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August 16, 2012

American Smartphone Owners Shelling Out $37.8 Billion Annually on International Calls

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive (News - Alert) for Rebtel, a mobile VoIP provider, found that approximately 20 million Americans or 21 percent of the population, spends a collective $37.8 billion on international calls every year.

American callers could save a significant amount of money annually by switching to mobile VoIP. Currently, 35 percent of Americans who own a tablet or smartphone have a VoIP app installed on their mobile device.

Some VoIP services allow callers who share the same connection to call one another for free. For example, Skype allows individuals who have downloaded the program to video call one another for free even if the callers are in two different countries.

Similarly, Rebtel (News - Alert) offers free international calling between Rebtel users from different countries. Calls are free over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G, although carriers may charge for network minutes if mobile VoIP calls are not made over Wi-Fi.

The company also offers a service that enables users to make free international calls from their mobile phones or landlines. Users who have signed up for Rebtel just have to add the international number of the person that they want to call to their Rebtel contact list. A local number is instantly generated and is then sent to the Rebtel user via text message or e-mail.

Rebtel users call their friend who then hangs up and calls them back. The friend is actually connecting to a local number generated by Rebtel that appears in their caller ID. The call is instantly connected, and users can talk as long as they like without paying any money.

Money spent on international calls, according to the Harris poll, differs significantly by gender. For instance, women who make international calls spend an average of $267.10 monthly while men who make international calls only spend about $85.50 monthly.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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