What are the best apps for iPhone 3G international calling?

What are the best apps for iPhone 3G international calling?

As the owner of a smartphone you really have the world at your fingertips. Wi-Fi may have revolutionized the way we interact with the Internet at home, but it is 3G (and now 4G) technology that has given us the internet on the move.  In addition, software developers have answered our call with a seemingly endless array of interesting and functional applications which make accessing our favourite people, news feeds and services quicker than ever.

The smartphone boom has resulted in fierce competition over a variety of areas, but perhaps none more so than in the telecommunications industry.  3G technology opened up the portal to contacting anyone, anywhere via an internet connection while we are on the move and the apps available to help us do this are plenty.

The good news is that most of the top apps are available across multiple devices (iPhone, iPad, Android phones & tablets, Windows smartphones etc) which helps us stay in touch on the cheap, since many services are cheaper/free when the connection is made app-to-app.

We’ve listed the top three below, breaking down just what makes them so good.

*Example rates are not set in stone and vary over time as well as location of call.

3. Vonage

Example Rates (3G):

US Mobile – 2p

Australia Mobile – 10p

India Mobile – 5p

Vonage are a popular VoIP service provider and have an extensive customer base across the US and Europe. Their call quality tends to be good, and their customer services are also excellent in dealing with any queries from users, something which gets the big thumbs up since many services fail miserably here.

The app interface is easy to use and has simple features for importing content from other sources.  There are also Vonage Business apps which allow companies to track and determine peaks in their call traffic by providing a series of reporting tools, so they are very much a market leader in terms of their customer base and breadth of users.

One possible downfall is that they are not the cheapest of VoIP providers when it comes to 3G international calls, though cost is only one factor to consider, with service quality and functionality being of equal importance.

2. Skype

Example Rates (3G):

US Mobile – 1.4p

Australia Mobile – 11.8p

India Mobile – 5.4p

Skype is perhaps the company that is most synonymous with VoIP (internet based) phone calls and video conferencing. They remain the biggest VoIP provider in the world and their service is based on a simple, easy to follow interface that allows the user to upload their contacts quickly and connect to them via text, audio or video (or a combination of the three).

Skype’s biggest selling point is their vast user base (300 million active users at the time of writing in 2016) and the video chat options that are available.  An average of 3 billion minutes of Skype calls are made per day!  With that kind of volume, no wonder there are sometimes performance issues.  Indeed Skype requires both users to have a fast internet connection, otherwise delays are experienced.  Switching to audio only is a good option in such a case. 

Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion and the company has continued to grow since then. Call costs have not risen significantly, which is another plus and are inexpensive compared to traditional landline and mobile providers, although not as cheap as some other VoIP companies.

1. Rebtel

Example Rates (3G):

US Mobile – 0.99p

Australia Mobile – 4.9p

India Mobile – 0.8p

Rebtel are the second biggest calling app in the world and it is easy to see why they have a strong following. They have consistently the lowest prices for international calls, and score well in terms of both excellent customer service and the quality of their connections.  Clear calls, fewer dropouts and an active support team has resulted in a largely satisfied and loyal customer base.

Furthermore, Rebtel excel with their roaming technology which can switch your call between Wi-Fi and 3G networks, depending on the signals available. This feature, which means that you can continue a call made initially on Wi-Fi, moving onto 3G when the signal is lost, is a simple but brilliant way to keep customers conversation flowing. Add to this the ‘local numbers’ feature, where you are provided with a local phone number for each of your international contacts (thus keeping prices at a minimum) and you begin to see why Rebtel has become such a prominent player in the telecommunications market.

By looking at this trio of popular VoIP providers, we see a range of excellent services, albeit at slightly different pricing structures. Your best bet to try them out and see which is most suitable for your needs.  Rebtel have a free test call and Skype have some easy self-test features too.  Empowering yourself with as much information as possible is key to ensuring you benefit from the best VoIP provider for your 3G international calls.