Using your iPhone for international calls could simplify staying in touch with family and friends without having to resort to a traditional home phone and expensive international calling plan. Your iPhone could be the answer to getting some face time as well - with plenty of video calling apps available for the iPhone, your contacts get even more of the real you.
IPhone International Calling Operators
Your carrier probably offers discounted options for making international calls. Most carriers offer a monthly plan that allows you pay a few dollars plus a per minute fee that is lower than calling without a plan.
AT&T. With AT&T World Connect service, you pay $3.99 a month plus a per minute rate to call internationally from your iPhone. This could range from 60 cents per minute to call Haiti to $1.20 per minute to call Cuba.
Verizon. With Verizon’s similar international plan, you can make iPhone international calls for $3.99 per month plus 34 cents per minute for Haiti and $1.19 per minute for Cuba.
Sprint. With Sprint’s International Plan you pay $4 a month plus 34 cents per minute for Haiti and $1.19 per minute for Cuba.
Calling through your operator without a plan in place can lead to per minute charges as much as double those mentioned above. Even the discounted rates are high, however, so to lessen the costs of iPhone international calls you can turn to other options.
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VOiP iPhone International Calls
VoIP apps can make iPhone international calling much less expensive. These apps usually work by using your minutes or data plan on your phone to make the call, but charging you only a fraction of what your carrier would charge you for the international portion of the call.
Skype. You can make calls using Skype’s iPhone app and a subscription that lowers the cost of calls to Haiti to 22 cents per minute and calls to Cuba to $1.15 per minute.
Evaphone. Evaphone is a relatively new VoIP service that allows you to call Haiti for 29 cents per minute and Cuba for as low as $1.04 cents per minute. You can also top off your credits using PayPal, which can be convenient.
Rebtel. With Rebtel, you pay a much lower cost per call. That makes calls to Haiti only 19.9 cents per minute, and calls to Cuba only 79.9 cents per minute! Rebtel gives you a “local” number to assign to your contacts.
An extra advantage of VoIP calling apps is that if you stay on WiFi networks instead of 3G or 4G, you can avoid burning up your calling or data plans.
Video Calling Apps for iPhone
If you want to get the most out of your iPhone international calls, try a video calling app. There are several great apps you can use to get extra one on one time with family and friends.
FaceTime. This iPhone app requires that both parties have iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 or iPad (3rd Gen) to operate off of your cellular data plan, or you can use WiFi and any two FaceTime enabled devices to make international calls with iPhone. You can easily start video calls from your contact list, and tap to share streaming video from your front or back camera.
Tango. This app works across all kinds of devices, and doesn’t use your minutes. Just have your friends and family sign up for Tango and start using the video talk capability of your phone for personal communication.
Your iPhone international calls just got cheaper and more interesting. Using the right service and apps can make every call well worth the cost, and you can spend more time than ever on calls with family and friends.