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Written by
Katy Ratican
16 Sept 2022
4 minutes

VoIP international calls: A beginner's guide

Learn how VoIP international calls can significantly reduce your phone bills
VoIP international calls

International calls can be quite expensive, especially for businesses. An effective way to reduce that expense is by opting for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) international calls. If your firm makes international calls, the cost benefits of international calls alone will convince you to switch to VoIP.

All major VoIP providers offer international calling. In this article, we discuss how VoIP international calls work, whether it’s free and how much it costs to make these calls.

How does VoIP work internationally?

Before getting to VoIP international calls, let’s first understand how VoIP works. The technology allows phone calls to be placed over the internet as opposed to the traditional PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network. This is the highly expensive system that people have relied on for decades to make international calls.

When you make a VoIP international call, you would be using the same format when calling from a landline. You have to add the international dialling prefix, then country code, area code and local code. Depending on your provider, you would be able to dial directly from a connected device using a headset or you may need a standard phone connected to a VoIP router.

Is it free to make VoIP international calls?

VoIP costs are considerably lower than conventional systems and the same is the case for international calls through VoIP. They can be as cheap as two cents a minute if you call certain countries. But can they be free? Yes, in some cases, if you are calling within a network.

Anyone who’s ever used WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or any other similar service will know this. You can make calls to any other individual who uses the same VoIP app for free, irrespective of where they are. For example, you can make international WhatsApp calls without having to pay anything.

There’s another way by which you can make free VoIP international calls. Certain VoIP providers will give you a phone number of the country that you routinely call. In effect, this gives you an international number. So, when you call your associates or relatives in that country, it will be charged as a local call. Some VoIP services will offer you plans where these local calls will be free for you.

How much does it cost to make VoIP calls internationally?

An analysis of VoIP providers shows that the cost varies from provider to provider. Depending on your service, VoIP international calls would be either pay-as-you-go or based on your subscription.

The subscription plans of most providers don’t include VoIP international calls. These are billed separately and the charges would depend on the country you’re calling. For example, let’s take Grasshopper, one of the earliest names in VoIP. Grasshopper’s pricing starts at $26 per month. This gives you one phone number with three extensions.

If you’re a Grasshopper user in the US or Canada, you can receive international calls for free. But for outgoing international and offshore calls (these include Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska and the Virgin Islands), there will be additional costs.

The charges for international calls depend on the country and the carrier services. Grasshopper will also make you wait for 60 days before you can activate VoIP international calls. Plus, like with certain providers that target medium and large enterprises, you also need to deposit an amount ($500 in Grasshopper’s case) to make VoIP international calls.

Other features of VoIP international calls

While cost is a significant reason to opt for VoIP international calls, there are other advantages too. The first has to do with management.

With conventional phone systems, you might only find out about your team’s international calls when they submit their bills for reimbursement or when you get your monthly bills. But with VoIP international calls, you can track the number of calls, their duration and the individual or department that made the call on your dashboard.

Secondly, VoIP international calls have a superior sound quality unlike those made through traditional phones. Since the calls are carried through the internet, as long as you have a strong connection and sufficient bandwidth, you’ll enjoy excellent call quality.

Chalkboard: Helping you keep your costs lower

There are VoIP services designed for large enterprises and then there’s Chalkboard, a virtual number built for small businesses and independent creatives who need to control their costs and stay competitive.

Like all VoIP providers, Chalkboard gives you a second number without the need for an additional device. The app has a fixed price per month. This transparent pricing makes it easy for businesses to choose their plans and optimise their phone usage.

Chalkboard also offers other savings through its marketing features. With group broadcast and enhanced chat features, you don’t have to invest in external SMS marketing services. This saves you money.

You can build your brand reputation in the most economical way with Chalkboard. Through automated requests to your contacts for Google and Facebook reviews, the app builds your online presence.

Chalkboard has affordable plans that suit the needs of small businesses. As your business requirements grow, you can opt for a more premium plan. This ease of scalability is not something that you find in the category.

Download Chalkboard today and start your free trial. It’s the most cost-effective VoIP solution for small businesses.

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