PhoneNews.com is going to be the first to walk you through step-by-step how to achieve free, unlimited calling using VoIP, Virgin Mobile, Google Voice, and Android.
But first, a primer on how Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) works. VoIP is still rather new. If you like seeing beta stamped on stuff, you can skip to the next article. If you don’t (and can afford the luxury), Sprint’s Simply Everything is only $99 per month.
If you’re somewhere in-between, continue reading. Consider this our pre-tutorial boot camp.
First, VoIP depends on routing calls over the internet. Some of you did not know this, we apologize for the redundancy for those that did. To make a call over the internet, you must have a constantly-active data connection.
That has a few benefits. For example, you can call over Wi-Fi and have better-than-ceullar call quality. You can also surf the web while you’re on hold with outsourced customer service. It does, however, have drawbacks as well.
First, battery life is impacted. You will lose hours of standby time, because your phone constantly has to ping the network. Second, signal matters. If you have one bar of signal, you’re going to want to either use Wi-Fi first, or switch over to your 300 free minutes that are included with Virgin Mobile’s base $25 plan to make that call.
Finally, there’s something called latency on the internet. To pull this off, your call is routed from the caller, to the Google’s servers, to a VoIP provider, to Virgin Mobile, to your phone. That creates what gamers call lag. Now, from our experience, the lag is acceptable if you have a reasonable signal strength (3-5 bars on the Intercept, with an EVDO signal). If you don’t have that level of reception, VoIP isn’t going to do as well, and critical calls should go over Wi-Fi or your 300 minute bucket.
In conclusion, VoIP is new. VoIP is the future, and today, it will let you offload that 3 hour investor conference call off your minute bucket. It shouldn’t be used for many marriage proposals, unless you’re on Wi-Fi or have a good signal.
Can it replace your 2 year contract enslavement? That depends on who you are. Most only use a few hundred minutes each month of critical calls. And, with Wi-Fi, you can offload a lot of those critical calls onto VoIP too. But, if you talk all day long, you may be better off taking the lowest minute contract with your provider, and having Google Voice route outbound calls as inbound calls.
If you have no idea what the last sentence meant, don’t worry, you’re now ready for our guide on how to pull all of this off. So please, continue on to our guide on getting unlimited free calling using Virgin Mobile and the Samsung Intercept.
Update: After a few weeks of testing, issues, and patient waiting, we’ve posted our follow-up article.