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VoIP in Spain: Vonage, Skype and Other VoIP Providers

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VoIP in Spain: Vonage, Skype and Other VoIP Providers

The only difference is the lower phone bills.

Posted by Sammie

Tagged: adsl, technology, internet, voip, vonage, skype, adapters, vonage spain, voice over ip, voip providers in spain

VoIP allows you cheap calls home and to receive them for free, but how can you get the service here in Spain? Here we provider information about getting VoIP from Skype, Vonage and other providers via your Internet connection.

VoIP in Spain
What is VoIP anyway? Voice over Internet Protocol is, according to Vonage’s website (one of the leading VoIP providers in the US, UK and Canada), basically the following:

When you pick up the phone, the Vonage phone adapter converts your voice into data and sends it through the Internet like an email. Our network sends the call where you want it and translates it back into voice. That means when the person you´re calling picks up the phone, it sounds just the same as any other call. When someone calls you, they dial your number, your phone rings and all you have to do is pick up and answer it. The only difference is the lower phone bills.

VoIP call services there are generally 3 options:

  1. phone-to-phone: You buy an IP phone, or you plug your ordinary phone into an adapter which then goes into your router and modem. SIPCall and UKPhoneLine are UK-based (giving you a UK phone number); iConnectHere, Lingo, Vonage and Packet8 are USA-based. With Lingo, for example, you pay $20/month and get the IP phone and a USA phone number for free (this number is virtual—it doesn’t matter where in the world you are). Calling is free to the USA, UK, and Spain. The problem is Lingo and Vonage don’t ship their adapter outside the USA. Ideally, you put their adapter between your DSL modem and your router. If your DSL modem and your router is the same unit, then installation is difficult because it has to go through the router’s firewall.
  2. net-to-phone: You buy a headset and use your computer directly. iConnectHere offers the rates listed above, but without the $20/month and the IP phone. PeopleCall offers 2.3 cents€/minute to UK/USA, 2 cents€/minute within Spain, and 16 cents€/minute to Spain mobile phone, plus a per-call fee. Or see Net2Phone. Note that with PeopleCall, and maybe all providers, you need a public IP. That means if you have your ADSL connected to a router (the router then has the public IP, and the computers don’t), then you need an IP phone or Cisco ATA connected to the router. PeopleCall has their own products to do this, which aren’t cheap. With these products, PeopleCall gives you a new line with a 7xx prefix. Calling between 7xx numbers is free. Between a 7xx number and a non-7xx number, it costs as an interprovincial call would.
  3. net-to-net: See Skype or Free World Dialup: calls are free. Both parties need to have the appropriate software downloaded (plus headset or microphone and earphones). With Skype you can now use their “Skype-out” service which allows you to call any regular phone line at rates as low as 0.02€/minute. The quality is great if you have decent Internet bandwidth (some say better than international calls to mobiles!). I’ve been using the net-to-net and SkypeOut VoIP service for quite a while.

Good VoIP service is generally not guaranteed unless you have enough bandwidth, ie. you’ll need an ADSL or cable modem connection to the Internet. But if you do, and you can get the equipment, this service can be a real god-send for making cheap calls from Spain to your home country.

VoIP is practically the ultimate expat gadget thing-to-have.

Vonage - I recently made the investment in a Vonage VoIP line, having the opportunity to bring the equipment with me back from a recent visit home (they won’t ship to Spain yet). Despite some initial problems with their customer service and having bought a non-inventory adapter from an electronics store, it’s been worth every penny. To make things smoother I would definitely order from them online in the future, and either have the equipment re-shipped to you from someone at home or pick it up yourself the next time you’re back.

My friend had tears in his eyes the first time he used my new Vonage VoIP phone. He had just called his mother, talking to her for at least an hour. It was the first time he had talked to her on a regular-style phone without worrying about any timer counting up the minutes (we have the unlimited plan). The quality is easily equivalent to any landline as long as you’re not doing any heavy activity on your Internet connection (browsing and doing your emails won’t have any effect).

And there’s another huge bonus that almost makes VoIP the dream gadget of any expat; you’re actually talking from a local phone line. Your account registers you to your home city for local calling. For example, if you were from New York, you could open your account with a 212 area code, and having your adapter and phone plugged in here in Spain, your friends and family can call you like any local Manhattan call.

Additionally, you can add a virtual number like this for any area code in the USA and Canada (and I hear western Europe is included in that list now as well!) to your account for $5 or $8/month. If your company needed instant branch offices in all 50 states you now have a quick and easy way. I believe they just released virtual numbers for western europe including Spain too, so I’ll be checking that out very soon.

If you leave Spain or relocate, you just bring your adapter, plug it into a broadband Internet connection and voila, you’re back in contact. It’s seriously brilliant. In the end, the $40 CDN we pay for the unlimited calling plan has paid for itself multiple times over within these first months of use. VoIP is practically the ultimate expat gadget thing-to-have.

If you haven’t left home yet, take advantage of the convenience of Vonage’s services now and they’ll send you the VoIP adapter to your home. Then you can bring the adapter with you when you move to Spain. If you’re already living in Spain, see if a friend or family member will let you use their billing address and will re-ship the equipment to your address in Spain.
FeaturesVonage USA site here
Go to the Vonage Canada site here.

Recently I contacted Vonage regarding their inability to ship their VoIP telephone adapters to Spain. Their response wasn’t reassuring, so I did some further digging. You can now purchase Vonage’s VoIP adapters through Amazon, who will ship to Spain.

So if you’re already living in Spain but have a fixed US address and an American credit card (they don’t have to be yours… hit up some friends and family who want you to call home more often) you can buy the VoIP adapter through Amazon and when it arrives you can set up your account through the Internet at the above listed links. Canadians can buy these from the American Amazon site too, but you’ll have to have Vonage change the inventory numbers into the Canadian Vonage database.

Update: Vonage now ships to Spain! Get all your VoIP goodness from Vonage now through their site here (you have you call them):
Vonage for Spain

Last updated 21 08 2009

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Comments

If you'd like to ask a question for discussion, please mosey on over to the Spain Forum. See our posting rules and instructions here.

22/Apr/2010:
Jose Julio said:

Its easy and simple to find some voip providers for Spain and Portugal here http://www.voipproviderslist.com

 
11/May/2010:
didlogic said:

Please don't consider this blatant advertising, but my company - DIDlogic - came up with this new cool product that should prove helpful for many Spanish residents from the UK. We provide a landline number in the UK that can be diverted to Spanish numbers for the fraction of what Skype charges:

Spanish landlines: $0.0125/min
Orange: $0.0921/min
Vodafone: $0.0917/min
Telefonica: $0.0917/min
Others: $0.1053/min

There is no VAT charged and the service is completely prepaid.
Virtual numbers in Portugal, Luxembourg, Canada, US, Bulgaria, Poland, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa and Angola are also available.

 
07/Dec/2010:
Dave Cardwell said:

I thought you might be interested to hear that Localphone.com are offering free calls to Spain throughout December: localphone.com/call/spain

You can call from your existing landline or mobile or your PC or smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc)’s Internet connection. If you prefer to call Spanish mobiles, or anywhere else in the world, your first call is always free.

We also have a product called Incoming Numbers where you can get a standard phone number in any of 49 countries, and forward any calls to it to your landline or mobile anywhere else in the world.

Our Spanish Incoming Numbers are available in 34 locations: localphone.com/incoming_numbers/spain

Finally, our service helps you save on international SMS messages too—SMS to Spain is currently only 8.7c EUR per message: localphone.com/sms/spain

 

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