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Virgin Media SmartCall packs free calls anywhere you roam

With Virgin Media SmartCall and a Wi-Fi connection you can put your landline's free minutes to work wherever you are in the world.

When you're in the pub, lazing on a beach or just round at a mate's place, your lazy landline is just sitting at home with its feet up doing nothing -- but with Virgin Media SmartCall and a Wi-Fi connection you can put your landline's free minutes to work wherever you roam.

Wherever you are in the world, the SmartCall app makes calls on your mobile that count against the free minutes included in your landline package. It's kind of like taking your landline wherever you go, except without having to unplug and carry the handset everywhere.

You don't need to be on Virgin Media for your mobile contract -- you just need a Virgin-flavoured landline and you can use the app on your phone.

It works anywhere in the world, so you can make free calls even when you're overseas, cutting down on the potential for running up massive roaming bills. And you can save on 0845 and 0870 numbers, directory enquiries, or when you simply don't have enough phone credit or mobile signal.

It only works over Wi-Fi, so you have to find a hotspot while you're out and about, but that does at least mean you can't inadvertently place a call that eats expensive 3G or 4G data.

'Substantial savings' 

"SmartCall is genuinely innovative," says industry expert Ernest Doku of uSwitch. "Not only does it share the perks of home phone bundles with your mobile in the form of free minutes, but thousands of smart phone users could also avoid being burnt for using their phones abroad.

"And tapping into your landline call allowance from your mobile will mean that free minutes won't go to waste simply because you're not at home to make the most of them.

"For those Virgin Media customers who enjoy unlimited calls as part of their home phone packages, the monthly savings could be substantial."

To counter, BT today announced its rival service SmartTalk will give you 60 free minutes per month throughout 2014.

Virgin Media's SmartCall app is out today for Android version 2.3 and above, and iPhones running iOS 5 and above. Does SmartCall tempt you to Virgin? Have you already found a great deal for Internet calls or roaming? Tell me about it in the comments or roam to our Facebook page.