VoIP has been nothing short of a revolutionary force in the realm of communication and popular apps such as Skype have fundamentally changed the way people communicate with each other, especially with regards to long distances. Understandably, major carriers have been somewhat reluctant to actually introduce the technology because it would do significant damage to their revenues. Another reason the technology did not make as much an impact as many thought was because the service was limited by various technical factors that made the orthodox 2G and 3G networks far more reliable in comparison.
Now, however, both manufactures and service providers are beginning to embrace VoIP technology, albeit as a part of their own services. The latest to get in line is AT&T, which just launched its own VoIP app to allow smart phone customers to make cheap international phone calls. The app itself will function through the VoIP network of 8×8, but what is notable here is the fact that it is being marketed under the AT&T brand. This option is remarkably cheaper than the alternatives currently available with an existing AT&T package, but it is important to note that this app can only be used when the phone is logged-in to a WiFi network.
Right now, some of the charges for international calls via the new VoIP app are as follows;
Landline: China, France, Germany and UK : 4cents/min
India : 9cents/min
Mexico : 8cents/min
Mobile: Europe: 21-27cents/min
The AT&T VoIP app is compatible with iPhone and certain Android and BlackBerry models. Moreover, the billing is done directly with no contract or minimum calling necessary. In addition, the service bills will not be part of the main AT&T account.
Overall, this service is bound to improve the quality of service in terms of cost and quality. The fact that a major service provider is now introducing the technology means that others may follow. This may also mean that the carrier’s data and voice networks could feel a little less pressure in the months to come.