NOTE: This article was originally published in Nov 2011
I just got a call from the US "National Emergency Call Center (911)" asking what is the emergency help I need. I was confused since I do not live in USA anymore. The lady on the phone explained they got a 911 emergency call from my phone. I realized someone at my home tried to make a local phone call in India using my Vonage phone, which was registered in USA and accidentally pressed "911" instead of "91"!
After asking several questions, the lady hung up, but probably dispatched an officer to my old address in USA at this midnight in USA. She wasn't really convinced that I do not live in USA anymore and was using an American phone number from India. The mistake I did was, I did not update my details with Vonage when I left the country.
How to use Vonage Phone in India
The 911 call incident prompted me to share our Vonage phone experience in India.
When we moved from USA to India, we decided to carry our Vonage device to India. We thought our friends will be calling us often after we move to India and we will be calling all buddies in USA regularly. That worked for few weeks and then the number of US calls we make or receive went down significantly.
We still use the Vonage phone to call USA from India primarily for my business to talk to client and business partners. And it works great. Using a US local phone number gives much more credibility to me when I talk to clients in USA. Also, we still have our home in USA and the Vonage phone number is used by our property manager and tenant to contact me when they need to talk to me.
If I want to make calls only from India to USA, I can use any other phone services here which is not very expensive. But if someone from USA want to talk to me, like tenant or property manager of my home, they will probably have a hard time to figure out how to call India.
Will Vonage work in India?
We were not sure if the Vonage device will work in India and even if it technically works, will it be possible to use reliably with the unreliable internet services here. After using it couple of months here, I can confirm that Vonage VoIP phone will work perfectly in India.
The primary use of our Vonage phone in India are:
1. Call abroad for free (USA and various other countries).
2. For kids to call grand parents and chat for hours talking about the new story they learnt in the school
3. Call customer service in India, who sometimes takes hours to answer the calls
4. Make any long phone calls (local or long distance)
I am using a 4 Mbps high speed internet line and Vonage works perfectly fine with it. However, most people in India have the normal DSL connection which offer 256 Mbps or 512 Mbps speed. Sometimes I run out of my high speed quota (75 Gb per month) and then my internet speed goes down to 256 Kbps. Even at that low speed, I did not experience any problems with Vonage service.
Is it worth using Vonage in India?
Vonage offers unlimited calls to almost all countries at the cost of about $35 per month. It wouldn't cost me the same in India to use a land line here, unless I make too many international calls.
Moreover, even though we have free calls from Vonage, we still have a regular land line in India which comes with the DSL internet service. So it is an extra phone sitting on my desk, often confusing which is the regular land line and which is the Vonage phone.
To answer the question - is it worth keeping the Vonage phone in India - it depends on the connections you are keeping in USA. If you leave a house and other properties in USA or deal with clients/employer in USA, it is a good idea to keep the Vonage phone when you move to India, atleast for first few months.
Disable emergency services, if you are taking Vonage phone outside USA
If you are using a Vonage phone outside the country, login to your Vonage account and update the status to "out of country". This will avoid any hassles with emergency services, in case of an accidental dialing of the emergency number. Also, it will disable all notifications from the emergency services.
Steps to update "out of country" status in Vonage
1. Login to Vonage.com
2. Go to "My Account" tab.
3. Click on Edit 911 Dialing Address
4. Click on the link "Change your 911 dialing status to 'Out Of Country'"
5. Click on the "I Accept" button in the confirmation screen.
If you are travelling outside the country with your Vonage device for a short period or you permanently move to other countries like India and plan to use Vonage there, it is important to do change the status to "Out of Country" (I just learnt it the hard way today!) At least, it can save a trip for the Emergency services when you make a mistake and dial US emergency numbers by mistake.
I had asked couple of people in the past what will happen if we dial 911 from a Vonage phone from India or other countries. I just got the answer. Even if you may not get much help, your call will be still answered!
|Author: Hina 08 May 2013||Member Level: Gold Points : 0|
|Yes, it does work. I use Vonage for my daily office work.|
|Guest Author: Ron 07 Jun 2013|
This is a really great explanatory article you have provided. Solved my doubts in a flash! Thanks for that.
I still have one doubt:, I'd appreciate if you could answer it. Can we use SimuRing (with USA Vonage & India cell number - like we do here at USA with USA cell number) or Call Forwarding from Vonage to India Cell number?
|Author: Tony John 20 Jun 2013||Member Level: Diamond Points : 6|
Yes, that will work. You can use Vonage in India and set an Indian cell phone number for call forwarding. I have been doing it here and it works perfectly.
The same concept was being used in USA as a trick to make international calls from iPhone and Android phones using Vonage behind the scenes. There was an app, on which you can dial any Indian number, which in turn calls updates the call forwarding number to the number you dialed and then make a phone call to your local USA Vonage number. Based on the temporary call forwarding configuration, it will redirect that call to the Indian number you wanted to dial. Once the call is completed, the app will reconfigure the call forwarding number to the original call forwarding number. Typically, you will be dialing an international number through the app, but it actually places a call to your local Vonage number which will ring in India.
|Guest Author: Victor 26 Jul 2013|
|Dear Author, |
Thank you for your feedback, its very helpful. I would like to subscribe for VONAGE, however I face few challenges. I am right now in India. I have my uncle in US who can provide address credit card etc. Can I subscribe Vonage on my Android device and start using like am in US without me having to be in US and having all calls forwarded to my Android device or number in India? This is for business purpose, so I will make many international calls. Please let me know your suggestions thanks.
|Author: Tony John 26 Jul 2013||Member Level: Diamond Points : 4|
It has been more than 2 years I am using Vonage in India and it works fine. Vonage offers call forward option, which can be used to forward all calls to any other phone number. Right now, I have configured my Vonage to ring the Vonage home phone, my cell phone and my wife's cell phone. When an incoming call comes, all 3 phones will ring at the same time and any one of us can pick up the call.
Regarding making outgoing calls from Android phone, I haven't tried it. I know there exists some Android and iPhone Apps but not sure how they will work from India. I will try them and let you know soon.
|Guest Author: bobby 29 Oct 2013|
Many thanks for great info.i m also planning to get one vonage contract from UK to make commercial call to UK landlines numbers from India mumbai.
My query is does vonage support all kind of Internet services? Or it works only with few Internet services.
Please guide me so accordingly I ll plan?
One more question, is it possible to find vonage device in india for sale or I need to get it from UK only. I MEAN definitely I get package from UK but device can be courier from UK to India or just device on sale possible in India.
|Guest Author: vijaita 11 Dec 2013|
Would it be possible for my husband to continue using the Vonage app in USA on his iPhone while the device is with me for a few months in India while I holiday there?
|Guest Author: Guest420 14 Dec 2013|
|I'm trying to set-up Vonage phone in India and I'm getting message "this telephone line is not registered to the vonage network"....please provide steps that followed to set-up Vonage in India|
|Author: Tony John 14 Dec 2013||Member Level: Diamond Points : 2|
Are you connecting the Vonage device directly to the internet source? Or, do you have a router between the internet source and the Vonage device? Try connecting it directly to your modem.
|Author: Tony John 14 Dec 2013||Member Level: Diamond Points : 2|
I believe that will work. Your husband can use the Vonage service in iPhone while you are using it in India. If it works while he is travelling within USA, I don't see any reason why it can't work when the device is in India.
But I am not sure. Please let us know how it works.