While Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), AT&T (T), and the FCC fight over why Google Voice isn’t in the iPhone App Store yet, here comes Vonage’s Voice-over-IP app instead.
The AP reports:
Vonage releases calling app for iPhone, BlackBerry
NEW YORK (AP) — Vonage, a pioneer in Internet-based phone service, is launching applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry that undercut the international calling rates of major wireless carriers.
When the phones are connected to a Wi-Fi hot spot, the calls go over that link, bypassing the wireless carrier entirely. When Wi-Fi is not available, the calls are placed as local wireless calls, using up minutes on the cell phone plan. Vonage then carries the calls to their overseas destination.
The fact that the Vonage app for the iPhone can use the cellular voice channel is unusual. Several other voice-over-Internet apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch can already place calls over Wi-Fi. But Google’s Voice application, which is designed to use the cellular network, has not been approved.