In most European countries, as well as in Australia, New Zealand and many African countries, when you dial someone’s mobile phone, the other party pays nothing. Unlike in the US, answering a call does not result in a per-minute charge or a deduction from your included minutes. Incoming calls are always free to the mobile subscriber. There is no charge for the incoming call.
This is called “CPP” – Calling Party Pays. It means it always costs extra to dial mobiles. The cellular networks make money on charging the callers for the calls to their networks, so that the incoming calls are free for the subscriber.
The per-minute charges to mobile destinations can be sometimes very high. For example, it could cost up to $0.60 per minute to dial a Swiss mobile. And this is through so-called “discount” operators like Voippook and other VoIP providers claiming low rates. Calling a mobile phone in Latvia could result in charges of $0.30 – $0.40 per minute to your account balance with the “low cost” VoIP provider. If you need to frequently dial Spanish, French, Australian, Austrian or UK mobiles, you are likely to spend a significant amount of money on these international calls to mobile phones.
There are ways to deal with this issue. You could search for carriers like Vonage or Broadvoice who may charge differently to some mobiles in the same countries – not all cellular networks cost the same per minute, and some of them are actually affordable. Another option is to look for a lowest rate calling card. By punching in “cheap calls to Spanish mobiles” in Google, you will find a large selection of calling cards like Call-ZPI, Unioncall and others that could potentially save you some per minute.
Still, 99% of all calling cards, alternative long-distance providers and VoIP service providers will charge you no less than $0.30/min to call most EU and Australian mobiles.
We found and interesting workaround at DIDlogic.com that allows you to make those international calls to European mobiles at half the price. One of the services DID Logic provides is PSTN forwarding (diverting your virtual numbers to other telephone numbers around the world). This service can be used to create your own calling card. Here is how:
– DIDlogic sells DID numbers (virtual numbers) in the UK. Login and purchase a UK DID for around $3.
– Forward your London number to your desired destination. For example, O2 Cellular in Germany (+49179…) is $0.09 per minute! If you talk for an hour, you will save over $5 in just one call. If you make one long call every weekend, that’s a $20/month savings already.
– You get your own access number to use as your private calling card – make a local call and get connected to an international mobile destination. Change the destination online.
This workaround is good for most other mobile destinations in Europe and even Central Asia:
Georgia Cellular Geocell – $0.08/min
Kazakhstan Cellular Kcell – $0.08/min
Spain Cellular Orange – $0.09/min
United Kingdom Cellular Hutchinson 3G – $0.11/min
Russia Cellular Megafon – $0.03/min
It all depends on the mobile network you are calling .While DIDlogic.com service can charge more or less for various destinations within the same country, some cellular networks are very cheap to call. After searching with Google and Yahoo and browsing through hundreds of calling card providers, we could not find anything cheap like that.
The workaround above is useful if you live in the UK and can make local UK calls. However, it works from many other countries where you can buy virtual phone numbers (DID numbers) from DIDlogic.com: Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Iran, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.
Here is what you could potentially save with the option. Calls to Spanish mobiles cost around $0.30 at most websites. We calculated the calls using the forwarding service from DIDlogic.com. If you get your own personal dial-in number that rings to your desired international destination – in this example, a mobile phone in Spain – costs, depending on where you live, are:
– $2 and up for a number in the US, UK, Poland, Latvia and $0.09/min
– $3 and up for a number in Brazil, Australia and $0.09/min
– $6 and up for a number in China, South Africa, Bulgaria, New Zealand and $0.09/min
– $10 and up for a number in Israel, Iran, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia and $0.09/min
This looks very good – a few dollars charge and over 50% savings on your long distance to international mobiles. It is worth the small fee.
There are some networks that promise free calls to some destinations (not to exceed 300 minutes, however, then they start charging you). All of these websites are resellers of one larger ISTP and have very similar rates. You must add 10 Euro or more every over month or so, or else your “free days” run out. You end up paying the same subscription fee and still get no cheap calls to EU mobiles. DIDlogic.com looks like the cheapest option at the moment.