My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Jamaicans can use WhatsCall App to make Free International Landline and Mobile calls

Thursday, April 13, 2017

How Jamaicans can use WhatsCall App to make Free International Landline and Mobile calls

“Traditional messaging apps, and other tools that enable us to talk via the internet, rely on data connections from both parties and smartphone notifications being switched on. WhatsCall doesn't require a recipient to have a data connection, the same app, or live notifications”

David Wu, VP of global app marketing at Cheetah Mobile explaining how WhatsCall works

So you want to make Free International Calls?

While FLOW Jamaica allow you 3Mb and upwards on their new FLOW Lyf plans to make WhatsApp voice Calls as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “FLOW Lyf Data Plans wins over WhatsApp, Deezer and FLOW Sports Fans”, this requires that the persons have a Smartphone with a data plan or access to Wi-Fi.

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There are very few apps that allow you to make calls directly to ordinary cellphone and landlines, such as the Call+ and MagicApp Free Calls as detailed in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to make Free International Calls to Landlines and Mobiles Anywhere in the World”.

So is there another alternative?

WhatsCall - IP-PSTN Bridges a divide powered by Advertising and subscriptions

WhatsCall is that alternative.

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Available in both the Apple ITunes Store as well as the Google Play Store, WhatsCall enables you to call international landline and phone numbers directly. Developed by Cheetah Mobile Cloud, it’s currently a very popular app with over 10 million downloads. The WhatsCall VoIP app offers:

1.      Free international calls to Cellphones
2.      Free international calls to Landlines
3.      Instant messages to your WhatsCall contacts
4.      Sending photos, text and voice messages to your WhatsCall contacts

A cross between WhatsApp and Viber, the app uses Wi-Fi or Mobile Data to make calls by using IP-PSTN, a combination of IP and older, Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN, architecture as noted in the article “WhatsCall is a new Viber competitor that works without a data connection”, published October 11, 2016 by Owen Hughes, International Business Times.

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However, it differs in that it allows you to make free direct calls to international Cellphones and landlines. As we all know nothing is free, this is actually possible because the app generates revenue from the subscriber doing various in-app tasks such as:

1.      Treasure hunts
2.      Play games
3.      Subscribe to offers
4.      Clicking on ads

WhatsCall is basically powered by subscriptions and advertising, in exchange for clicking on a few ads, you get 1000 credits upon joining and signing up to do more in-app tasks earning you more credit. The 1000 credits gives you up to 30 minutes of free call time based on the country specific call rate chart of the app.

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An example of this credit based calling system is listed below:

1.      India- 170 credits/min
2.      Saudi Arabia- 1150 credit/min
3.      United States- 120 credits/min
4.      Malaysia- 330 credits/min

The call quality is dependent on you Internet quality and draws upon your contact list to facilitate good functionality and calling experience. So this may be the future of IM Apps; integrating IP-PSTN to bridge the divide between the Internet and older PSTN Networks paid for via advertising and subscriptions.

Here’s the link:

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