When Skype was released in 2003, it turned the telecommunications world upside down. The ability to use your computer to make a call (video or audio) to another computer over the internet was revolutionary. Call anywhere in the world with an internet connection and avoid crazy phone bills – sounds incredible, right?
Since then, the field of “VoIP” – Voice over Internet Protocol – has grown into a multitude of diverse and unique offerings.
WhatsApp and similar apps
One of the most popular apps for international calls over WiFi is WhatsApp. Originally developed as a text messaging app for smartphones, WhatsApp now offers the ability to make local and international WiFi calls using your smartphone to any other smartphone that has WhatsApp installed – all just using the internet, anywhere in the world.
This offers a huge advantage over traditional calling. Have you ever tried to make an international call using your mobile phone plan? If so, you’ll have noticed the astronomical bill you get at the end of the month. For good or bad, cell phone carriers still haven’t caught up with reasonable pricing for international calls (and at the same time app-to-app WiFi calls abroad are absolutely free!)
On top of that, have you ever tried to make a call using your cell phone while in a foreign country? Your monthly bill was probably even higher! Using your cell phone plan abroad is considered “roaming” – which means that your cell phone carrier is able to charge you even more for that call.
Enter WhatsApp and competitors (Skype, etc). By allowing you to make international calls using WiFi, the only thing you are paying for is your monthly cost of WiFi (or not even that if you’re using free public WiFi!). The calls themselves are free and can go anywhere in the world.
Limitations to typical WiFi calling abroad
Sadly, however, not everything is perfect in those apps. The biggest limitation of the services they offer is that they are “app-to-app” calling only. This means that you can only call another smartphone and that smartphone has to have the same app (e.g. WhatsApp installed). Trying to make international calls over WiFi (or even local calls) to a cell phone without the app? Unfortunately you are out of luck. What if the cell phone you are calling is not connected to WiFi or is out of mobile data? Same problem.
The next problem is that these apps cannot make calls to landlines. Landlines don’t use the internet and therefore can’t receive a local or an international call you are making over WiFi. For better or worse, we live in a world still very much dependent on landlines.
Have elderly relatives? They might only own a landline. Want to place an overseas WiFi call to a corporate office or business? Alas, they almost certainly use a landline. Need to call a bank, restaurant, airline, etc? Same story.
Even worse, many large businesses now use Caller ID to identify their clients. For example, banks, credit card companies, and some utility companies use the phone number you are calling from to look up your account. You can’t use WhatsApp to call abroad to a landline over WiFi so that’s out of the question, but you’re also in a tough spot if you call from a payphone or borrow a landline (because it’s not your Caller ID).
Those limitations sound pretty unfair. It’s 2020 and you would think that technology has progressed farther than silly incompatibilities over landlines versus cell phones. Well it has…
Meet Yolla, an international WiFi calling app that lets you make calls to any device – cell phone or landline. Similar to the other apps discussed, Yolla allows you to make local or overseas calls through WiFi or any other form of internet – but with one huge twist: the person you are calling does not have to have the app, a cell phone, or even an internet connection.
Yolla lets you call any cell phone or landline using the internet, just as if it were a regular call. Even better, Yolla preserves your caller ID, allowing your recipient to know who is calling!
Whether you are at home calling abroad over WiFi or traveling and making a call in a foreign country, Yolla gives you the versatility of a cellular / landline call, but the affordability of a regular local call.
Make calls to any phone number worldwide for incredibly low rates (or completely free if you are calling another person’s Yolla app!). What’s more, Yolla’s rates and terms of service are incredibly transparent with no hidden fees, secret expiration dates, or vague rules.
Get 24/7 customer support at your fingertips, HD voice quality, and a referral program that helps you get extra money. Check out Yolla and see what a calling app truly worthy of 2020 looks like!