Vonage Adds Unlimited Calling to the Philippines

Vonage Philippines Unlimited

Vonage, the most popular company providing commercial phone over Internet (VoIP) services here in the US recently announced the addition of a new unlimited calling plan to the Philippines. This Vonage’s way of capturing this specific market as there are more than 2 million Filipinos here in the US who frequently communicate with family and friends back in the Philippines.

The Vonage Philippines Unlimited Plan includes:

  • Unlimited1 calling to landline and mobile phones in the Philippines and low international rates everywhere else
  • Simple dialing – no access codes or calling cards needed
  • Unlimited1 local and long distance calling in the U.S. including Canada and Puerto Rico
  • Unlimited readable voicemail transcriptions sent via text and email
  • Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, Anonymous Call Block, 3-Way calling and tons of other standard features
  • Unlimited 411 Directory Assistance

Aside from those features, Vonage users also receive the following standard features:

  • Caller ID with Name
  • Call Waiting
  • Voicemail Plus®
  • Call Transfer
  • Enhanced Call Forwarding
  • 3-Way Calling
  • Caller ID Block
  • Call Return
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Anonymous Call Block
  • Repeat Dialing
  • International & Directory Assistance Block
  • Call Hunt
  • Ring Lists
  • Vonage Access
  • Bandwidth Saver®
  • Network Availability Number®
  • Click-2-Call®
  • Vonage Online Account
  • 211 Dialing
  • 311 Dialing
  • 411 Enhanced Dialing
  • 511 Traveler Information
  • 711 Dialing
  • 811 Dialing
  • 1-700-WEATHER
  • 1-700-GREETINGS

Since Vonage uses VoIP, you’ll need a high speed Internet connection like Cable or DSL. Aside from that, you’ll also need the following: a US or Puerto Rico billing & shipping address, a Vonage phone adapter and any touch-tone phone (corded or cordless).

Like what Calvin pointed out in his post on Pinoy Tech Blog, the Vonage Philippines Unlimited Plan which costs $64.99 (plus taxes and fees) is a little bit too expensive especially if you compare it to Vonage Pro (unlimited calling to Italy, France, Spain, UK and Ireland) at $34.99/month and Vonage World (unlimited calling to 60 countries) at only $14.99/month. According to Vonage, they have no choice because the local carriers in the Philippines charge them very high rates.

Unless Vonage cuts the price down (probably the same as Vonage Pro $34.99) or maybe offer additional premium features, I don’t see a lot of Filipinos subscribing to this service. Why? Because there are a lot of cheaper alternatives like prepaid international phone cards that you can buy from stores or online and prepaid services like Skype Pay As You Go, Google Voice, etc. There are also free alternatives like Skype, ooVoo, Yahoo Messenger which allows users to make free audio or video calls over the Internet.

What do you think of Vonage’s new unlimited calling plan to the Philippines? Any Filipinos here in the US who are interested in subscribing to this service? If not, what methods do you use to communicate with your family and friends back home in the Philippines?

[via Pinoy Tech Blog]

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  1. I’d used vonage for 3
    Months and charge me $80 to $115 a month then all the sudden service got disconnected by them coz they said I over used or abuse their service because I do 3 hours a day at least so I wouldn’t recommend their service..

    1. Roger Keistersays:

      I had the same problem with them. They use the unlimited plan to try to get you involved and then they try to force you into a much higher paying plan.

  2. We have been getting phone calls from PLDT (Philippines Long Distance Telecom(?)) offering unlimited for $35 a month. Might want to check it out.

  3. I have been using Vonage for 6 years now. I am paying $15 a month for 100minutes outgoing and unlimited incomming which works out well for me. I would never subscribe to $65 a month for unlimited calling. It may be true that local telecom companies charge Vonage too much, hench its $65 bucks, and this is a perfect oppurtunity for a telecom company to emerge and maybe monopolize a cheap unlimited calling like how US is set up. Smart, Globe and Sun Cellular companies, are all bunch or rip offs.

  4. wow…listen folks..anyway, most people in the phil have iphones or androids…have your PI relatives, friends download talkatone, grooveIP,GV2,google voice and once done log in using gmail credentials and make unlimited calls to US and CANADA via wifi or 3g or 4g! that simple!

  5. Yes, for now it’s too expensive. But in time it has to come down in price. I’ve travelled there many times and know what “tourist discount” really means. The businessmen and politicians there will sell their first children if the price is right. So to have an unlimited plan available at all is a shock despite the several VOIP “backdoor” methods of communication.

  6. TravellingNomadsays:

    At $65/month, that’s just too expensive. I would only call one person in the Philippines…well my wife would be doing the calling…and that is her immediate family over there. Since they all live in one big property, I can subscribe to Bayantel’s Family Ties program and it’s only $35/month. With that, the wife’s family gets a bayantel SPAN or wired landline and the monthly fee I pay will cover their monthly subscription fees. Granted only 1 dedicated number can be called using this…but like I said, the wife would only call on place. Still beats the more expensive vonage service for calling just one number.

  7. try sending who u call a lot to a magic jack ive used it to contact my fiancee and now my wife for years since magic came out about 2 months after and still using same magic and its 4+ yrs old still works i was there and called back to usa like they were sitting next to me and used speakers from laptop and mic also yahoo IM works with video and voice well and android works to with yahoo video voice i use them all depending on where i am its worked very well for me and saved $$$ hundreds good luck p.s. no need for cordless either use a headset on laptop or pc used older IBM R52 laptop 3yrs+ old

  8. joining conversation late – if this Vonage deal actually offered decent call quality, it would be an amazing breakthru price compared to even the lowest competition pricing (e.g. Google Voice). However, that’s assuming you actually call enough to make it worth it. I call every day, so it’s definitely worth it. I can rip through $10 of Google voice in 3-4 days, do the math. However, since these old reports seem to indicate problems (wonder if Vonage ever addressed them?), my recommendation is to invest in a smart phone (android or iphone) for the frequent recipient of your calls and both parties use something like Line2 or Viber – these both are incredible apps that totally circumvent the others.

  9. Yes, that’s too high for us to consider… We would do it at $40…. But we use Startec prepaid. Vonage has serious work to do…

  10. It’s too expensive. I used Jajah, no contract and can assign a local number so that it won’t charge my long distance call. Also, it’s clear and it’s like your calling locally.

  11. I hate Vonage. I got it about a month ago and have great internet connection speeds. I can get up to 30MBPS on my internet and the phone quality while calling to the Philippines sucks. I can’t hear the person I’m talking to and they can’t hear me clearly. Does anybody no of a good calling card to call the Philippines? Thanks in advance.

    1. try globe..I have been using it for over 2 years-it cost me $16.00 per line and recently they have changed it to 999.00 pesos or $25.00 per month but the sound quality is great,talk as much as you want,it does not cut you off after 1 hr like other SMART/PLDT lines..
      this is really the best so far –i have 3 lines with them and with these 3 lines i can do conference call.my 1 contact is in Aklan and the other one is in Manila and we do conference call(3way calling for hrs and hrs) until smebody’s batteries goes down and leaves me with the remaining contact..

  12. vonage unlimited calls to the philippines is unlimited headache.

    it’s hard to connect.

    calls sometimes forwarded to a different person.

    vonage must fix this or else i will end my subscription with them 1 day

    before my first month.

  13. Vonage is alright, the service has been good but the price is so expensive.
    Don’t use Startec! Horrible customer service! Calls dont work! They refuse to give refunds or even try to help you!
    We’ve all seen the sarah geronimo commercials for startec’s unlimited plan for $25, it’s just a waste of money. I dont know what their business plan is, but if it’s just to make a bunch of money right away, and then piss off a bunch of filipinos by not delivering what they’re pitching, they’re doing a great job at it!

  14. Startec new unlimited offer to the Philippines is a much better deal right now in my opinion. In a few weeks I bet skype or Lingo will offer unlimited calls to the Philippines.

  15. @love – Thanks for sharing your first hand experience with Vonage’s Philippines Unlimited Plan.

    Btw, do you mind me asking what type of Internet service you have? The quality of VoIP calls also depend on the quality of the Internet connection. Anyways, you should call Vonage and file a complaint regarding the quality of their product/service.

  16. vonage unlimted calls to the pilippines SUCKS BIG TIME!!!! my mom cant hear me when im calling her may it be landline or cellphone but when i called her uing my AT&T mobile phone it worked clearly. Vonage should start improving their service for the philippines.sometimes its busy, theres a lot of static and it would even say i dont have enough credits to call???!!??? i dont know they said they have creadteda ticket for my complain if this does not work properly ill just cancel then.

  17. @Ron – Yes, that’s one of the reasons why I blogged about it. So that more of our kababayans will know about this new service from Vonage. I just hope that Vonage would make it cheaper. $64.99/month is just too expensive, even for unlimited long distance calls.

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