We spend so much time talking about notches, SoCs, RAM, storage, and cameras that we normally forget that our devices can also make phone calls too. Sure, there’s less and less people doing phone calls every day, and more are migrating to services such as WhatsApp and Viber to talk with friends. However, what to do if you need to call to landlines? What if you need to call to a business? Phone calls are still a useful form of communication in this day and age.
However, if you live abroad, or know someone who does, then you know how expensive it can get. Calling them or being called is just too costly, making it either impossible or something you do when there are no alternatives. For this, several apps have come to fill the void that carriers seem to neglect. One of them is Miron Enterprises’ CallIndia.
Developer: Miron Enterprises, LLC
CallIndia is an app that specializes in making phone calls to India. With several industries being increasingly outsourced there, and boasting the second biggest population in the world, India is becoming progressively more important to the world’s economy. Through CallIndia, users can contact family, coworkers, or acquaintances there for much cheaper prices than the ones carriers offer. The other party does not need to have an internet connection, so you can call any number just like you would use a local phone.
After installing the app, you get a small tutorial about what the app does and how does it work. You can then proceed to create an account. You can use Facebook and Google, but there’s also the possibility to do it through regular email.
This is pretty straightforward: you just input your name, email, and password, and the account is created for you. Curiously, there’s not even an email confirmation step.
After setting up the account, you cannot use it until you have added credit to it. This is rather unfortunate, since it would be great to have something like a couple of free minutes added to your account in order to test if the app works correctly on your environment. From a business point of view, I understand the lack of free minutes, but, as a user, the feature would be nice.
India Unlimited and Credits
One of the biggest draws of this app is what they call India Unlimited. This gives you unlimited minutes to india for $8.99 a month. Purchasing India Unlimited for three months knocks $1 off the monthly price, while buying six months of unlimited calls brings it down to $6.99 a month. If you call a lot, then having unlimited minutes for just seven dollars really pays off.
However, if you are not a heavy phone call user, there is also the possibility of adding credit to your account to be used as you go. It works kind of like how prepaid cards use to work years back. You top up a specific amount (starting from $2), and then it gets consumed when you make calls. The credit supposedly never expires, so there’s no pressure to spend your remaining balance.
So, let’s say that you don’t have internet connection either, for whatever reason. For that situation, CallIndia provide access numbers in more than 30 countries, allowing you to call through them while still using your credit. People who live in the US and have to call people in Latin America know about this type of setup, since it was pretty popular there. It is pretty convenient and adds a lot of value to your credit or plan, since you can avoid using your data this way. However, fees for calling the access number could cancel out the data savings.
Cost and Consumption
If you go the credit route, then these are the prices:
- India’s landlines and mobile phones: $0.0124/min
- SMS: $0.02/SMS
That means that, for $2, you get 161 minutes or 100 SMS. In case you were wondering, minutes are rounded, so you’d better spend your minutes wisely.
According to the developer, the app uses approximately one MB per minute. Of course, talking through Wi-Fi is better for this kind of service, but if you decide to use your data plan, then you should keep the data consumption in mind. It would be pretty bad if you manage to save some money on phone calls, but incur in overage fees because you spent too much data.
With the internet becoming increasingly available, phone calls have taken a step back in favor of services such as Skype, Viber, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. However, if you need to call landlines, parties without internet, or send SMS to people abroad, then carrier costs are way too much. For these kind of situations, CallIndia manages to put together a compelling package with affordable prices, a decent app, and customer service. If you have family, business partners, or acquaintances in India, then you can check this app out and save some money in the process.