Tuesday, 21 November 2017

3 Ways to Make Cheap/Free International Calls

Beautiful day everyone! I'm writing this to let you know  that you can actually make international calls for lower cost than what you already have been doing. I learnt about these when I traveled to Europe and needed to keep in touch with friends and family at home. These techniques I would outline in this post is something not known to everyone. Worst still, the telecommunication companies don't normally tell you perhaps because they make more  money from the conventional way we have been making international calls.
Before I outline these three techniques, let me take some time to tell you how it works.
How to Make Cheap/Free International Calls
How It Works
When you pick up your phone and dial a number, your phone makes a connection to the nearest Base Station (normally called mast). The Base station make a connection to a BSC and then to the NSC(called Switch). In the Switch, there is a number of databases including the database containing information about the local subscribers.
When your call gets to the switch, the following steps is taken to complete the call:
  1. the switch examines the destination number
  2. If it is a local number, then it checks your record including your balance
  3. If you have enough balance, the calls is routed to the recipient through the radio network
However if the destination number is international number:
The switch reads the number to know the actual country
The switch queries the database containing the tariffs for international calls and obtains the per unit cost for calls to that destination
It then pulls out your record to see if you have  enough balance to complete the call
If not, you are notified and the call is terminated
If you have, the switch routes your call  through the internet to the destination country
Then the recipient is notified.

Now this is the catch: For international calls, your calls are routed through the internet. The process is more complex, but that is the basic technology. This means that it can actually be cheaper to make international calls than to make local calls. So let me tell you three things you can do

1. Buy a Dedicated Sim for International Calls
Just go to your service provider near you and tell them you want a sim just for international calls, then they will take off from there. This sim is configured to route traffic through the internet to countries abroad, so you can't use it for local calls. If they are helpful, they would provide you with a sim an the cost may actually be just a fraction of what you have been spending. Some service providers may say initially that they don't have, but if you could prove that you know it exists,  they would end of providing.
One thing about this lines is that you cannot actually use them for local calls or for SMS.
This is actually the best option to make low cost international calls but may not be the cheapest. Cost of calls with this option may be as low as half of per unit calls for local calls.

2. Use a Call-out Application
I'm not talking about video calls with Skype or Whatsapp or FaceBook. No no no!! That is  not what we are saying. We are talking of making calls to mobile line that doesn't have internet connection.
One of such Viber Out. This is a feature in Viber that allows you to make international calls at low cost. What you need to do is to install Viber, and then load the Viber Out credit, and that is it. You can try this and let me know if you have any challenges. (You can leave a comment below).
Another of such apps is Rebtel. This app is available for Android, IPhone, IPad and Windows Platform. Just download and install it. The rest is straightforward.
Then we have iCall. Its another powerful app for making cheap international calls. The others are Pinger and Kakaotalk. If you have issue installing any of these apps, let me know in the comment box below.
I personally use Viber Out in Europe to call Nigeria and other countries. I loaded $6.00 and I am still using it till now.
There is also a feature for Skype, but you need to add some Skype Credit to do that.

3. Buy a Roaming Pack
This is specially good for those who may have to travel temporarily and need to keep in touch with their spouses. It works like a Closed User Group(CUG) so it actually allow a limited number of lines, say two or three. So you obtain this pack in one country and it is configured to make calls between just two countries but at a super-cheap rate. You could then send one of the lines to your spouse in the other country and you are good to go. Though not all telecommunication service provider that give this service to its subscriber, but you could check with the one around you to see if they have it.

Final Notes
Sometime, you could not do things in the best way if you are not equipped with the necessary information. Some IT professionals don't really buy the idea of sharing information but for me I feel one good use of knowledge is to share it with others and that is why I have this Tech Blog. Do leave a comment if this have been informative for you.
Thanks again for reading.