Getting poor Skype sound and want to cut down on international call costs? Truphone's new iPhone app might be worth checking out.
The London-based mobile VoIP operator has offered the service since 2006 for the E or N series Nokia phones. An iPhone version of Truphone's service hit Apple's App store Friday.
The VoIP service lets people send text messages or make calls to anywhere in the world for a low fee.
Calling a landline costs 6 cents per minute, and dialing a mobile phone costs 30 cents per minute. SMS text messaging costs 20 cents. Calling another Truphone user is free in certain countries, including the United States, U.K., China, Australia and large parts of Europe. But you need to be in a Wi-Fi spot.
Calls can be made entirely over Wi-Fi and the Internet, bypassing the traditional GSM network operators. Not everyone has loved that.
In April 2007, Vodafone and Orange blocked Truphone's VoIP capability on its branded Nokia N95 handsets. In June 2007, T-Mobile in the U.K. followed suit, blocking calls from its customers to Truphone's mobile numbers. But only a month later, a U.K. court forced T-mobile to stop their blockade.
On the Nokia phones, Truphone usage isn't limited to Wi-Fi spots, but can also work over 3G. So far, this isn't possible with the iPhone.