Cheap International Calls Don’t Have to Sound Terrible
When you think about making cheap international calls, what comes to mind? Tinny sounding conversations? Shouting into the phone? Static? Dropped calls? Complicated dialing instructions? While these effects may be standard for some cheap international calls, you don’t have to settle for poor call quality every time you need to speak to someone located in another country.
In order to make cheap international calls that don’t sound terrible, you’ll need to consider your options. Your primary phone may be tied to a specific long distance carrier or VoIP service provider. If you’re unhappy with the quality of your international phone calls using your default service provider, look for alternatives.
For example, you can often make cheap international calls that bypass your local service by entering an access code for a third party long distance service provider. As with any other service, the quality of these providers varies. Rather than taking a piecemeal approach and trying different providers until you find one with the right balance between price and quality, do your research and hone in on providers that are most likely to provide excellent sound quality at a great price.
In general, VoIP and Internet-based international calling services tend to be cheap due to their ability to route voice calls over the Internet. However, the Internet is far from a perfect medium for routing phone calls. Network protocols break data up into tiny packets which are transmitted and reassembled at their destination. Though this happens in mere milliseconds, hundreds of packets take varying paths to arrive. Dropouts, echoes, jitters, and other sound problems are still common.
Meanwhile, traditional phone networks are known for their excellent sound clarity. Remember the old Sprint commercials claiming that you can “hear a pin drop”? Though not as exciting as IP telephony, traditional phone networks continue to connect callers from around the world and provide them with exceptional sound quality.
If Internet-based calling plans allow for cheap international calls, some might think that non-Internet-based calling plans would be expensive. This is simply not true. Competition has kept rates low and forced providers to differentiate themselves. One way companies set themselve above the competition is by offering an increased value (such as quality) for a competitive price. Shop wisely and you can find excellent sound quality, cheap per minute rates, and calling plans with no monthly fees, no minimum usage requirements, no long term contracts, and no fees and taxes.
Tips for Making Cheap International Calls
If you’re accustomed to low long distance calling rates in the United States but have family, friends, or business associates located in other countries, you may be in for sticker shock after making a few international calls. You may be used to unlimited domestic long distance packages or long distance rates in the less-than-five-cents-a-minute range only to discover that the rest of the world isn’t necessarily as affordable to call. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay full price. Use the tips to make cheap international calls.
- Try a low-cost international calling plan – Several low-cost plans exist such as found here. By using a third party international telecommunications network, you can bypass traditional networks and higher rates. Choose a prepaid or pay-as-you go plan to avoid monthly minimums, usage fees, and contracts.
- Consider an international callback service – If you live outside of the United States, you can make cheap international calls by using a US-based international callback service. This technique sounds more complicated than it really is. First, you sign up for the service. From there, any time you need to make cheap international calls, you dial the callback service’s number and hang up after one ring. This triggers the service to call you back. Once connected to the US callback service, you dial the international phone number which is then processed using low US-based international calling rates. This is a great way to bypass expensive local telco rates.
- Try international call forwarding – It’s often less expensive to set up an international call forwarding plan and change the “ring to” number as needed than it is to call an international number directly. For example, if you have family in Paris, France, you could change the ring to number of your call forwarding number to ring to your family’s apartment in Paris anytime you want to call them. When you need to call a business associate in Scotland, you would then change the ring to number to ring to your associate’s office in Scotland. This method can allow you to make cheap international calls if the call forwarding plan itself has low international rates.
Each of these cheap international calling options is available on a no-contract, pay-as-you-go basis. How much money will you save?
The next time you need to make an international call, remember this: You do not have to suffer through horrendous sound quality in exchange for cheap rates.