Free Calls

To fellow ‘yager lejoche’ out there, here to share the latest on phone and text communication.

Do you still buy phonecards or use for fee online or phone based applications or some other system that charges money to place long distance calls? You should stop – so long as you and your beloved ones, regardless of where they are on the globe, have smartphones.

It is an application you can install on your phone. It is called Viber. You can get it from Appstore for iPhone users and its equivalent – I think it is MarketPlace – if you own a droid phone.

The nice thing about it is all calls made and received from and to phones that have the viber application is totally free. There may be some minimal local charges for people in Ethiopia, for instance, but here in the States, nothing. It can not get better than that.

The call quality is mostly dependent on the network quality the phones are on. Often, it requires multiple tries, usually for overseas calls, for e.g. to Ethiopia to get a clear line. This only affects voice, however; Texting mostly works just fine.

What is the catch, you ask? They download all your contacts in your phone contact list. Part of the configuration after installing the application is asking you access to your contacts. That is a critical path; if you don’t give it access, it won’t work. God knows what they do with that information, though they have ‘privacy policy’ document, which is a legal mambo jumbo, in my opion, probably seem to assure in part, to take away few paragraphs later. Nonetheless, that, for now, seems to be the ticket for free calls when it comes to Viber. If that is unpalatable, try skype.

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