BT has released an app that could appeal to business travellers by allowing them to use minutes from their home phone calling plan when making mobile calls from an iPhone or Android smartphone.
The free SmartTalk app, available from today, is claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK, and uses a Wi-Fi or 3G data connection to make IP calls that are billed as if they were calling from a user's BT home phone.
This means that customers will not be charged for making calls that are included as part of their home calling plan, and can even save on calls that fall outside of their plan, as BT's landline rates will apply instead of more costly mobile rates.
BT said that customers could use the app to call back to the UK from abroad for the price of a UK call, while pay-as-you-go (PAYG) smartphone users can make savings on calls to other mobiles as BT's landline rates are typically cheaper than PAYG tariffs.
John Petter, BT's consumer managing director said there were numerous benefits to the app for users.
"At last you can actually call freephone 0800 numbers for free from mobiles and get inclusive 0845 and 0870 calls too. And of course, you can take advantage of BT Wi-Fi which gives you access to a massive network of 7.5 million hotspots around the world," he said.
The app runs on Apple handsets from the iPhone 3GS onwards with iOS 4.1 or better, while Android smartphones with version 2.1 or above are supported.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.