Saturday, 8 May 2010

Smart cheap and reliable alternative to Skype, calling to landlines and cell phones from abroad

Recently I found an excellent solution for making calls to my home country. The problem with Skype is that they use the existing (wifi) connection, which isn't always that good in each country and in every hotel especially not in every room and will result in fragments of slow video, if any and fragments of your words being erased or being inaudible, where at the same time you can the hear the other person quite clear. This is because no matter where you are, the upload speed will always be slower than the download speed. And should you make calls to banks, credit card companies, official instances, etc. video and miscommunication are the last things you need.
Here's where WebCallDirect, a German company comes in. Apart from their web based service, they have a small downloadble application. All you have to do is enter the receiver's number or choose it from your contact list, wait a moment and you will be called on your cellphone. Soon after when you pick it up, you will hear the receivers phone ringing on the other side, and once they pick it up you're in contact.
Since you are not using the wifi connection anymore, but fast local servers, there's little delay and the quality is in 95% of the cases excellent on both sides. Also your phone number will be visible to the receiver, so they will not even know you are using the service. I also noticed that the delay time is shorter as well, making it easier to communicate.
Best thing: calls to overseas is very cheap indeed, cheaper than the alternative that Skype offers. For example calls to landlines in the Netherlands are free at this moment if you are just using your PC with a headset, but limited to 300 minutes or 50 hours per 7 days, which should suffice, but again you will be calling from your PC, similar to Skype with a possible bad connecion. WebCallDirect will charge you a mere € 0.01 or $0.0127/min. if you are calling with your mobile phone to their local server. And since I like to be mobile and want to be sure to sure to keep a high quality, this is my preferred choisce. Calling a cell phone in the Netherlands will cost you 0.086 Euro or 0.122 USD/min. plus the optional costs of your mobile call (€0.01). All and all more than 50% cheaper than Skype with a more or less a guaranteed voice quality. If you like to use your phone instead of a computer + headset, it's better to buy a second phone with a local SIM card.
I have to add that prior to my trip to Thailand, I was in Vietnam and to my surprise everywhere in the country internet worked perfectly and it was customary to have a wifi router at each floor even in the cheaper hotels.
So using Skype worked very well over there. A plausible explanation is that Vietnam hesitated a long time before they publicly started to use internet resulting in a much more updated infrastructure than say Thailand which was an early adopter.
The fastest connection I had so far, was at Hong Kong airport using MSN with the webcam on, a friend of mine was able to follow the football game at a TV screen at the background live, or at least 12 frames/second and unlike other airports it was free of charge.

1 comment:

  1. Skype is great for personal & social interactions. Other alternatives to Skype for VOIP Audio Conferencing are RHUB, WebEx, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...