Vonage Mobile, free calls and messages, apps on Android and iPhone

Vonage has long been a pioneer of the VoIP industry with its wired services, but we’ve always been more interested in the company’s mobile app. As such, we were grateful for the opportunity to set up a Q&A session with Grady Leno, Vonage’s vice president of Product Management at Mobile Services, to discuss how students and parents can stay in touch over this year’s Party Time Spring Break.

How can the Vonage Mobile App help students keep in touch over Spring Break?

“The Vonage Mobile App is the perfect way for students and parents to keep in touch over Spring Break without the fear of coming home to a huge cell phone bill rife with unexpected international calling charges. The app lets users make voice and video calls, send texts, share photos and locations worldwide for free with other Vonage Mobile users. When using the app over 3G/4G, data rates apply, so we recommend using the app over Wi-Fi.

“Our rates for calls are less than major mobile carriers [as well as] Skype’s pay-per-minute rates”

“When calling people who don’t have the app, app users get low-cost calling to phone numbers in more than 200 countries. Our rates for calls made to numbers outside of the app are 60-75 percent less than major mobile carriers and, on average, 30 percent less than Skype’s pay-per-minute rates (Based on per-minute rates to the top 50 countries called [and reflecting] published rates of leading mobile carriers in markets representing the majority of iPhone and Android users). Users simply add calling credit directly through their iTunes or Google Play account without ever leaving the app. Rates start at $0.01 per minute, and users can purchase $4.99, $9.99, $14.99 and $19.99 calling credit packages.”

What sets Vonage Mobile apart from the wide variety of other calling apps on the market (why should people choose it over, say, Skype or Viber?)?

“Vonage Mobile provides a complete solution – voice, video, messaging – all in one, easy-to-use app. For smartphone users looking for all of these features, Vonage Mobile makes more sense than using multiple apps. Vonage Mobile also utilizes the users’ existing phone number and contacts for one-touch dialing, and there is no need to get usernames just to talk with friends and family. Some apps do a good job at voice, others at video, others at messaging. Some are great for desktops, but not optimized for mobile. We provide a holistic solution that works well on mobile and is convenient and cost effective.”

“we’ll continue to look for ways to make the app even more engaging and appealing to consumers”

Are stickers and other downloadable content planned for Vonage Mobile in the future? Otherwise, how is Vonage increasing its user engagement and experience?

“Our goal has always been to provide our users with one single, easy-to use holistic app that combines all of the most popular communications features, and we’ll continue to look for ways to make the app even more engaging and appealing to consumers. For over a decade, Vonage remained close to its roots with a focus on communications innovations and improving the way people communicate. We have the infrastructure, technology, and resources to support continued growth and innovation and are always enhancing the Vonage Mobile app. We will continue to make Vonage Mobile the most comprehensive communication solution on the market with the best quality at the best value and with the best user experience.”

How many users does Vonage Mobile currently have (registered, active) and how many are added monthly on average?

“Vonage Mobile has millions of downloads and growing. The number active users as a percent of downloads is in line with our expectations and consistent with what others mobile app providers have seen. I can share that downloads continue to grow – especially with new app enhancements like photo sharing and video – and we’ve seen an acceleration of downloads, activations and usage, as well as the number of paying customers since launch.”

“we are concentrating on making the app as robust as possible with the best user experience”

When will the Vonage Mobile App be made available for Windows Phone 8?

“We prioritize our efforts to target as many users as possible. While we evaluate mobile operating system expansion, right now we are concentrating on making the app as robust as possible with the best user experience not only for our current iPhone and Android users, but also to attract additional users.”

Where do you see the mobile VoIP industry headed based on current trends? How does this factor into Vonage’s overall strategy?

“Consumers demand mobility and always have cost and quality as priorities with it comes to communications. We aim to be the leading communications company that provides value by offering our customers the freedom and flexibility to communicate wherever and whenever they choose, whether it is via landlines or mobile.

“Vonage Mobile is a great complement to our broad range of home services, which appeal to various consumer lifestyle, usage and budgetary needs. Our customers enjoy the convenience, quality and low cost of a dedicated home service, the increased mobility of the Extensions app that allows Vonage home service users to use their international home calling plans with their mobile phones at no additional cost, and the many benefits of the Vonage Mobile app, including free app-to-app calling, texting and video calling.”

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By Josh Robert Nay

Josh Robert Nay is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TruTower. He has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003 and specializes in GSM based technology. He also uses (too many) VoIP apps and is a long-time user of BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone. He adores anything having to do with space exploration and writing. In addition to the links below, he can be found on LinkedIn and can also be found on his website at http://www.joshrobertnay.com.