Although mobile packages today offer increasingly unlimited calls, VoIP calls are now democratized, offering an interesting alternative to the usual communications. If you travel often, have relatives abroad or do not have enough hours of communications included in your subscription, here are the options available to you.
Ten years ago, it was unthinkable not to have at home, a landline. The calls were charged in packages, often more expensive if a 01 number called a phone whose code beginning with 02 or 03 … Today, Internet box are coupled with telephone subscriptions often used to call free of many foreign destinations. But outside the home, or even that does not have a landline, other solutions can make calls to mobile or fixed from anywhere – almost. This is, for the most VoIP applications (Voice over IP), that is to say transiting service providers and servers through either a 3G / 4G connection or through WiFi.
Here are some applications to take advantage of such services, it may seem trivial for home use, will allow travelers to mobile users regularly call overseas contacts substantial savings. However, all solutions are not accompanied by a voicemail. Aside from Skype, which offers voice since the user buys minutes of calls, other services require to go through their instant messaging to the caller to leave a message for an unavailable party.
The application billion downloads wants to give a facelift to VoIP, the unglamorous name evokes only very little to a young generation bottle-fed with unlimited calls. And yet, for a month, that’s exactly what offers the application that Facebook holds the title. It works on 3G or 4G as WiFi because it uses “the Internet connection (sic) on your phone and do not use dial-package your operator.” Calls will only work between phones with WhatsApp application itself available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and even Nokia Symbian and Series 40. Both say that except for basic phones, anyone with an Internet connection – it is the most complicated in the case – will be able to make free calls. A particularly useful option for traveling regularly. Let us, however, that in the absence of WiFi and data, it will go through the standard roaming: better then go through standard calls. The WhatsApp application is in turn free the first year and charged 99 cents per year, many mobile users however reported never having been charged at the end of that first year.
Unlike most applications that come from the world of instant messaging, Libon is a project carried by an operator, in this case Orange. This is his Orange Valley subsidiary that is responsible for developing the service, launched in 2012 under its current name, after three years under a different name. Libon lets you make free calls between Android and iOS smartphones equipped with the application, subject to the availability of a WiFi or 3G / 4G connection, in which the usual roaming will apply. Same conditions for a second option: it is to make calls from Libon app to fixed or mobile that are not equipped, this time to pay calls. For example, calls to French numbers, Portuguese or Turkish are charged 3 cents per minute, and more than a hundred destinations are included in the list of Libon, to more or less low rates. Note that the application works with packages of all French operators.
Libon is one of the few integrated solutions packages of operators. The unlimited free calls packages Sosh to 19.99 euros and 24.99 euros per month to the DOM, the countries of Europe, Canada or the USA must always go through the Libon app – so you have to dispose of a compatible smartphone, excluding Windows Phone or BlackBerry. Calls are also free from Europe and overseas to France.
Libon: International Calls
Can we talk VoIP without making a detour via Skype, one of the heavyweights of the genre? Bought in 2011 by Microsoft, the service offers an instant messaging service, video chat and cheap calls to landlines and mobile phones. For free calls, the routine is always the same: it is enough to call between Skype contacts connected to the application, this last detail that it is possible to make calls from a PC and receive a phone and vice versa. Travelers and mobile users whose entourage is abroad can count on various tariff rates for calling only be fixed or fixed and mobile, with about sixty at most destinations. It is possible to buy “Skype Credit” (10 or 25 euros per load) to spend it on demand (to call various destinations to fixed and mobile …) or more advantageous packs, at least for that regularly calling the same destination. For example, to 12.59 euros, you can get unlimited calls to all fixed destinations worldwide served by Skype. The price of SMS is however high by European pricing: SMS to France cost 10.8 cents per message.
The application is available on the Play Store, but also for the iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and is pre-installed on the Nokia X and the fire phone Amazon.
Some like Facebook Messenger, others hate. However, last year, this now separate application of social network allows users to place phone calls. Operation The interest is obviously his free since, as a WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger does not charge any specific cost, as long as the user is connected to a WiFi network or a data plan included in the subscription. So you have to enjoy it, click on the phone icon at the bottom of the contact list, select the person to call … and that’s it. The advantage is that it is not necessary to know its contact phone number … but the downside is of course the possibility of being called by any “friend” as long as one is oneself connected to the Internet.
The application is available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone or BlackBerry.
Bought in 2014 by the Nippon Rakuten, Viber is one of the “classics” of VoIP. Like most of its competitors, it offers messaging (text, images) and offers free instant telephony, again for free, which has an Internet connection via mobile network or WiFi. Like WhatsApp, Viber uses the private telephone number of the user, which can eventually cause privacy issues, but that simplifies the use of the app: the contact list of the user is automatically synchronized with Viber.
For calls to landlines or mobile that are not equipped with Viber, supply Viber Out offers communications “at local call rates.” For France, count eg 4.4 cents per minute to mobile or 2.2 cents to landlines. All rates consult to that address. Note that the standard application is free but lovers stickers (IM side) will have to pay a few cents for the privilege.
Viber Media S.à R.L.
Many other applications initially specialized in instant messaging allow to make calls over WiFi / 3G / 4G or for free to mobile phones connected to the same application or a fee to landlines or mobile phones. We can quote in this regard Line, WeChat, BBM or Hangouts, at Google, via its Hangouts Phone. We can also turn to UppTalk whose app brought up to Material Design also provides great rates.
In terms of services, all of these applications are worth more or less, with prices generally located within ranges of common prices. However, note that with his formula with unlimited calls, Skype is one of the cheapest services.
What data consumption?
Especially when it comes to use of 3G / 4G roaming, which is especially important that many mobile packages now include a fair use for use in Europe, the issue of data consumption by applications VoIP arose. It is however a little less relevant in the case of WiFi connections. Also note that the use of VoIP in mobile plans, as well as the Modem mode, is now allowed in the packages containing the data, while operators tended there a few years ago, to ban these options in their formulas.
Androidworld our colleagues engaged in an experiment, repeated eight times a minute for calls to different VoIP applications. Here are their conclusions, which we have summarized in the table below
Issuer of the call receiver of the call
WhatsApp (WiFi) 616 KB (281 KB sent, received 335) 617 KB (341 KB sent, received 276 Ko)
WhatsApp (3G) 541 KB (280 KB sent, received 261 KB) 539 KB (263 KB sent, received 276 Ko)
Viber (WiFi) 873 KB (375 KB sent, received 498 KB) 865 KB (477 KB sent, received 388 Ko)
Viber (3G) 858 KB (357 KB sent, received 501 KB) 841 KB (452 KB sent, received 388 Ko)
Skype (WiFi) 813 KB (458 KB sent, received 355 KB) 941 KB (444 KB sent, received 497 Ko)
Skype (3G) 990 KB (477 KB sent, received 513 Ko) 1.21 MB (633 KB sent, received 577 Ko)
Hangouts (WiFi) 1,565 MB (725 KB sent, received 840 Ko) 1,344 MB (577 KB sent, received 767 Ko)
Hangouts (3G) 851 KB (355 KB sent, received 496 KB) 654 KB (284 KB sent, received 370 Ko)
Few consumers in data as a whole, there are different applications of a few hundred KB per minute of call: the difference will be noticeable for longer communications. In this game, the popular WhatsApp is among the most efficient when Hangouts, mobile network only, remain a good compromise. However, note that these data hold for a long minute call and for communications abroad, few MB of data will sometimes be more expensive than traditional roaming calls. A calculation learned to perform for the more talkative!