Comparison between VoIP calls on Whatsapp, Hike, Viber on 3G-2G data vs Regular call charges

By July 19th, 2015 AT 3:51 PM

VoIP calls through internet over some OTT players like WhatsApp, Hike, Viber gains momentum as more people use data & own a smartphone nowadays. In India, WhatsApp has the largest user base while Bharti’s Hike is quite popular. On the other hand, Viber was the only one that was providing free calls. A few months back, WhatsApp and Hike introduced the free calls feature using Voice over Internet Protocol.

whatsapp-vs-hike-vs-viber

Recently Telecom carriers hiked call rates & ratecutter’s price and now a local / STD call costs an average 45-65 paise/Min. So, many users are opting for VoIP free calls over regular calls although it’s not completely free as those calls eat data from your balance. So today we’re taking a look at how much VoIP call costs as compared to regular calls.

WhatsApp calling on 3G and 2G network

They have launched voice calling features for Android, Windows and ios and WhatsApp users can call between them.

On 3G Network

Our test call lasted for 6 minutes and we ran our tests on 3G network. (Data speed 400 kbits/ps )

The other person was also on 3G network.

Data monitor produced results that ranged between 750 Kb to 1.3 MB with an average of 1100 Kb for each minute.

On 2G Network

Our test call lasted for 5 minutes and we ran our tests on 2G network (Data speed 40 kbits/ps )

The other person was also on 2G network.

Data monitor produced results that ranged between 600 Kb to 1 MB with an average of 720 Kb for each minute.

Hike voice calling on 3G and 2G network

Bharti’s Hike acquired Zip Phone & launched calling features after integrating Zip Phone’s technology into their app. However calling screen shows a beta tag.

On 3G Network

Our test call lasted for 8 minutes and we ran our tests on 3G network. (Data speed 400 kbits/ps )

The other person was also on 3G network.

Data monitor produced results that hike used 3-6 kb /per second and in average, a minute call on hike eats 300 Kb data only.

On 2G Network

Our test call lasted for 6 minutes and we ran our tests on 2G network (Data speed 40 kbits/ps )

The Other person was also on 2G network.

Hike consumed less data with an average of 260 kb for each minute.

Viber voice calling on 2G and 3G

Viber is a voice centric app which offers free calls & “Viber out ” to call other contacts who don’t have Viber account. Free calls details below.

On 3G Network

Our test call lasted for 7 minutes and we ran our tests on 3G network. (Data speed 400 kbits/ps )

The other person was also on 3G network.

Viber used 7-9 kb /per second and in average, a minute call eats 500 Kb data only.

On 2G Network

Our test call lasted for 6 minutes and we ran our tests on 2G network (Data speed 40 kbits/ps )

The other person was also on 2G network.

Interestingly Viber consumed less data with an average of 350 kb for each minute.

How much does it cost to make call on Whatsapp, Hike and Viber vs Regular call charges

Our test showed that 500 Mb data pack can give 7.6 hours WhatsApp calling, while Viber would give 16 hours calling and hike can offer the best as it consumes less data and can give 20 hours calling.

Currently 500 Mb 3G data costs average Rs.150, so if we calculate it’s definitely not cheap.

OTT playersData Usage/Per MinuteNo of Calls we can make in 500 MB dataPer Minute cost

(500 Mb = 150 Rupees)

WhatsApp1100 Kb7.6 hours33 Paisa
Hike400 Kb20 Hours13 Paisa
Viber500 Kb16 Hours16 Paisa

However, to call someone, the person also needs an active data connection and the same amount of data consumed on his phone during a internet call. On the other hand, normal calls don’t charge for incoming calls, so here is a chart of comparison between internet call charge & Regular call charge:

OTT playersTotal call charge (including recipients’ data charges)Regular call charges
WhatsApp33 Paisa × 2= 66 Paisa45 Paisa to 65 Paisa
Hike13 Paisa × 2 = 26 Paisa45 Paisa to 65 Paisa
Viber16  Paisa × 2= 32 Paisa45 Paisa to 65 Paisa

Our take:

Calls on 3G network were clear but calls on 2G network echoed & were not clear. Hopefully WiFi connection with good speed can also give better calling experience. Current 2G network of different carriers doesn’t provide stable 2G speeds so internet calls can’t be smooth. For international calls, VoIP calling is a great feature only if you are on WiFi. With the present state of 3G and 2G mobile Internet in the country, you simply cannot make an international call while on-the-go. The caller has to have better speeds for better experience.

While WhatsApp gives clearer sound than others, it also consumes data very fast. Hike uses minimum data & works better on 2G networks. As India lacks high speed data, Regular calls cannot be replaced by VoIP calls.

What will you prefer regular voice calls or internet calls do let us know via comments.

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