Vonage Launches Free VoIP Calls For Facebook Friends

The Android, iPhone and iPod Touch app lets users make Internet calls to Facebook friends who also have application.
Vonage has released an Android, iPhone and iPod Touch application that lets people make Internet calls to their Facebook friends, as long as they have the same application.

The application, introduced Wednesday and available for free download, works over Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G networks in dozens of countries worldwide. The software is available through Apple's App Store, the Android Market, the Vonage fan page on Facebook and on Vonage's website.

The application doesn't require people to dial a number. Instead, the user only has to choose the Facebook friend and the call is made automatically. The recipient's phone rings, whether the application is on or off.

The application downloads a person's entire Facebook contact list, placing a Vonage logo next to the names of friends who have downloaded the same app. The software can be downloaded from the Android Market in 48 countries. The app can be downloaded in 87 countries for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch.

Vonage said the new product marks the start of a broader strategy in mobile communications, but did not release details.

"This is just the start," Vonage Chief Executive Marc Lefar, said in a statement. "In the future we will expand on this service to include a wide range of integrated voice and messaging services that change the way people communicate."

Vonage released its first voice-over-Internet-protocol app for the iPhone last December, along with a similar application for Research In Motion's BlackBerry. The apps, along with the latest Facebook app, use cellular or Wi-Fi networks to connect with Vonage's VoIP infrastructure to make lower-cost international calls.

Vonage's general purpose mobile apps are free download, but an unlimited calling plan costs $24.99 a month. Existing Vonage customers can receive a $10 discount when using Vonage Mobile. Calls made using the new Facebook apps are free and do not require a mobile plan.