FaceTime has made it easy for Apple users to stay with family and friends, even if they are overseas. Calling someone is a straightforward process if you have a Wi-Fi or cellular network connection.
But is FaceTime really free, even when calling internationally?
Yes, the actual FaceTime call to someone in a different country is free, no matter if you use Wi-Fi or your mobile data. However, FaceTime calls use a lot of data, if you use your mobile data and are on a pay-as-you-go plan your call will consume a lot of data, which will cost you money.
FaceTime is a built-in video and audio calling app that runs on Apple devices. You can call anyone with just your phone and your Apple ID.
You will need an internet connection to make FaceTime calls completely free (except for any fees you will pay for Wi-Fi or your mobile data). If you run on data plans, calls will cost you something, but much less than you would pay for regular phone calls.
If you do not want your phone bills to be expensive, you should ensure that you are connected to Wi-Fi before making international FaceTime calls.
You need Wi-Fi to use FaceTime to make an international call for free. Calling using a cellular network consumes data, which will, in turn, impact your phone bills.
If you are connected through Wi-Fi at home, you do not need to worry about data consumption. Even if there is no internet connection available, there are places like coffee shops and restaurants that you can go to that offer free Wi-Fi service.
When you connect through a cellular network, FaceTime calls can get quite expensive since they count against any data cap you have.
In such cases, you will want to make FaceTime calls using audio-only and avoid going over your data limit. You will also avoid being saddled with a too-expensive phone bill.
FaceTime offers options whenever you start a call. You can utilize audio or audio-video and switch to and fro during the call duration.
Video calls use a lot of data compared to audio calls. If you use your cellular network and have a limited data plan, you will use up all that data.
Voice or audio calls do not require as much bandwidth as video calls, so they will not eat as much into your data plan.
When you use cellular data for FaceTime, you can consume up to 3 MB of data per minute.
You will incur a significantly less cost than when you call using roaming or make regular international phone calls.
The FaceTime app is built-in on all devices from Apple. It is part of Apple’s ecosystem by default, so you do not need to pay separately to access this service.
Since FaceTime is already installed on your device, it will also not take up extra space or memory, just like other video calling apps.
To use FaceTime, you need your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer to have iOS7 or macOS 10.9.2. Older Apple devices do not allow for iOS software upgrades.
If you want a seamless FaceTime experience every time, you need to have the latest software and hardware.
Setting up is easy. You should go to your device’s Settings, select FaceTime, and turn on the app.
Next, you should enter your Apple ID and password to register your phone number on the device.
Once you have accomplished the steps, you have to open the FaceTime app to make a call. Ensure to enter the email address or phone number of the person you call.
If the person is already in your contacts, you only need to type their name and tap the audio button to make a voice call.
During the call, you can switch from audio-only to audio-video. Video calling is subject to your approval and your correspondent. You can quickly decline the request for a video call if you do not want to.
At the end of the call, you simply need to press the end button at the bottom part of the screen.
You should be aware that only those who own an Apple device will be able to accept a FaceTime call. The app does not work with Android and other devices.
FaceTime for international calls is the least expensive when you use Wi-Fi. You will have to pay for data charges over your monthly plan with a cellular network.
Unlike the expensive international phone calls, FaceTime is a convenient option for connecting with other people. Calls are essentially free if you are using a Wi-Fi connection.
Calls via FaceTime are not the same as making a regular phone call.
When you call someone overseas, the standard rates and tariffs can be pricey because it is expensive for networks to process the calls. These charges then trickle down to the customers.
Every country has regulated rates for every minute of an international call. This is the minimum amount charged by the operator owning the phone number you call.
International calls are also a premium feature in your operator services since they require overseas pricing agreements and physical interconnections.
They utilize trans-Atlantic or Pacific cables, which cost a lot of money to install and maintain.
Meanwhile, FaceTime does not use the same process, so you will not have to pay as much.
Save for the monthly subscription fee for your internet connection or cellular network; each international call using FaceTime is free of charge.
As long as your Apple device (and the device of the person you are calling) supports the FaceTime app, and you have Wi-Fi or a cellular network, you will be able to use this feature whenever you like.