Get a Second Phone Number for Your Cell Phone AND Save on Calling Costs
Craig Peterson: Welcome back to Tech Talk with Craig Peterson. Today we’re talking about back to college, all of the different types of technologies that can help make it cheaper and easier to go to college, to be able to communicate with family and friends back home. And right now, that’s specifically what we’re going to be talking about. A company called Vumber.com online, at least that’s where you’ll find them, V-U-M-B-E-R. We’re going to be talking about what they’re doing that allows you to turn your iPod or iPad into a phone. And also, from an IOS device, which can include your iPhone as well, have unlimited calling and texting worldwide. How they pull all of this together.
So we’re joined by their founder and a senior VP over at Vumber.com. His name is Cliff Wener. Cliff, welcome to Tech Talk with Craig Peterson.
Cliff Wener: Hi, Craig. Thanks for having me on the show.
Craig: Well, this is kind of an interesting idea here, because what you have is an app that allows people to add a second phone number to their Smartphone and quite a bit more. Why don’t you tell us about where this came from and what you guys are doing?
Cliff: Sure. The company’s been around for about five years. We were acquired by Paltalk, one of the world’s largest online chat and videoconferencing companies about a year ago, and we’ve been doing this quite a while. The new product for IOS allows you to add a new phone number to any iPhone or to your iPad. You can have an iPad with a phone number and use that as a calling device.
Craig: Which is, of course, very, very easy to do nowadays with the apps and being able to install them. So when you say you can use it as a calling device, what does it present to you? Do you have a little keypad, and how do you talk and listen? What are, kind of, the logistics of it?
Cliff: Download the app from the App Store, run the app and you’ll see a keypad similar to any dialing device on IOS, and as long as you’ve got a 3G or a WiFi signal, you dial from there. And if you’re calling somebody else on Vumber, all calls are free, whether it’s from an iPhone or an iPad, doesn’t matter where you are in the world. So, if you go to England on vacation and you want to make a call from there, if you’ve got WiFi, all calls back to the States to any other Vumber user are free. And that includes SMSes too.
Craig: So if you’re away at college, even overseas, as you mentioned, there’s no charge to make the phone calls if you’re calling somebody else with Vumber. So if you’re calling home, you can use your iPad, iPod, frankly iPod Touch, right, as well? To be able to make those phone calls. Now, you also have the ability to call regular phones.
Cliff: You do, it’s a normal and regular phone service. You can call any phone number you want to, and unlimited calls for $9.95.
Cliff: The other interesting applications for college, Craig, is that we have some customers who are at Canadian schools, and one of the problems there is when you get a Canadian cell phone, your parents end up paying long distance charges when they call their kids at college. And we allow you to get a Canadian number, or a US number as well. So your parents call the US number from their regular phones and don’t get charged long distance to Canada.
Craig: So you’re just using the WiFi that’s already there in the college to be able to make the call on any device, or even if you’re at the local coffee shop, or, as you mentioned, if you have 3G, if you have basically fairly fast data service on your phone, you can use this.
Cliff: That’s correct. But the important thing is for the parents to be able to call their kids to a local number when they’re overseas too.
Craig: Yes. It’s amazing when I look at the long distance plans nowadays. I know in the past they’ve always been expensive, but we’ve gotten so used to pretty much every phone number being essentially a local number. So I can pick up my cell phone, it doesn’t cost me any more to call California than it costs me to call Boston or my neighbor next door, so we don’t really think about that anymore. However, if your kid does go out of the country, I’ve seen some of these prices now at well over $3 or $4 a minute to be able to make some of these long distance calls.
Cliff: That’s correct, and I think some of the more exciting news for us is that we’ll be releasing a product in the next month that won’t require you to have a number. So you just download the app, it’s going to be a Vumber app, and as long as the other person has Vumber, this is a free product, no charge at all, you can talk to them all day long and send text messages to and fro.
Craig: Very nice. So text messages as well as voice messages over WiFi, over 3G. Now, you have the ability here to add a second phone number to an existing Smartphone, an IOS or an iPhone based Smartphone, right?
Cliff: We have the ability to add a second number to any phone. IOS is just one of them. So if you have a cell phone, it doesn’t matter whether it’s IOS or whatever operating system you’re running, even if it’s one of those old Motorola flip phones, you can add a second number to that phone. That was the original purpose behind Vumber, to give you the ability to have a second number, with a different area code if you want, and you can take calls and make calls from that number.
Craig: And when you’re doing that, how does it work? If I have an inbound phone call, does my phone show me this is a Vumber call versus another call?
Cliff: You have a choice. You can have that option if you want to, so you know it’s coming from…into your Vumber number, or you can just take it like a regular call. You configure that yourself on the net.
Craig: And of course, you’re not using any of your cell phone minutes if you’re using a WiFi network, so this is kind of nice too. If you get back into your home WiFi, you’re placing all your calls over WiFi, if you have an unlimited data plan, which quite a few phones do nowadays, it doesn’t cost you at all for the data. In other words, it doesn’t cost you at all to make that cell phone call using Vumber. Cliff, about 15 seconds left. Anything else you’d like to add?
Cliff: Yes, I recommend people give it a try, the voice quality is superb. I’ve been using it when I’ve been overseas and people haven’t known I’ve been on an iPad. It’s a great little product. Highly recommend people give it a try.
Craig: All right. Again, V-U-M-B-E-R.com. Vumber.com. Just kind of like number, but with a ‘V’. We appreciate you being with us today, Cliff. When we come back, a lot more about some of the back to school technologies that can help you and your family out right here on Tech Talk with Craig Peterson. We’ll be right back.