AT&T has just announced that they’ll be offering their customers a new application called “AT&T Call International” that’s basically a rebranded voice over IP app powered by a company we never heard of called 8×8. You have to be an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry user to be able to install the application, which pretty much covers every smartphone platform that’s in use in the United States. For the app to work you need to be connected to WiFi and you need to be outside of the United States, which is AT&T’s way of saying: “When you’re in FreedomLand, we’re going to charge you prices so damn high it’ll make your eyes bleed, but when you’re abroad, we’ll be your best friend!” If AT&T were smart they’d make this application available to people who don’t even use AT&T, but that type of innovative business model is far too progressive to even be considered by the guys in charge.
If you’re wondering just how cheap the calls will actually be, head on over to AT&T’s site and select which country you’d like to reach. Now some might say why not sign up for a Skype account and save even more money, Skype even works domestically! To those people I challenge you to show your Mom how to sign up for Skype, install an app, hand over her credit card, and the rest of the multistep process required to save some change. Now again, if AT&T were smart they’d copy what Republic Wireless is doing and configure the millions of Android smartphones they sell every year to make calls and send/receive texts over WiFi. They’d offload their network, they’d make customers happy since they’d get cheaper service, and … oh what the hell, who are we kidding?
Operators are out to screw you out of your money. AT&T Call International is a wonder carrot on a stick to try and convince you otherwise.