Recently a few Localphone users have asked for our thoughts regarding the packages offered by some competing services, where customers pay a monthly fee and receive “unlimited” or a fixed number of minutes per month.
In our opinion these rarely offer good value for all but a relatively small number of the most heavy callers.
For example, here in the UK Vonage offers “V-Plan 4i”, advertising unlimited calls to India and others for £18.99 per month. We’ve found that a typical user calling India does so for about 400 minutes per month, giving an effective rate of 4.75p per minute (versus our current GBP rate to India from as little as 1.3p per minute).
To match our rate with Vonage you’d have to be calling for more than three times the average—almost 1,500 minutes per month!
Another common feature of these plans is a “fair usage policy” which can really sting those users that do make significantly higher numbers of calls. In Vonage’s case their fair usage policy limits their “unlimited” package to 2,000 minutes per month.
For those few users who do fall in this 1,500 to 2,000 minutes per month range we feel Localphone’s advanced features add enough value to be worth the small rate increase.
With Vonage you’re tied to using their hardware (with up to £39.99 set-up costs), while Localphone lets you call from your existing landline or mobile, or from your broadband or mobile Internet connection with Localphone VoIP. You can also send cheap international SMS messages, or even get an Incoming Number in your destination countries so friends and family can call you back.
As I’m sure our customers will agree, Localphone’s per minute billing offers significantly higher flexibility and value for money than competing package offers.
(information sourced from Vonage’s website on 23rd November, 2009)