Google reports that 80% of smartphone users don’t leave home without their devices. Sound like you? Well for those of you planning to use your smartphone abroad, then this really will be music to your ears.
Traveling abroad for business has for some people become unavoidable and that’s why it’s essential to look for cheap international calls and cost-efficient communication when conducting business overseas. But what if you didn’t have to bother with all that and you could make those international calls you need to, safe in the knowledge that it’s not costing you a penny?
WhatsApp first hinted it would let users make free calls to each other early last year and while that did sound inviting we didn’t exactly start jumping for joy as what with all the unlimited bundles around nowadays it didn’t sound like the most exciting news we’d heard from the communications market. However since WhatsApp debuted this major update to its messaging app and we have been given more information it has come to light that the new upgrade will enable users to make free phone calls to WhatsApp contacts, wherever they are in the world.
This is fantastic news for anyone who needs to travel abroad for business as it means as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection in your hotel or wherever it is you need to make a call, you can make as many international calls as you like without it costing the earth – in fact it won’t cost you anything! You can ring the office back home as many times as you need to and not need to worry about a bill at the end of it. You won’t ever have to schedule Skype calls or worry about compatibility issues texting to other devices again.
The feature, which requires either a mobile or Wi-Fi internet connection to work, uses your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes and has been available on Android handsets since the start of the year and now it’s been rolled out to everyone.
You can now make phone calls over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi from within WhatsApp, completely bypassing your minute’s allowances and eliminating the need for a 2G network.
Calls are robust and the sound quality is genuinely fantastic – better even than the HD audio you get on an intra-network phone call.
WhatsApp is different in that it pairs you with your contacts using your phone number and thus integrates with your smartphone far more smoothly. Plus, it’s already fast replacing SMS as the world’s de facto text message app and is thus well placed to make similar gains in phone calls.
Another bonus of using WhatsApp to call someone is you can do it over a Wi-Fi network, allowing you to make and receive phone calls in areas devoid of mobile signal.
Airport lounges, coffee shops and most restaurants abroad now offer free internet access to customers so you can make the calls you need, when you’re out in the town.
It is critical to remember that with WhatsApp Call you both need to be on Wi-Fi in order for the call to be free. If either caller or recipient are not using Wi-Fi then both parties of the call pay their own data costs.
Also is still worth remembering to keep data roaming turned off, as you can connect to a Wi-Fi network without enabling that feature.
Whats App Call is now available for Android and iOS. iPhone users will need to download or update the official WhatsApp app from the App Store. Android users can get this feature by downloading the latest Whats App version from the Play Store or from the official Whats App site.
Whats App Call only allows for voice calls, not video chat so you’ll still need to use other apps to make video calls.
We hope the above information is useful to you, if you would like assistance in understanding your best options then please contact us on 0800 505 3350, or alternatively you can download our telephone systems buyers guide as useful reference material or even run a quick quote to obtain a budget cost for a new telephone system in less than 60 seconds by clicking here.
You can also visit our International Mobile products page for more information.