Cheap International Calling From Your Smartphone

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Ringo International Rates

Ringo International Rates

The Ringo app is free, and works for both Android and iPhone.  While you must have a local SIM card if you’re traveling abroad, which means you need a GSM-capable phone that is unlocked (read more here), Ringo lets you make very cheap, high quality  international calls using a local network.  You don’t need to be connected to 3G or a wifi network, and call quality is great.  More importantly, you can call directly to either landlines or cellphones that don’t have the app for the same low rates.

Above are typical rates compared to Skype and an unspecified cell service provider.  With most rates well under 10 cents per minute, Ringo is a must-have for anyone that makes international calls.

Ringo!

Ringo!

A distinct advantage of Ringo is the fact that the party you’re calling will see your local number, not a random string or other unrecognizable caller ID.  With it’s great features and low rates, Ringo is a vital app for international travelers.  If you don’t have an unlocked phone, you may find that the savings from an app like Ringo, as well as much cheaper rates for data and local calls in your host country warrant the cost of either unlocking your phone or buying one that’s unlocked.

A word of caution, though: If you’re using a US SIM card while traveling abroad and roaming on a foreign network, you could see big charges from your carrier.  Your best defense is to use Ringo only with a local SIM, or to turn off data roaming if you’re using a US sim.

Ringo is among my top five most vital apps for the international traveler, get it ASAP!

And please, share your experiences with Ringo or other international calling apps and plans…

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