Vonage Blog

Child phone safety: How Vonage’s New Home Phone Service is Helping Parents

Home Phone. Anywhere™. As Easy as 1-2-3

vonage-extensions-appChildren learn to walk and talk and then—the sky’s the limit. Their growth and development goes into hyper drive and parents are along for the exciting (and often exhausting) ride. There’s a dizzying amount of things children learn, but one of the most important things they can learn is their home address and telephone number.

There are a number of tried and true ways to teach children this important information from songs to pneumonic devices, but Vonage employee (and parent of two young children) Ian Senior, believes he’s onto something using Vonage’s new mobile inbound calling functionality that enables customers to receive calls to their home phone number on Vonage’s patented Extension App. . Here’s what he shared recently with other parents:

“My company launched a new product which I think is a great idea for families with young kids and also a potential benefit to you if you have the kind of kids who run off in the middle of a theme park (I have one of those).

I’m not just promoting this because I work for this company, but the new Vonage product (mobile inbound calling) is like a road ID for families. We’re trying to teach our four-year-old a telephone number in case of emergencies. With this new product, we can teach him just our home phone number and it will call our house and both my wife’s and my cell phones at the same time. You can add more extensions (smart phones) to this if needed, but then your kids only need to learn one number in case of emergencies.”

Our customers are always coming up with exciting, innovative ways to use our technology. How has the ability to use your Vonage home phone anywhere helped you?

Vonage Product Update: Take Your Home Phone Anywhere

vonage alienWhether running errands, away on business, or anxious to talk to friends and family overseas, Vonage customers can now make and receive calls using their home phone service anywhere they use a smartphone. The new mobile inbound calling functionality, standard on all Vonage home plans, is now part of the patented Vonage Extensions® App.

Different from call forwarding, this new functionality allows shared use of a family’s home phone identity. Calls made to the home phone number will now ring on mobile phones at the same time so anyone in the household can immediately take important calls from doctors, children’s schools, home improvement professionals, friends and family.

With the new service, inbound calls to the app indicate that the call was made to a user’s home number, and outbound calls are displayed with the home caller ID. This allows customers to have a second identity on their mobile phone and to keep their mobile number private, giving them more control over when, how and where they communicate.

Vonage has combined the benefits and utility of a shared home identity with the value of low international calling rates, and the convenience of enabling customers to extend the cordless phone they use in their homes to their mobiles. Enabling two-way mobile calling will drive more mobile usage of our service and change the way people think about and use their home phone.

To take advantage of this added benefit, residential service customers simply download the Extensions app to their iPhone® or Android™ smartphone. Once installed, calls to a customer’s number will ring on up to two mobile phones, and users can make and receive calls anywhere there is Wi-Fi or a 3G/4G2 connection. And, with Wi-Fi calling, customers can use Vonage service on mobiles in areas with poor cellular coverage, including their homes, regardless of which cellular carrier they use.

To see how this new functionality works, check the new Vonage TV commercial.

 

Home Phone. Anywhere.

 

 

Grandparents’ Day is September 7 – Celebrate with a Phone Call

Celebrate Grandparents’ Day with a Phone Call

grandpaGrandparents’ Day is September 7th.If you can’t be with yours, there’s no better way to share the day and let your grandparents or grandparent figures know how special they are to you than with a phone call – in fact, it’s the communication method they prefer most!1

Technology has completely changed the way that family members communicate with one another. With the increase in cell phone usage and new messaging apps, people no longer have to rely on letters and infrequent visits to remain in touch with family members and specifically their grandparents. In fact, when not in person, 87 percent of adults ages 65 and older prefer talking on the phone to other communication methods such as sending text messages or emails2.

Vonage offers several ways to keep in touch with your grandparents both near and far. From our unlimited3 domestic and international calling plans, to our Vonage Mobile® app that enables free app-to-app voice and video calls4, there’s no excuse not to call your grandparents this Grandparents’ Day (and throughout the year) to let them know how important they are!

 

1The Connected Grandparent 2012 is a study from Edison Research examining the media, technology and social media usage of Grandparents in America. (http://www.slideshare.net/webby2001/grandparents-and-media-2012)
2According to a recent customer survey from Vonage conducted with ORC International on users calling vs. texting habits.
3 Subject to Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service
4 Data rates apply

Vonage Survey Finds That Calling Trumps Texting

According to a new survey conducted for Vonage by ORC International, a phone call is still the preferred form of communication for the majority of adults.

When asked what type of communication they use the most, 56 percent of adults said a phone call. Texting was a distant second at 25 percent. And, when relaying a special moment or important news, an overwhelming number of adults – 71 percent – said a phone call is their first choice of communication if they can’t meet in person. Surprisingly, although Millennials (18-34 year-olds) text more than they call, 67 percent stop texting and start calling when it comes to sharing special moments.

Surprised by our findings? Learn more interesting facts about people’s calling habits in the infographic below:

text vs call phone survey

Travelers Can Now Roam Free with Vonage Mobile

reachme
Many Americans have experienced the unfortunate and often unknown consequences of using their cell phone while traveling abroad: returning home to a bill for hefty international cellular roaming charges. In fact, fifty percent of global international travelers don’t even use voice services1 for fear of high roaming costs. To address this issue, Vonage introduced ReachMe Roaming™, a patented feature of its Vonage Mobile App® that allows U.S. travelers to receive free2 incoming calls to their existing cell phone numbers when connected to Wi-Fi anywhere in the world.

With ReachMe Roaming, family, friends and business associates simply call a traveler’s cell number to connect. Unlike other roaming solutions, there is no need to remember additional access numbers or provide a new phone number. U.S. customers can also make free calls back to the U.S., allowing them to enjoy seamless, two-way communication at no cost while traveling abroad, making the app a must-pack item for international travel.

How it Works

The feature is easy to turn on when traveling. Users simply select “ReachMe Roaming” from the app’s settings to activate the service. U.S. travelers can use the feature for free in any country where a Wi-Fi connection is available.

When someone calls the traveler’s cell phone number, Vonage Mobile seamlessly delivers the call in the app. If the app user is unavailable or outside a Wi-Fi area, missed calls go directly to Vonage Mobile voicemail where the caller can leave audio or video voicemails that are delivered once the user is back on Wi-Fi. The ReachMe Roaming feature can also be used over 3G/4G; however, data charges from the carrier may apply.

ReachMe Roaming is currently available in the U.S. for Android™ users who have service with GSM carriers3. The Company is exploring expanding this service to additional carriers, countries and operating systems. Current app users who qualify simply update their Vonage Mobile App to utilize the feature; new users can download the app directly from Google Play or from the Vonage Mobile website, www.vonagemobile.com.

1 Source: Syniverse and Informa Telecoms & Media 2012
2 Vonage is offering the ReachMe Roaming feature for free for a limited time.
3 Currently available to Android users who have AT&T® and T-Mobile® service

 

Six Reasons Not to Cut the Cord on Your Home Phone

Did you know that the first telephone call happened 138 years ago?  On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell picked up his latest invention, the “Electrical Speech Machine,” and stated, “Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you.”  And the rest was history.

The home phone and people’s attitude about it have come a long way since then. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey1, more than 90 percent of U.S. adults now own cell phones, and for many of them it’s their only phone.  But poor cellular coverage and dead zones in the home are reason enough for 1 in 9 people to be extremely dissatisfied with in-home cellular service2, and just two reasons why people should consider hanging on to their home phones. Need a few more? See below:

telephone infographic

 

Vonage was founded on disrupting the way people traditionally communicate by providing feature-rich, affordable communication solutions that offer flexibility, portability and ease-of-use.  As an alternative to traditional telecom companies, Vonage provides solutions for customers who want affordable calling both domestically and to destinations worldwide. Customers chose from the company’s low-cost calling plans that offer unlimited calling throughout the U.S. and to more than 60 countries at low, flat monthly rates. 

But Vonage has also changed with the times. The company’s Extensions® feature increases the flexibility and value of its service by enabling customers to extend their home calling plan to any phone, even mobiles, at no extra charge.  With the free mobile Extensions app for iPhone and Android, customers can utilize one-touch dialing from their smartphone’s existing address book, allowing them to call anytime, anywhere and from any phone they choose.  If a customer has a Vonage international calling plan, through the app, they can make international calls from their mobile phones without paying anything additional to their carriers for international calling. When used over Wi-Fi, this is completely fee.

And, just in case you need one more reason to keep your home phone, the Extensions App can make your cell phone work better! Domestic callers will also find the mobile Extensions app useful because it makes their cell phone work better in their homes. If there is a strong Wi-Fi connection and they have a smartphone, customers can make calls through the app and get better clarity and a stronger connection than if they dialed directly from their cell phone.

Today, the phone turns 138 years old.  And, today, Vonage remains a leader in communications, developing new and flexible ways for consumers to stay in touch and make that important connection.