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(Pocket-lint) - Virgin Media has made its new SmartCall service available to home phone customers. It allows them to make calls from their smartphones over a Wi-Fi connection anywhere in the world using the inclusive minutes on their landline packages.

The service is available through a smartphone application for Android and iPhone. The SmartCall app is intuitive enough to detect whether a call is available and included within a user's home phone talk plan. It offers the ability to place calls only when there is no additional cost, so you won't be surprised with an extra bill.

Also, it won't use 3G or 4G data either at home or when roaming, so you won't go over your limit or incur further charges. And unlike BT's rival SmartTalk service, the app won't allow you to make calls outside of your landline package, so you won't incur charges that way either.

As a last fail safe, the app will detect your current time zone - when abroad - to ensure that a call is still within the inclusive time bands back home.

It is a free service to Virgin Media home phone customers and its effectiveness depends on the talk plan you have with the provider. For example, if you have a Talk Weekends (M) plan - which is no extra cost on top of the £14.99 a month line rental - you get unlimited calls to UK landlines, Virgin mobiles and 0870 numbers at weekends, thereby restricting the app's use to weekends.

But if you have the Talk Unlimited Extra (XXL) plan - costing an extra £15 a month - you get unlimited calls to UK landlines, all UK mobiles, 0870 and 0845 numbers at any time, day or night. There are also L and XL plans available too.

The Android and iPhone Virgin Media SmartCall apps are available on their respective app stores now.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 29 October 2013.