Talking tech since 2003

The advancement of phone technology has made it extremely easy to constantly connect to the world around us. We can talk, text, and reach our friends with the blink of a wifi password.

Unfortunately the one thing that hasn’t changed is how we make phone calls. Going abroad and having to do something as simple as make a dinner reservation, becomes difficult and costly. International calling rates are still high, and although we can now make in-app phone calls between users (like on WhatsApp), there is still the friction that exists when needing to call landlines from abroad. Until now.

Viber, has done a good job in understanding the need between in-app calling and out-app calling, which is why it has introduced Viber Out to over 900 million users worldwide. Users are able to call any number, whether it’s a landline or cellphone, all around the world, at a lower cost rate than your average phone service provider, which solves issues with roaming fees or having to transfer to a local SIM while traveling. Viber Out users no longer have to be in fear of massive international calling rates, and are able to reach anyone, at anytime, from anywhere. With the positive user feedback surrounding out of app calling, many competitors in the app-messaging space will probably be soon to follow.

The service first emerged in the Philippines, following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. In an effort to assist in the crisis, Viber offered Viber Out to local residents so that they could quickly get in touch with family, friends, and needed emergency services. Now, it’s offered world-wide as an affordable calling alternative to cell-phone carriers.

While Viber is not the only player in the crowded messaging app space, WhatsApp, has yet to offer out of app calling, and Skype (its closest competitor) offers a similar service, where their out of app calls are priced based on location. Viber Out has appealed to the market by understanding demand and offering an affordable cost compared to its competitors.

While it is very affordable, pricing for Viber Out pricing does change based on the location you want to call. As shown above, calling the UK from the US can be as little as $1.99/month (which equates to 100 minutes of talk time). You can also purchase minutes with a pay as you go plan starting at $4.99 which is equivalent to approximately 260 minutes of talk time. That being said, you wanted to call India from the US, the price points are slightly different. You can still use the $4.99 pay as you go plan if you want but it will only equate to about 215 minutes in talk time or pay $7.99/month for 1,000 minutes of talk time. You can even call Russia, so if you’re Donald Trump or some other Trump family member, Viber Out works for you too. Subscription pricing to call Russia from the US runs for $13.99/month for 300 minutes–though I’m not sure if that’s enough time for The Donald and Putin they may need a bigger plan.

Anyway, it’s exciting to see where the world of mobile technology is headed, especially when it comes to communication. Who would have thought 35 years ago, with the invention of the first cell phone, that we would have the power to hold a small device and communicate so instantaneously with anyone around the world. If hardware technology is increasingly progressing, our system applications should as well. It’s important to welcome the continuous advancements in technologies, and keep on-trend and up to date with what’s to come. Viber Out is definitely something I’ll be using the next time I take a trip abroad as I’ve been burned in the past by high-priced international plans from my carrier. 

Lastly, I also recently found this Freedom Mobile review which highlights some nice mobile offerings for Canadians and works with all the latest smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone 8. Based on the review, it seems Freedom Mobile’s service works well in cities (providing decent coverage and 4G / LTE speeds), making it also worth taking a look at.

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