British Telecommunications launched a new smartphone application that will cut the cost of calls if you have a BT landline. BT SmartTalk, that’s the name of this application, allows you to use the allowance and rates of your landline when you have a wireless internet connection or 3G mobile coverage. The app simply links your calls with your BT home phone calling plan. Moreover, it’s not just for domestic usage. You can use BT SmartTalk when you are abroad and then all the calls made with this application will be charged for just as if you were sitting at your home and calling. BT claims that SmartTalk is not just for contract users but also for PAYG SIM card owners as allegedly BT’s rates are better than standard pay-as-you-go tariffs.
John Petter, director consumer MD at BT, said: ‘This is a really exciting breakthrough that means you can take your BT calling plan with you and continue saving money when you’re away from home, either in the UK or abroad.’
Even though it sounds great it has some limitations. First of all, it is a VoIP app, so to use it freely you need a WiFi connection or 3G mobile coverage. In the second case, you will pay your mobile operator for the data transfer, so it may not turn so cheap in the end. Anyways, one of the issues of VoIP is that you need fast Internet connection to support a good call quality. Additionally now there are only iPhone and Android BT SmartTalk versions, so not everyone can use it.
Having said that if you are a BT customer you can try it out and save some money. While whether BT SmartTalk will beat MVNO’s call rates is yet to be seen, we can safely say that with this app roaming will not so painfully expensive anymore and many people this summer should come back home without being hit by so called ‘bill shock’.