Items tagged with calling

It's a feature that many have likely overlooked given T-Mobile's current focus on being the Uncarrier, but it's one that was universally loved by international travelers. Wi-Fi Calling essentially allows one's smartphone to make a traditional voice call using their own local (U.S.) phone number, but instead of relying on a mobile tower nearby, it relies on Wi-Fi. In a world where international roaming rates can ensure that a 5 minute phone call leads to massive bill shock back home, the advantage of Wi-Fi Calling is clear. Today, Sprint announced that it too will offer the service. According to... Read more...
There's progress, and then there's going too far. While you won't find too many technology lovers who are opposed to having Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet or being able to leave one's Kindle on from gate-to-gate, there's a fine line here that may soon be crossed. Enabling connectivity in the sky is a godsend for those who fly frequently and need to get work done, but by and large, all of this happens at a low volume level. The noise of one's keyboard is largely drowned out by the rumble of the airline engines, and there's a good reason that most in-flight Wi-Fi services don't allow VoIP or video calls.... Read more...
The future of the telephone may be in jeopardy, or at least in some form of danger. Why? Google. The company has allowed US-based users to make telephone calls to the United States and Canada via Gmail for a few years now, and it's about to extend that in a big way. Recently, with a Gmail overhaul, the ability to make outbound calls vanished. And Google heard the outcry. So now, it's back -- and better. Calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain super, super low. Today's launch also improves the desktop calling... Read more...
Last year, Republic Wireless made headlines with its $19/month unlimited everything smartphone plan. At the time, the service was available in a limited Beta service. As a result, many people who were interested in the service couldn't sign up for it. Now, Republic Wireless is opening the Beta service up to everyone. As you'll recall, Republic Wireless is a Wi-Fi-centric mobile operator. In other words, the carrier uses Wi-Fi as its primary network with cellular as a backup. Currently, Republic Wireless offers just a single phone: the Motorola DEFY XT. This appears to be a pretty decent mid-range... Read more...
Looking for disruption in the wireless market? Look no further. Republic Wireless, which bills itself as the nation's first Wi-Fi-centric mobile operator, just reopened its $19/month unlimited Beta to new customers, offering an all-new handset, the Motorola DEFY XT. That's right: cellular service for $19/month. The DEFY XT is a pretty solid mid-range Android option for the service, offering up a 3.7" panel, 1GHz processor, 5MP rear camera and one key factor: Republic's Hybrid Calling tech to leverage Wi-Fi as the primary network, and uses the cellular network as a backup only when needed. It'll... Read more...
Hey, Windows users -- seeing ads in your Skype calls? Fret not, it isn't an unathorized version of the software; it's just a new twist on "free" VoIP calling. Skype has today announced the launch of Conversation Ads, finally, a way to make cash off of free calls. These new display ad units will appear within the calling window of users who do not have Skype Credit or subscriptions when they're making 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls using Skype for Windows. Strangely, no other platforms -- desktop or mobile -- are mentioned; perhaps ads are being ported elsewhere as we speak. These new Ads are billed... Read more...
Another video chatting tool? Yep. As if Skype, Facetime and the other alternatives weren't enough, now one of the guys that had a hand in Facebook's development is launching a new video chatting platform that taps right into that network. Airtime is the project of Napster creator Shawn Fanning and tech overlord Sean Parker. On a simple level, the site launches a web-based video chat, which then taps into your Facebook friends in order to find folks to chat with. It's a little like Chatroulette, or it can be. You can load up your friend list and then select people from there to video / voice chat... Read more...
What exactly is Dell these days? A PC maker? A smartphone maker? A tablet maker? Dell's been trying a little bit of everything the past few years in an effort to see where traction could be gained, and so it's hardly a surprise to see them delving into yet another market: voice over IP. This week, Dell Canada and Fongo announced the launch of their new mobile app, Dell Voice - a free to download full feature VoIP phone alternative that may help Canadians save money on their mobile phone bills. Users of Android and iOS devices can now avoid costly long-distance charges and daytime calling restrictions... Read more...
Who doesn't like free? Vonage, which is still around helping people who love home phones, is finally taking a serious leap into what's next: mobile. The company just announced the new Vonage Mobile iPhone and Android app, which lets users make free high-definition calls and send free texts to all users of the app, worldwide. It works over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G data networks. When calling those who have not yet downloaded the app, Vonage Mobile provides ultra low-cost international calling with per-minute rates that are on average 70 percent less than major mobile carriers and 30 percent less than Skype.... Read more...
There's an old saying that goes something like "the best things in life are free."  Then there's another, more cynical proverb that says, "there's no such thing as a free lunch."  While I'm not here to choose sides or recite old proverbs, I'd offer that, in reality, both views are often very true and have merit. Which brings us to the notion of "free home phone service," that the folks at Ooma like to market their Telo Voice-Over-IP product with.   Could it be that this product really offers free residential phone services?  The answer of course isn't that simple but we did... Read more...
Enjoy free calling? Of course, who wouldn't? While Google Voice and Skype (amongst a host of others) have provided some fee-free calling options, we haven't seen that kind of enthusiasm from actual mobile carriers. No shock there. But T-Mobile USA is going against the grain with Bobsled, a service and technology that was briefly heard about earlier this year, but now seems ready for a proper introduction. T-Mobile today announced enhanced and expanded functionality for its Bobsled by T-Mobile service, with the facelifted version providing users with an easy way to call Facebook friends from most... Read more...
For the longest time, Sprint's "Simply Everything" plan was the cheapest overall "everything included" calling plan offered by one of the four major U.S. carriers. But now, T-Mobile USA is encroaching, and you have to wonder if this new plan will be folded or pushed over when the AT&T takeover occurs. The company's newest calling plan is a $79.99 all-inclusive one that includes unlimited data, calling and texting. There's no overage charges to deal with either, but of course, you'll need to sign a two-year agreement to get the deal. Also unique with this is that it includes "4G" coverage, but... Read more...
There's nothing pretty about the situation going on in Japan right now, but the good news is that there seems to be plenty of people reaching out to help. It will be a long while before the nation is fully restored, and the massive loss of life will haunt residents forever, but in dire times like these, it's the small things that tend to add up and make an impact. From a tech perspective, this particular one is definitely of note. AT&T has just announced that phone calls to Japan will be free throughout the rest of this month. The plan actually goes back to March 11, with AT&T wireless... Read more...
Ever heard of a femtocell? Sprint's AIRAVE, AT&T's 3G MicroCell and Verizon's Wireless Extender all fall into that category, and they all serve one main purpose: to extend cellphone signal range into your home. They're basically made for those who have terrible in-home cell service. You just plug the box into your broadband Internet connection, and then it creates a "mini tower" or sorts within your home. Magically, you'll get 5 bars of service, and your calls are routed out through the Internet. It's a pretty amazing piece of technology, but the most useful potential was squashed by the major... Read more...
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