India VoIP Providers for Home and Residential Calling

Most India VoIP providers are focused squarely on the business market because this is a bigger, more mature market. Also quite importantly, it is easier in the business market to provide internet-only voice services that don't violate India regulations by crossing over from the internet onto the regular phone network (PSTN) - or vice versa.

The India market for home or consumer VoIP services is much less well developed, especially in comparison to some other countries such as the US, UK, or Germany. But consumer VoIP providers are starting to emerge in India for certain types of VoIP services.

Since our focus is mostly on consumers and how they can use VoIP for making cheap international calls, we're more interested in this aspect of the market.

As a starting point, we've compiled a list of companies specifically targeting the India consumer VoIP market. Unfortunately, it's a short list (let us know if you have any additions).

But there are other options, too, because many international VoIP providers can also provide services for you in India - though some types of offerings are prohibited by local regulations.

Read more below.

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India VoIP Providers for Consumer & Residential Service

The following VoIP providers offer VoIP internet telephony services specifically in or for the India market. The companies are primarily focused on serving the India ILD market by offering cheap outbound international VoIP calls to countries worldwide.

Due to restrictions on internet telephony in India, the VoIP providers listed below are not designed for domestic long distance calling services (NLD calls). In fact, no domestic long distance VoIP providers exist offering the kinds of 'VoIP dial in' and 'VoIP dial out' services seen in other markets.

Before buying services from any of these companies, please check company websites for service availability and plan details.

Note that worldwide, VoIP companies go out of business at an alarming rate. While the India market is young, we would expect it to be similar - many companies will fail and only a few will get strong. The point being: buy from a well established firm that will be around for a long time.

  • World Phone - World Phone is a leading consumer VoIP provider in India. Their service is a 'digital phone service' designed primarily for international long distance calling (ILD calling) to over 30 countries worldwide. World Phone supports 'VoIP dial out' services where you can call people on regular phones in other countries. They also offer 'VoIP dial in' services where people from regular phones can call you via a virtual phone number in the UK, US, Canada, or Australia, among 30 other countries. World Phone service involves using either a 'VoIP softphone' or a 'VoIP digital phone' or both.
  • Phonewala - Net4's Phonewala VoIP service is similar to World Phone, but their plans and pricing are somewhat less expansive. Like World Phone, Phonewala service is a 'digital phone service' which works using either a 'VoIP softphone' or a 'VoIP digital phone' or both. Phonewala is designed primarily for international long distance calling (ILD calling) to countries worldwide. It is not designed for domestic long distance (NLD calls) within India. Phonewala supports 'VoIP dial out' services where you can call people on regular phones in other countries. They also offer 'VoIP dial in' services where people from regular phones can call you via a virtual phone number in the UK, US, or Canada.
  • TELIFU - TELIFU is part of DigitalOne Group. Digital, now based in the US, was originally an Ahmedabad company. TELIFU is basically an international VoIP provider that has customized their offerings and service delivery to serve the India market. As with World Phone and Phonewala, TELIFU provides you with a US or Canada virtual phone number that rings back in your home. You can take calls either on a softphone-enabled computer or on a digital phone connected to the internet. TELIFU plans are focused on calling to the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

In addition to these specialty VoIP providers, some of India's telephone companies provide VoIP service through their internet divisions. For instance, MTNL's TriBand broadband service includes VoIP as an add-on option. Another option is Reliance iCall which provides VoIP services worldwide. A third option is Tata Indicom Indiworld, a VoIP add-on for their ADSL service.

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International VoIP Providers Serving India Consumer Market

In addition to the India-focused companies above, there are a many international VoIP providers that India consumers can use as well.

If you are planning to use one of these services, it is best that you have a high-speed broadband internet connection - and you shop around a bit until you are sure you have a provider that meets your needs.

Among other things, you want to watch rates very closely - they vary dramatically between providers. Almost all will be markedly lower than a regular international long distance carrier, but still there are big differences.

For instance, Vonage, a major US VoIP player, does not include India in any of it's unlimited calling plans and charges $0.15 - $0.18 USD per minute to call India from the US. In comparison, Lingo, a similar VoIP phone service, charges just $0.029 per minute - nearly 80% less.

There are too, too many international VoIP providers serving India to list here, so we highlight just a few well established VoIP companies that might be worthy of your consideration. All can deliver solid service for outbound or inbound India international calls.

  • Skype - Skype is the largest VoIP provider in the world and has tens of millions of users. They provide a rich array of connection options. Their rates to India from the US are currently $0.092 USD per minute. Skype supports both inbound using several connection options. It supports outbound VoIP calling from India via their VoIP softphone or a VoIP digital phone.
  • Jajah - Jajah focused mostly on web-activated VoIP services where you enter your origination and destination via the web, and jajah calls each number at the same time from it's VoIP platform. Jajah can be used for both inbound and outbound international calls from India. Both their inbound and outbound rates to the US are currently ~$0.08 USD per minute.
  • Lingo - Like Vonage, Lingo provides VoIP digital phone service, mostly in America, but also in Australia. It is part of US-based Primus Telecommunications. Lingo offers cheap calling plans to India. Per minute rates are currently $0.029 per minute (subject to change). Lingo supports only inbound calling to India.
  • FreeCallPlanet - FreeCallPlanet is a 'calling card VoIP' service - a kind of VoIP service that works like a calling card from regular phones. FreeCallPlanet supports bulk monthly minutes packages to call India from the US or UK. They also have an outbound access number in Bangalore. Their best rates are about $0.04 USD per minute.
  • Vonage - Vonage is one of the largest international VoIP providers. It offers VoIP digital phone service - a sort of home phone replacement service. They don't include India in any of their unlimited calling plans and currently charge $0.15 - $0.18 USD per minute to call India.

Note that due to India VoIP regulations, not all services provided by these companies may be available to you. For instance, any service that involves providing local access numbers or local virtual numbers in India is prohibited by existing rules.

Also, please be aware that all quoted prices are subject to change and may or may not reflect prices for any given plan or connection option. Please check directly with the provider's website for the latest information.

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