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Vonage Mobile ReachMe Roaming App Allows U.S. Travelers to Roam While Abroad
5 August 2014
The Cost of International Roaming
International roaming has been known to cause exceedingly high bills following travel. Although many options are available from a multitude of carriers allowing travelers to use their cell phones outside of the United States, many cell phone customers do not subscribe to these services because of the potential for such high roaming fees. Even though some companies are charging less expensive rates than ever before for international use, the lower prices are not enough to remove the fear of returning home to an overwhelmingly high cell phone bill. This fear holds back many people from using their phones at all while out of the country. Vonage's ReachMe Roaming app, offers a new service that gives travelers leaving the United States accessibility to take incoming phone calls for free using their current cell phone number whenever they are connected to Wi-Fi. Vonage has obtained three patents on this inventive feature, which allows customers to have contact with family, friends, and colleagues while traveling abroad without the high cost usually associated with international roaming.
How to Access the Feature
In order to take advantage of the new service that ReachMe offers, customers must use an Android cell phone with a United States service plan through either AT&T or T-Mobile. Vonage is, however, working toward expansion, so that people with other smartphones and carries (as well as those traveling internationally from countries other than the United States) may be able to utilize the advantages of ReachMe Roaming in the near future.
On the Android, customers may update their Vonage Mobile App to gain access to the new app. If not already a Vonage user, they may download the Vonage Mobile App from Google Play or from Vonage Mobile directly (The Vonage Mobile App is free for customers using Androids and iPhones, as the new international app is temporarily free but only accessible for Android users).
How the Feature Works
Once the Vonage Mobile App is accessible, customers are then able to choose "ReachMe Roaming" within the settings of the app in order to initiate use. From there, the customer answers calls just as normal as long as the phone is connected to Wi-Fi because the feature does not depend on a SIM card but on a Voice over IP through which the calls are received and made. Calls can also be made back to the United States free of charge with ReachMe. If the customer is not in an area with Wi-Fi access, incoming calls will be directed to Vonage Mobile voicemail, and messages can be checked and responded to as soon as Wi-Fi accessibility is regained. Notification of any new voicemail will be provided immediately once the phone is connected to Wi-Fi again. ReachMe service is also accessible over 3G and 4G, however this will likely subject the customer to data charges from the carrier.
Other Benefits of the Feature
Prior to this feature, Vonage had already paved the way for cost-effective international cell phone use with VoIP technology. High definition phone calls and video calls could be made, and text messages could be sent for free. Now, as a result of the ReachMe Roaming app, Vonage has been able to extend this to incoming calls for the first time. ReachMe includes the same access to making calls abroad that already existed, so there is no need for multiple apps; ReachMe will ensure that all phone and video calls made to the United States from another nation are free when connected to Wi-Fi just as is the case with incoming calls.
Only the traveling customer needs the app to take advantage of the service; the incoming caller does not even need a Vonage Mobile app. No additional access codes are necessary with this service. The feature can be easily turned on and off, so that when calls no longer need to be received via Internet connection, the customer may simply close out the app manually but still have access to use the app again the next time a trip outside the United States is made.
The app is free for a limited time. Vonage has not revealed how long it will remain free, but a charge to begin using the app will be involved in the near future. Therefore, those currently planning a trip abroad can add the app now for free to start preparing for their upcoming trips.
The Future of International Roaming
Vonage's ReachMe app is revolutionizing international cell phone use. The need for cost-effective communication with people remaining in the United States while traveling outside of the country is certainly recognized. The app offers for the first time in history a solution that helps to meet that need. Even though the app will not remain free continually, it is assured that the eventual price of the app will be worthwhile in avoiding other roaming charges from carriers. These international charges are notoriously high, and ReachMe ensures no more surprise bills after returning home from international travel. Traveling outside of the United States may become more enjoyable and more productive than ever before. The fear of an inordinately high cell phone bill has been eliminated for all who are able to take advantage of the Vonage ReachMe Roaming app.
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