Gone are the days of the absolute need to sign up for expensive international voice and data plans from mobile carriers. Companies like T-Mobile, Sprint, and Google Fi have set the precedent for affordable cellular availability worldwide.
My plan with T-Mobile is the ONE Plus plan and offers unlimited data in over 100 countries at up to 3G speeds, among other benefits. Other carriers like AT&T and Verizon charge hefty fees for international data “packages” that you would typically add on before leaving for your trip.
When I’m outside of the United States, I typically make calls via WhatsApp. Though, as an avid user of Google products, I’m shocked I didn’t learn about Google Hangouts Dialer before, but it’s awesome!
What is Google Hangouts?
Google Hangouts is a chat application made by Google that allows you to text chat with other GMail users.
What is Google Hangouts Dialer?
Google Hangouts Dialer is a Voice Over IP (VoIP) app you can download for free from the Apple Store and Android Play Store.
The Dialer app allows you to call regular phone numbers, and the phone uses a data connection to place the call so you won’t get charged long distance fees. This is of course only true if your plan comes with free data abroad, in which case mine does.
How it works
When you open the Dialer app, you’ll be assigned a Google Hangouts phone number. This phone number will show up on the caller ID of people you call and it is the number they should use when calling you.
It’s important to note that rates are different depending on the country. Obviously, you won’t be able to call any country you’d like for free. Luckily, Google has an easy-to-use website that will tell you how much it will cost to call a number in a specified country.
I was able to successfully place a free call today from Italy to my house landline in the U.S. using the Google Hangouts Dialer app. The quality was excellent and I wasn’t charged a dime. Good enough for me!
What’s your favorite way to call around the world for free? Have you ever used Hangouts Dialer?