Roaming Solutions

Using your Webbing Device + Global SIMs roamingDATA solution is the most cost effective way to now stay in touch with your contacts.

Times are a changing.  More and more people are switching to data to communicate with their contacts.  Being able to make local or international calls to family, friends and colleagues by using free or cheap data apps are the way forward.  Most people who travel are now using Voice Over Internet protocol (VoIP) or Voice Chat, as its more commonly known, as their preferred communication method.  Voice Chat is a modern form of communication using mobile data rather than the old analogue system of telephony. 

There are a number of different applications (most which are available either free or a nominal cost) that you can download to your mobile device which enable you to talk, video chat and send messages without incurring huge costs.

These Apps have broken many barriers to communication. While in the past you needed to take particular care of the minutes and seconds you spent speaking on international calls, you no longer need to bother about that now. If you use Skype, for instance, to make PC to PC communication, you pay nothing more than the monthly Internet service, which you would anyway have paid without Skype.

The following is a brief overview of some of the more popular ways of communicating using data rather than the traditional Plain Old Telephone System (POTS):

Skype

With more than 350 million registered users, Skype is the most popular voice communication service in the world. Skype is one of the pioneers in voice communication over the Internet.

From anywhere in the world, you can make unlimited and totally free calls to anyone in the world provided that person is using Skype too.

Skype also provides presence information in a very practical way. Presence is the availability and willingness of a person to communicate. For instance, if you find a buddy online ready to communicate, then there is presence. Skype allows you to know, if a buddy is offline, when she is willing to communicate, so you can log back in at that time.

It is also possible to use Skype to make local and international calls to landline and mobile phones, through PSTN networks, and also receive calls from these phones on your PC. This is not a free service, but costs are very cheap compared to traditional landline and mobile international rates. These services are called SkypeOut and SkypeIn respectively.

People use Skype mainly for the fact that it is popular and as a result, so many people can be found on Skype, from new friends to business partners. If a contact uses Skype, unlimited free calls are possible with them. People around the world use Skype for several things: for long-distance meetings with family, friends and loved ones; for remote activity monitoring; for business calls; for long-distance conferences; for cheap calls during travel, for simply socializing etc.

Viber

Viber is an App for smartphones that allows people to contact one another. It attempts to be a phone replacement by allowing you to communicate through the App, even if friends aren't using it. Now Viber has released on PC and Mac, but it still requires a smartphone account before you can use it. By using 3G or WiFi, you can communicate through messages or VoIP calls for free with friends who use the App .  Note: Viber is free, which is great, but only to other Viber users. If you make a call through Viber to a non-Viber user, you are charged the normal fee from your carrier.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.

In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

WhatsApp is free to download.

FaceTime

FaceTime is a video chat application developed by Apple. FaceTime video calling requires a FaceTime-enabled device for the caller and recipient, and a Wi-Fi connection. FaceTime over a cellular network requires iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 or iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability. Availability over a cellular network depends on carrier policies; data charges may apply.

At time of writing FaceTime costs 0.99c to download.  There are no other major costs specifically associated with using FaceTime beyond that of a normal Internet connection, as FaceTime uses your Internet in more or less the same way as other types of activities such as web browsing, checking e-mail, or watching videos. Note, however, that FaceTime can use a substantial amount of Internet bandwidth compared to other activities such as web browsing or sending e-mail, as it is essentially a streaming video service in the same way as YouTube or Netflix. Although data usage varies slightly due to video compression, FaceTime uses an average of about 5MB of data per minute of conversation, so an hour long chat will consume around 300MB of data. On newer iPad and iPhone models, FaceTime can be used over a 3G or LTE cellular data connection, and in this case you would probably want to use it more sparingly; with iPhone and iPad data plans ranging from 500MB to 6GB, in some cases it wouldn’t take much more than an hour of FaceTime use to eat up your regular monthly data allotment.

Facebook

Facebook is probably the world’s most popular online social networking service.  Whilst Facebook isn’t a traditional VoIP, it has become one of the most popular ways of communicating (over 1 billion users – some not human!), and its users now have the ability to use Messaging, Facebook Chat and Facebook Video Calls for live voice calls.  Facebook is free to download.

Webbing by roamingDATA is the perfect way of using these apps as an alternative to the traditional method of using your Voice SIM in your mobile phone in order to save you costs when travelling.

Written by Georgie Mooney — November 20, 2014

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