How would you like to make unlimited calls to the US, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the UK and Puerto Rico from the comfort of your home in the Philippines (or in any country, for that matter)? Vonage makes this possible.
Vonage is a leading provider of broadband telephone services. It uses a technology that enables anyone to make and receive phone calls with a touch tone telephone almost anywhere a broadband Internet connection is available.
I have a friend Lem who uses this Vonage service from his home-office in Manila. I’ll tell you about that and how OFW families can use the same Vonage service to keep in touch.
My friend Lem started using this service back in February 2008. I’ve tried the service, talked to some friends over in the US and the voice quality is perfect! They wouldn’t know at all that I’m making the call from across the Pacific Ocean.
Lem encountered some problems at the start with the intermittent dropped calls. They later traced the problem to a conflict with another VOIP service using the same Internet connection. After eliminating the VOIP connection conflict, they’ve been able to use two (2!) phone lines to call the US and to receive calls from the US.
Depending on the subscription, you could either make unlimited calls or you could get an allocation of minutes (e.g. 500 minutes per month — that’s a lot!). Calls over the allocated minutes will be charged accordingly. Packages range from US$14.99 per month to US$49.99 per month.
How can an OFW family use the Vonage service? Let me tell you how.
What you’ll need:
- A broadband Internet connection in the Philippines
- A regular telephone handset in the Philippines
- A Vonage phone adapter (purchased online, delivered in US, Canada or UK)
What to do:
- Go online and choose your Vonage subcription plan at http://www.vonage.com/
- Your selected Vonage phone adapter will be delivered to your US, Canada or UK postal address
- Send the adapter to your family in the Philippines
- Connect the adapter to the broadband internet in the Philippines
- Connect a phone line (two phone lines for some) to the adapter
- Start making unlimited calls to the US, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the UK and Puerto Rico
Monthly subscription Payments will be charged to the OFW subscriber. Make sure you and your family understand all the call guidelines. We don’t want to incur un-expected charges, do we? For example, Certain call types, such as calls to cell phones, are excluded.
Oh by the way, There’s also a convenient thumb-drive Vonage adapter that you can connect to the USB port of any broadband connected computer. This is ideal for families without an Internet connection at home — they can use this service at the nearby Internet shop.
Visit the Vonage website, make sure you read the details and find out whether this is the service that will help you and your family stay in touch from across the seas.
over land and overseas
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