How to call abroad for free or for very little…

How to call abroad for free or for very little – words Alan Woods

While international communication is by no means expensive these days thanks to the emergence of email, social media and so many other interconnected technologies, there may be times when you wish to converse with others by phone, not least so that you can actually hear a human voice.

You may have this wish as an individual – for example, if you are an overseas student visiting the UK and you would like to phone home – or as a business, so that you can maintain the closest and best possible relationships with business partners, customers and clients.

The sheer demand for cheap overseas calls remains undoubted, with a fixed-line call volume of almost one billion minutes in international calls having been recorded in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2015. Whatever your own situation, here are your options on how to call abroad for free or for very little.

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Purchase an international calling card

These prepaid phone cards work in a simple way – you buy them from a shop, use them at a payphone or on a landline or mobile and top them up whenever you need additional credit. They are offered by a wide range of companies and often provide extremely low international calling rates.

Call via the Internet 

Recent years have seen a proliferation of online apps that allow you to make free calls to anyone using the same app. Admittedly, that latter requirement is a big sticking point for those – such as businesses – that need to regularly call a wide range of individuals abroad, but if you simply want to call one or two family members or friends, it could be just the solution.

The most obvious example of such an app is Skype, the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that can be downloaded for free to your desktop computer or smartphone. It enables free calls between those who both have the app installed, along with affordable international call rates when you need to call someone without the app – the latter through the Skype Unlimited World plan.

Similar services include FaceTime, the free voice or video call solution that can only be used between Apple product owners, and Viber, which – again – allows for free calls between those using the app. You may also consider Nimbuzz or Rebtel.

Sign up to the right international call plan

If you expect to make an especially high volume of international calls and are contemplating a home or business phone service from one of the major providers, you may simply opt for a dedicated international call plan. Different providers offer different per-minute rates, so you should pay close attention to the rates applicable to whichever countries you intend to spend most time calling.

International calls can also be made from your mobile, with several of the leading mobile carriers offering their own international call plans.

Remember that you don’t have to settle for one of the obvious plans or bundles from one of the better-known providers, not least given the considerable innovation in this sector. For example, you can make cheap international calls from both your landline and mobile from just 1p a minute with Planet Numbers, which is known for its revolutionary dialling system that involves no SIM cards or PINs that you need to remember.

With options like the above, there really is no need to blow your entire budget on costly calls abroad, whether as an individual or business.

How to call abroad for free or for very little – words Alan Woods

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