BT (News - Alert), a communications services provider in the U.K. that offers products and services around the world (in over 170 countries) launched a new app that might allow customers to save on calls from their mobile phone.
The recently introduced BT SmartTalk app allows mobile phone users in the U.K. to score savings when calling expensive U.K .numbers starting with 0800/0845 and 0870 as well as save when calling the U.K. from abroad.
Thanks to the app and using an available Wi-Fi connection, callers might be able to pay cheaper phone calling plan than if they used pay as you go (PAYG) rates. No PAYG mobile minutes are used!
In fact, the app allows BT customers access to their calling plan from their mobile and use of their landline rates to make 24/7 calls for as little as 2.65 pence (or around $.004 cents per minute). Clients are also entitled to any special savings or features included in the plan.
The app is easy to use, at any time or anywhere, able to supports up to five users on one calling plan. It allows callers to use a variety of connections depending on what’s available. Callers can connect to their own home wireless system or connect to one of the 7.5 million BT Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, if not make a 3G connection or benefit from a VoIP (voice over IP) network phone to place BT calls at their normal landline rate as calls use a customer data connection rather than the mobile connection.
Users with a family can also take advantage of an added feature: There’s the possibility to link up to five smartphones to their BT calling plan. So, up to 6 phones (five mobiles and one home landline-based) can be used to make calls simultaneously and be billed to the one BT landline account.
This app of BT’s also features a few user-friendly features, like the synchronizations of contacts and the possibility to identify favorites.
Indeed the BT SmartTalk app can help save money on costly mobile calls. It is, however, important to realize that calls will be cheaper only if using a free or home Wi-Fi network or a 3G connection that has a data plan. If not, using the 3G connection for placing calls might increase greatly the cost per call. Callers should also be aware of any roaming costs.
With this app, BT has been expanding the type of services they can provide their landline customers by offering a solution for their mobile needs. According to John Petter, managing director of BT Retail’s Consumer Division, “this is a really exciting breakthrough that means you can take your BT calling plan with you and continue saving money when you’re away from home.”
Usage of VoIP in the U.K., according to a report from Ofcom titled “The Consumer Experience of 2012,” is still fairly low although awareness of the technology; yet, its potential has been steadily rising. Apps like SmartTalk, however, will definitely increase the use of VoIP in the U.K. In fact, businesses are already planning on the adoption of VoIP for cutting costs. It’s forecasted the roll out of 4G in the U.K. in 2013 will also boost VoIP usage.
The move by BT underscores the proliferation of VoIP capabilities as an alternative to traditional voice services. It also highlights the recognition by traditional service providers that the ultimate goal is to keep customers on the service provider network regardless of how they access it. What this means is that VoIP for use by multiple mobile devices as part of an all-encompassing approach to providing a ubiquitous one-stop shop for any and all communications is becoming a service provider priority around the world.
Those interested in the BT SmartTalk app, which is free, one can download it from iTunes or Google Play.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein