VoIP Cell Phone Considerations

Why should you want to change your cell phone into a VoIP cell phone? There’s no question about it: cell phones have played a huge role in how people communicate. Can you even remember the Old Days, back when there had to be a cord attached to the end of your receiver if you wanted to talk to someone on the phone? When sitting down in a car to drive or stepping away from the office meant you would be unreachable until you got to your destination (and sometimes, even after that)? When you needed special hardware to be able to identify the number calling you, even if it was unblocked and there was no such thing as personalized ringtones? Now cell phones do everything; they act as your phone, GPS system, event planner, etc. – but all of those features come at a cost. Literally – just check your cell phone bill.  But combining your cell phone with VoIP technology can take you one step further, by reducing some of those costs.

On a VoIP cell phone, you can still be readily accessible to your family and office, still identify the calls, still do almost everything you did before, except you can do them through internet (often, free Wi-Fi). This allows you to cut back costs on your regular cell phone plan. Most notably, you don’t need to have so many minutes available – placing the call through a VoIP program doesn’t use up any minutes. This allows you to get a smaller plan but retain all of the features.

There are two different ways to get a VoIP cell phone. The first way is to purchase one from the store. This is a mobile phone which is made to run not through a cell phone provider like AT&T or T-Mobile, but rather exclusively through a VoIP provider like Skype or Yahoo Messenger. They contain a wireless radio as opposed to the cellular radio. This option is easy and hassle-free, but limiting in terms of what kinds of phones are available. There are also a reduced number of special features on these specialized phones.

The other obvious option is to turn your regular cell phone into a VoIP cell phone. Probably the easiest way to accomplish this is to install a VoIP app (such as Skype) on your smart phone. You will generally need access to a Wi-Fi connection to run these programs and not use your cell phone data plan, but there are an increasing number of Wi-Fi hotspots available. Some phones even have a built-in VoIP application for your convenience. As a downside, these phones are often expensive if you don’t already own them or have a contract set to expire (though, the price will drop in time).

A VoIP cell phone isn’t for everyone – there are many people who will undoubtedly prefer the ease of simply paying more to make calls (people, for example, who don’t talk on the phone much at all). And there’s nothing wrong with that. But, if you have a minimum of tech savvy at your disposal, are interested in saving money or use your phone so much that your bill becomes inordinately high, you may want to consider making the change to a VoIP cell phone. So investigate the options and decide if you are one of the people who could benefit.

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