need to sign up with MagicJack, and download their VoIP cell phone app. Right now, the app only works on Apple products, but hopefully they’ll have one for Android soon. You can get it for free as a trial, but you can only call in network if you do that.
Of course, after I wrote this, I wandered out to Sprint.com to see what they had in the way of data only plans, and they didn’t. I then went to Verizon, and they do offer some data only plans, but they are for “Tablets Only”. Those plans started at $20.00 for 1GB of data, which would be enough for between 300 and 600 minutes of calling, depending on your kbps data rate. (Most VoIP calls are in the 30-40kbps range, but they can go as high as 80 kbps.) Of course, if you’re going to do that, just grab a plan from StraightTalk, and get 1000 minutes of calling, 34GB of data and 1000 texts for $35 per month.