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Smartphone owners with Virgin Media landlines will be able to make free calls over Wi-Fi, with the launch of the SmartCall app.

Available to download now, the application enables customers to make calls on their mobile over a Wi-Fi connection using the free landline minutes provided with their Virgin Media package. That avoids eating into monthly smartphone contract allowances.

Perhaps better still, though, is that you can make free calls in this way wherever you are in the world. As a consequence, it ought to make it much harder to get stung for massive international roaming bills.

The app also works out the timezone back home, so that if you’re bound by restrictions with your Virgin Media home phone usage (say you only get free calls in the evening) you also won’t get caught out.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: "SmartCall is genuinely innovative - and for some consumers it could be well worth the wait.

“The app, which will allow smartphone users to phone the UK from any wi-fi hotspot in the world for free, could help holidaymakers to avoid often horrendous roaming charges and lead to the end of bill shock.

“And for those Virgin Media customers who enjoy unlimited calls as part of their home phone package, the monthly savings could be substantial. Tapping into your landline call allowance from your mobile will mean that those free minutes won’t go to waste simply because you’re not at home to make the most of them."

SmartCall runs on Android phones running version 2.3 of Google’s OS or above. Got an iPhone? That’s also compatible, but you’ll need to running iOS 5 or higher.

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