Virgin launches free calling over Wi-Fi


SmartCall enables home phone customers to use the unlimited allowances from their plan on their smartphone via a Wi-Fi connection

Virgin Media has launched SmartCall, a Wi-Fi calling service enabling customers to use the unlimited calls from their phone plan on their smartphone, whether it be in the UK or abroad.

SmartCall is available via a Wi-Fi connection and can be used regardless of which mobile operator the customer uses. The application automatically detects whether a SmartCall is possible and if the call is included in their landline tariff.

Virgin said it recently completed extensive technical trials of SmartCall and is now opening this service up to select customers on an exclusive basis in the coming weeks, before making it available to all Virgin landline customers early next year.

SmartCall will initially be made available on Android and Apple iOS smartphones, before being rolled out to Windows Phone devices later down the line.

The company is also introducing a new home phone talk plan called ‘Talk Unlimited Extra’. It costs £15 a month and offers unlimited calls to all UK landlines and mobiles, as well as calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers.

It joins Virgin’s existing three home phone plans. ‘Talk Weekends’ is free and comes with unlimited calls to UK landlines, Virgin Mobiles and 0870 numbers at weekends. ‘Talk Evening and Weekends’ costs £4.60 a month and offers the same allowance with the addition of evenings, while ‘Talk Unlimited’ enables this allowance to be used at any time.

Virgin Media executive director of mobile and home phone Graeme Oxby (pictured) said: “SmartCall will stretch the home telephone cord all the way to wherever you might be, whether in a coffee shop in Cornwall or on a beach in Bali. All you need is a home phone from us, a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection.

“This groundbreaking service will give customers even more fantastic value from their phones and is also another example of how technology can make our lives easier. Virgin Media is best placed to provide the greatest value converged telephone services as the distinction between staying connected in and out of the home blurs and as we look for more ways to give our customers more.”