Mobile VoIP refers to technology that allows voice calls to be made on mobile phones using Voice over Internet Protocol. These particular communication protocols do not replace regular cellular service on the phone, but are available as an additional communications option to VoIP subscribers. In order to access this technology, a person must first become a mobile VoIP customer and must have a phone that allows unrestricted Internet access. Most providers also allow unrestricted calling to other subscribers within the VoIP network. Often, the Internet can be accessed on a mobile phone by using a WiFi hotspot, which further helps users save money on voice and other data charges typically incurred through normal cellular usage.
As mobile VoIP technology improves and becomes more accessible, consumers are finding it to be a welcome alternative to traditional mobile communication services. This is particularly true for individuals who frequently travel internationally and find mobile VoIP calls to be significantly less expensive than international roaming rates offered by mobile carriers. This technology may also offer international text messaging rates that are far more affordable in some instances.
Smartphone users are the most likely to use a mobile VoIP application, since these consumers also routinely use a mobile phone’s web browser for data services. Most also utilize WiFi, 3G or 4G connections for enhanced download speeds and general data connections. Since most smartphone consumers have voice and data plans that already support high usage and allow for optimal use of such handheld devices, using VoIP for voice communications when roaming outside of an individual’s home country is the most common use for this technology. This is because international calls are not commonly offered in regular service plans and can be quite expensive for travelers.
Sometimes referred to as MoIP, some mobile VoIP providers also offer mobile applications to enhance social networking activities. Consumers who download applications on select smartphones are able to engage in voice chat with friends on popular social networking sites over a phone’s Internet connection. This service is only available in select countries, however.
While mass marketed to general consumers, mobile VoIP is also popular among business smartphone users, as well. Governments in some countries, however, have sought to restrict the use of such technology, as well as certain phones capable of engaging in its use. Where it is unrestricted, mobile VoIP technology is becoming a useful business tool.