How best to manage calling rates on a cell phone?
April 3, 2012 5:12 PM Subscribe
I have this budding (temporarily) long distance relationship where we put a lot of burden on phone calls (and IM and e-mail). Due to numerous factors I will give detail about in the extended, I am looking for cheap short term alternatives to cut down on costs for long distance and would appreciate some advice.
posted by kalessin to Technology (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Until Summer-Fall of 2012, this will be a long distance relationship. We have been running hot and heavy on phone, IM and e-mail. IM and e-mail are free, but phone is not.
I have unlimited domestic US minutes on Vonage, which is awesome and works fine, but I'm travelling a lot and my cell phone is not on an unlimited calling plan. I'm loathe to change it because last time I tried, T-Mobile tried to get me to agree to another 2 year contract, which I want to avoid so I can switch carriers in August without paying the ETF.
So, I'm kind of behind the times with respect to phone rates, calling methods and different technologies. Reading some older AskMe questions it sounds like maybe Skype would be cheap (at 2.3 cents per minute). I have an iPad 2 that would work, right (assuming WiFi signal)? I'm assuming the Skype app uses the built-in microphone and speakers on the iPad.
Also Vonage has a feature called Extensions which they're pushing for international calls, but it looks like you can also use it to leverage your domestic calling terms? I've installed the Android app on my old Android phone and tested it and it seems to work but I fear that it's not avoiding billing my mobile minutes. I'll check my billing statements on T-Mobile and Vonage to make sure, but any advance information would be helpful about where the airtime charges go when using the Android app.
And then there's calling cards, I guess, but it seems like the cell phone would still use minutes if used at the wrong hours even with calling cards.
Does anyone have experience with this constellation of technologies and can give some advice about what logistics to consider?
Thanks as always in advance.