RCom plans to promote app-to-app calling

A man opens the shutter of a shop painted with an advertisement of Reliance Communications in Mumbai
Reliance Communications (RCom) on Wednesday announced the introduction of "Next-Gen app-to-app calling in the country and worldwide". The offer launched by the company has been billed as 'Calling Ka Naya Tareeka' and in this introductory offer it is offering 300 minutes of app-to-app calling for Rs 39. 

The company said that the app-to-app calling experience, which is not a novelty for Indian consumers, will be better on its LTE network in the 850 MHz band, and therefore, will provide unparalleled experience. 

The new product is nothing but a novel way to sell data packs and popularise the app-to-app calling method. RCom noticed that a lot of customers were increasingly making voice and video calls through the apps and which is why it came out with an offer that would give them 200 MB of data with, which a consumer could use to make voice calls of 300 minutes. 

Subscribers will get 200 MB of data, which they can use to browse the internet, make voice and video calls through apps like WhatsApp, Skype, JioChat or Facebook Messenger. The company has called this an introductory offer. On a comparative basis, RCom is offering 1 GB of data at Rs 195, while other operators are pricing it anywhere between Rs 200-250 per 1 GB. 

Commenting on the new service, Gurdeep Singh, chief executive officer, consumer business, Reliance Communications, said, “We are excited to redefine voice calling in India. For Rs 39, customers can talk for 300 minutes anywhere in India and worldwide—that makes it very affordable too for mass adoption.”

In India, over the top (OTT) applications like Whatsapp, Skype, Viber and Facebook Messenger are not regulated by regulatory authorities and nor can calls made on these apps be monitored, measured or billed by telecom service providers. 

In fact, calls made on these apps are charged at both ends -- both receiver and caller have to pay data charges for the call. Currently, voice calls made on the mobile phone are free for the recipient, but data calls consume equal amount of data at both ends and the person receiving the call also needs to have equally reliable data quality to complete the call. A data call is typically charged on the basis of data consumed in megabytes and not measured in paisa per minute as is the case with a regular mobile call made on circuit switched fall back route.

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