Vonage, the respectable face of VoIP, has launched a mobile client allowing iPhone and Android users to make VoIP calls for free, as long as they’re calling a Facebook friend.
The Vonage app is available as a free download, and works over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G networks in most countries. It uses existing Facebook accounts, so users don’t have to input phone numbers or any information. Calls are made when the user selects a Facebook friend and begins talking.
Vonage started offering VoIP almost a decade ago, and supplies customers with routers that feature a standard telephone socket into which customers can plug their existing handsets. But despite having a significant customer base the company has been eclipsed by Skype and its brethren, which can run even cheaper services by utilising the processing power of customers’ computers.
Though the first versions of the app will be limited to the iPhone, iPod touch and Android phones, more Facebook apps are in the works. Vonage plans to release a version of the app specifically sized for the iPad, Apple’s tablet computer, in coming weeks. It also expects to launch software that will work on regular computers, whether Macs or PCs. A BlackBerry app will be introduced once RIM publishes some additional developer tools, said Nick Lazzaro, Vonage’s senior vice president of product development.
The app is available now in 48 countries through the Android Market and 87 countries in the iTunes App Store. If you don’t already have a Vonage plan, carrier charges may apply.