Posted: 10 Oct 2019 10:22 PM PDT
Reliance Jio made an unprecedented announcement recently. After years of limitless calling and hefty data plans, the company announced it would now start charging users Rs 0.06 per minute for calls to numbers on other networks.
We've already talked about the reason for that, which is TRAI going back on a previous plan to do away with charges telco pay each other to make calls onto their networks. The 6 paisa extra per minute is what that charge is, so the burden is being shifted to you. But there are are options available to you.
1. Cough up the dough
As long as these IUC charges aren't abolished, as Jio was hoping would happen, these charges will be passed on to customers. At the very least though, the company is offering a few top ups for those of you that expect to be calling people on other networks.
- Rs 10 gives you 124 IUC minutes and 1GB of free data
- Rs 20 gives you 249 IUC minutes and 2GB of free data
- Rs 50 gives you 656 IUC minutes and 5GB of free data
- Rs 100 gives you 1,362 IUC minutes and 10GB of free data
So if you can't be bothered, you can simply pay these small increments as needed and stay in touch with your non-Jio friends. But obviously, since you're paying money here, it isn't really free.
Another very simple option is to use WhatsApp to voice or video call your friends. In most cases this would eat into your data, so you'd have to decide whether that's worth it for you. You could however also just make VoIP calls while on your Wi-Fi, so you're not spending an extra dime.
Another prominent messaging app, Viber, also offers VoIP calling. It's also fairly popular in India, though maybe not as much as WhatsApp, so you may not have to wait for your friends to download the app and setup first.
Telegram was a little late to the VoIP party, having introduced it only in 2017. One benefit however is that Telegram as a service prides itself on its encryption, so you can feel a little less paranoid about someone listening in. Additionally, it also has a desktop app, for when you want to carry on your conversation from a larger display.
FaceTime is the go to VoIP app if you're on an iPhone. For one, it comes baked into iOS. It also lets you call anyone with an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or even iPod Touch. And with Continuity, a feature launched in iOS 9, you can start a call on one device and move to another even during your chat.
Skype is an OG in the voice call game, and one of the few that still supports old devices like the BlackBerry. It's also available for computer platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as smart TVs, your gaming consoles, and more. And if you really need it, Skype also lets you call landlines, not to mention make group video calls.
7. Zello PTT Walkie Talkie
Zello PTT Walkie Talkie is a little different than the others on this list. It's less of a chat app and more of a transceiver radio for your phone. Basically, instead of having a VoIP call where you're both simultaneously talking, it lets you "push-to-talk", so you're recording as you push the button, and it transmits when you release.
This can of course make an extended conversation a bit tedious. However, because its not establishing a streaming connections, but rather essentially transferring audio files back and forth', it's much easier on your data. In fact, it can even work when your connection speed is down to as low as 2G levels. And if you have an Apple Watch, there's an app version for that too!
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