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# 177682 11-Aug-2015 15:05
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Hey there

I'm after some recommendations for (Android) mobile data-based apps that allow the user to make phone calls on their mobile to any number using their mobile data.

My wife gets through the minutes on her monthly mobile plan easily, but has up to 90% of her data left at the end of the month - I'm trying to find her a cheap solution to fix the former problem by using the latter data.

I realise there are many apps that allow such calls for free when calling another person running the same app, while a smaller subset of these allow one to make calls to any number for a low cost. It's the latter feature (ability to call any number) that I'm looking for.

From a small amount of digging, Viber seems one of the main players here, though I'm yet to find the cost per minute charges (think it said from 1.3c/min, assume that's US). I understand that there's no phone app for Skype to allow this, despite the feature being available on their computer app.

Can anyone recommend other apps that provide this feature? They need to be well-priced (in the per minute cost and with not other ongoing charges) and also reliable. Or can anyone who's used Viber for this purpose post their thoughts?

Many thanks in advance.





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  # 1362894 11-Aug-2015 15:08
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Skype unlimited will do landlines, but charges for cellphone calls...

Probably as close as you will get

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  # 1362896 11-Aug-2015 15:12
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Whatsapp voice calling is pretty good (To whatsapp)

However from my expereince it works best over a strong wifi signal. (IE at home or in the office)

From my experience, most of the time when out and about, on 3g/4g or whatever I have found the latency to be a real pain. The calls sometimes works well, and other times not at all. 
Even when on wifi, then there is a chance that the other party is on mobile data. 

My experience is pretty similar with Viber and Skype. But out of all of them I have found whatsapp voice to be the best. 
I suspect the latency issues are going to be the drawback on whatever app you using.

Nothing beats a standard GSM call.

Edit: what about a 2talk SIP number? I have used this before and had it setup on my phone for a while. But again, the latency is a pain. If she is going to be using it for making calls then maybe she can make sure that she has good 4G coverage before initiating the call. 

 
 
 
 


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  # 1362902 11-Aug-2015 15:17
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Are there any options to target high usage numbers.  Not entirely what you're after, but it may be cheaper to 'best mate' etc frequently called numbers.

I use WhatsApp a lot, but not for calls.  You can send voice clips easily and that's essentially replaced txt messaging for me to most of my contacts.

Skype does a voice only option to other data enabled Skype devices, as does Facetime on Apple etc.

Skype will make calls to other real phones, be that mobile or landline, but you'll pay for that privilege, at which time it may be cheaper to up your cell phone plan to include more call minutes instead, given that will have much better quality.

Sorry, haven't helped really, but just wanted to step back a bit and see if there are any insights to be gained by the numbers you are calling, and are they able to use data comms (facetime/whatspp/Skype etc) instead themselves etc.

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  # 1362904 11-Aug-2015 15:18
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This is such a pain of an issue, some will want to use Viber, others want to use Whattsapp, Facebook, Skype whatever. You end up with 10 different things installed, all just so you can contact one person on each! iMessage/Facetime is the answer for the iPhone world IMO, if they would just open that up to Android....

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  # 1362937 11-Aug-2015 15:43
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None work all that well over mobile data.  I use viber quite often but call quality over mobile as opposed to wifi is very patchy.  Ive had ok success from time to time with my 2talk setup as well but really they run a whole lot better over wifi than data.. 

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  # 1362945 11-Aug-2015 15:53
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hangout?




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




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  # 1362947 11-Aug-2015 15:56
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Thanks for all the prompt replies.

The plan she's on is Spark's $19 music plan - we were already Spotify users, so it made sense to go with this, but it comes with a measly (non-rollover) 50 minutes. The $29 prepaid plan also includes Spotify, but that means paying an additional $10 for the 100 additional minutes (given she doesn't use the current 500MB data or 500 texts as it is). To get the 'best mates' or similar deals she'd have to switch telco, and we'd rather avoid that if possible (though for that same $10 cost she could move to a $16 Skinny plan plus we go back to paying for Spotify directly). But I really don't think it's worth throwing $120 a year at fixing this if there are cheaper and yet acceptable options.

She's happy to pay per minute for the ability to make calls to any number, hence why we're happy to look at ones like Viber where there's a charge - the key thing is it needs to be able to ring any phone, not just those within the same ecosystem.

Good to have the warning re latency, as that could be quite annoying, but I guess trying it out is the only way to know for sure. And where we live (PN), there's no 4G yet on the Spark network... as to when it's coming Spark have previously not said!

Whatsapp, as far as I can tell, doesn't yet allow calls to any number, only to those using their app, so while it may be the best of the bunch in terms of quality sadly it's not going to provide the flexibility I'm looking for.

The (edit - three) main options I've find thus far are:

1. Skype (land=1.7c/min + 3.6c connection charge / mobile=7.4c/min + 6.6c connection charge)
2. Viber Out (land=1.9c/min / mobile= 8.9c min - seems to have no separate connection charge)
3. Google Hangouts (land=2c/min / mobile= 10c min - seems to have no separate connection charge)

Are there any other options out there?

Thanks
Jonathan

 
 
 
 


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  # 1363087 11-Aug-2015 18:46
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I use 2talk.co.nz You can use their app, or any 3rd party VoIP/sip app. I can recommend zoiper and adore phone. I go on the casual rates on 2talk which gives around 15 mins free to land lines a month from memory and 3.5¢ thereafter, mobile around 22¢.

Watch the rates you are quoting above for viber etc., they could be USD which is no where near parity any more.

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  # 1363662 12-Aug-2015 13:47
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I use 2degrees and one of the great features is sharing my carry over data with other people in my family.

Its a pity 2degrees does not allow the same thing for voice calls. I have accumulated about 1000 carry over minutes. It would be really nice if I could share them. 

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  # 1363663 12-Aug-2015 13:49
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  # 1363672 12-Aug-2015 14:03
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freitasm: If you want "free calls" then both must be using Skype, Hangout or Viber. If you want "calls" then Skype will do it but it's not free - you might as well just use your minutes.


That was my angle also, especially where WAF is involved wink

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  # 1363673 12-Aug-2015 14:04
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jonathan18: 

Good to have the warning re latency, as that could be quite annoying, but I guess trying it out is the only way to know for sure. And where we live (PN), there's no 4G yet on the Spark network... as to when it's coming Spark have previously not said!



I don't think its really an issue of 3g/4g etc ... Its more a case of signal strength, network load, and on how the telco's configure QOS etc..
Voice calls will probably always get priority over data. And I think any telco to configure their network otherwise would be seriously shooting themselves in the foot. 

There is no reason as to why mobile networks can't run VOIP and voice services over data beautifully. 
It would be really interesting to try some of these services over an encrypted link, just to make sure there is no traffic shaping going on somewhere. My gut tells me that voice services over data are purposely shaped (lower priority). Could be wrong! 



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  # 1364671 12-Aug-2015 14:29
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I would say pay an extra $10/mth and step her up a plan otherwise it will end in pain or bloodshed :P

Another way to go and assuming you have a landline would be to look at going VOIP and setting mobile up to make/receive "landline" calls over 3G?



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  # 1364892 12-Aug-2015 19:15
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Jaxson:
freitasm: If you want "free calls" then both must be using Skype, Hangout or Viber. If you want "calls" then Skype will do it but it's not free - you might as well just use your minutes.


That was my angle also, especially where WAF is involved wink


The point is there are no minutes to use... That's why I'm looking for an alternative just to tide her over for a few days until her month is over.

All of Skype, Viber and Hangouts will allow calls to any number at a cost (as detailed above). I purchased some minutes from Viber but it wasn't loaded onto the account so will have to try to sort that out; not the best start. Quality of calling on Viber to Viber was mixed, I must say...



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  # 1364895 12-Aug-2015 19:19
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Wade: I would say pay an extra $10/mth and step her up a plan otherwise it will end in pain or bloodshed :P

Another way to go and assuming you have a landline would be to look at going VOIP and setting mobile up to make/receive "landline" calls over 3G?


Interesting idea. How does one go about making calls on one's mobile using a VOIP home line? Is this possible with the standard Snap/2degrees fibre VOIP like we currently have?

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