Technology moves at increasing speed these days and as it does so old monopolies die and new options and alternatives take their place. Take phone calls for instance. Not that long ago the only way to make a phone call would be to have a landline. Thus, only a handful of companies across the world had complete control of the market. However, all this is changing and now it is possible to make discount phone calls with ease, not just from home via your computer, but also on your smart phone.
The best known of these providers is probably Skype. Skype offers a range of affordable options ranging from free – if you call to another Skype account – to a chargeable top-up service that allows you to make calls direct to landlines and mobiles. Fortunately, it is possible to install Skype as an app on your smart phone which means that you’ll be able to chat to your friends, family and colleagues anywhere for free. Skype also comes with video calling too, though if you’re using your smart phone you might find that the data transfer required is too heavy for your bandwidth thus compromising the quality considerably.
Of course other alternatives are available. Viber, which was launched in direct competition to Skype, is another popular app that allows you to make discount calls. It is similar to Skype in that it not only permits calls but also let’s you send pictures, text and video.
Google have launched their own service, Google Voice, which claims to ‘enhance your phone’. This innovative software builds on the features found on programs such as Skype and Viber. It includes the ability to read a transcript of voicemail messages that have been left for you. Unfortunately, whilst Skype will allow calls to landlines anywhere in the world, Google’s landline service is still restricted to the United States, although they promise that the service will be opened out to the rest of the world in due course.
The most astonishing thing about all these options is that international phone calls, which remain expensive to make by regular land line and mobile service providers, are free via use of these new programs. They offer similar functionality though you might want to consider downloading all of them to your smart phone. This will enable you not only to make direct comparisons, but if one fails due to a technical issue (still a problem in this burgeoning field) then you’ll have a back-up to rely on.