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Old 4th August 2008, 07:33   #1
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Default Calling back India - the Cheap way

Hi there guys.
I知 sure many of us have visited overseas. Many work/live/holiday overseas.
I知 soon going to be joining the brigade i.e. Shifting over to Canada.

How do you guys call back to your family/mates in India? What are the generally accepted cheapest ways to do so? (whether landline or cell phone)

(I've seen friends use reliance, Airtel Call home calling cards. My relatives use an international calling back from their provider in denominations of 800minutes and all)
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Old 4th August 2008, 08:33   #2
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if you have access to landline, you can opt for the reliance/airtel option. otherwise cellphone minutes are limited, beyond which you will pay heavy charges.

if you hav faste internet connection, you can opt for voip, landing in a regular phone in india (yahoo, skype, voipraider).

i use both these options as convenient.
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Old 4th August 2008, 09:04   #3
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Honestly, if you have a computer with Internet at home in India and (obviously) the same in Canada, you don't need to call home.
Just use Skype to Skype.

It's free, it's crystal clear and it works perfectly. Trust me, I would know.
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Old 4th August 2008, 09:08   #4
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Reliance is cheapest IMHO.

Stay away from cards that promise X minutes for $5 or so. They will usually have hidden charges and idiotic way of counting minutes.

If broadband is available at home, then buying unlimited vonage/ skype plans and setting them up in India is the cheapest way to go.

vonage and other SIP services works out easier since a PC+Headphone is not required. You can plug existing cordless/other phones into SIP box.
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Old 4th August 2008, 09:13   #5
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Get a VoIP in the US / Canada, give the number and config details to your family in India. After that you will be calling local to reach them. Your people in India may need additional hardware though, in form of a VoIP handset, etc (lots of choices and ways of config'ing available!)
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Old 4th August 2008, 09:53   #6
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Thank You guys.
I'm already considering Skype or Gizmo for my contacts that have broadband access.
Can you guys please elaborate more on the "Local calling number", "VoIP handset" and other related things? I don't have much clue as regards those. Who all offer these services here?

Another thing is calling back India to Mom's parents (i.e. Grandparents). My Mom is not too much computer savvy, but I guess she will manage the Skype/Gizmo/Alternative thing somehow. Trouble is that Grandparents don't know anything about computers at all. So I'm guessing either a VoIP handset at their place or the regular Calling card thingie will do best?

What is the best way to call Cell phones in India? Calling card again?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Just use Skype to Skype.
It's free, it's crystal clear and it works perfectly. Trust me, I would know.
More details please then, Sam because I've heard users facing issues of call drops, clarity lost in compression and all.
Are these issues related to bandwidth? In Canada or any other country in the west, I'm guessing bandwidth isn't the issue. But how much minimum do we need here to make a successful call. (A typical 256 connection gives around 20-25kb download speed, as far as I've seen)
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Old 4th August 2008, 12:14   #7
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My sisters use airtel options, and it cheaper to call a airtel number India.
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Old 4th August 2008, 12:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarySkulls View Post
More details please then, Sam because I've heard users facing issues of call drops, clarity lost in compression and all.
Are these issues related to bandwidth? In Canada or any other country in the west, I'm guessing bandwidth isn't the issue. But how much minimum do we need here to make a successful call. (A typical 256 connection gives around 20-25kb download speed, as far as I've seen)
My sis is in US and every weekend we Video Chat with her through MSN. My home connection is 256kbps BSNL and there has never been any problem unless there is some problem with BSNL. Even on days when BSNL speed is not upto the mark its very easy to voice chat, and trust me when i say i used to have Sify broadband 64kbps and VOIP used to work fine on that too.
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Old 4th August 2008, 12:30   #9
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If someone is a little computer savy Google talk is the best.
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Old 4th August 2008, 12:30   #10
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I am using Skype in Japan for calling on phone. cost around .069Euro per minute. I use VOIP Phone from Buffalo, bought it for 2800Yen. very clear voice quality.

Laptop to Laptop is anyway free and very good quality voice and ok quality video.

My little daughter knows that I am in laptop :-)
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarySkulls View Post
More details please then, Sam because I've heard users facing issues of call drops, clarity lost in compression and all.
Are these issues related to bandwidth? In Canada or any other country in the west, I'm guessing bandwidth isn't the issue. But how much minimum do we need here to make a successful call. (A typical 256 connection gives around 20-25kb download speed, as far as I've seen)
Jenny and I communicate every day on skype. If we are both in front of a computer, then it is skype to skype. We both use webcams and are able to both see and speak to each other very clearly.
It is clear (both picture and sound) and we don't really have call drops.
Sometimes the call gets disconnected, but that's not really much of a problem.

In case any of us are away from the computer, we use skype to call either landline or mobile. It is cheaper to call a landline, you end up paying something like 2 eurocents a minute.
Mobile are a bit pricier though.

I've never tried any other calling program, always used skype and am very satisfied with it.
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:24   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Jenny and I communicate every day on skype. If we are both in front of a computer, then it is skype to skype. We both use webcams and are able to both see and speak to each other very clearly.
It is clear (both picture and sound) and we don't really have call drops.
Sometimes the call gets disconnected, but that's not really much of a problem.

In case any of us are away from the computer, we use skype to call either landline or mobile. It is cheaper to call a landline, you end up paying something like 2 eurocents a minute.
Mobile are a bit pricier though.

I've never tried any other calling program, always used skype and am very satisfied with it.
SAM there is a FREECALL program which i equivalent to Skype, the advantage on this program is you get 60days of Freecall to some the places in World(UK, US) totally free for 60days and the quality is also good.

Try out the software and same can be downloaded and registered on this site Call Free | Free Calls!.

Enjoy Freecalling and save money
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:34   #13
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I didn't spend a single $ on long distance during my 2 year MBA in the States. MSN Meeting = Video conferencing. Beats a shaky phone connection by a mile. Quality was crystal clear.
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:36   #14
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Skye is the best option that I have come across for making calls from US to India, while there. Should be the same from Canada also.

While in ME, I have had a tool called HotFone. Do not know if it still works (the website is down!). But they have had the cheapest rates! I was using it for 6 months from ME before I moved back to India.
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Old 4th August 2008, 15:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
like 2 eurocents a minute.
see the rates here International long distance calls at cheap rates
From japan to India is just around .07 Euro, so around 3.5 Rs per minute

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I didn't spend a single $ on long distance during my 2 year MBA in the States. MSN Meeting = Video conferencing. Beats a shaky phone connection by a mile. Quality was crystal clear.
But how about calling to Mobile or Landline, you need to pay for that, unless you can hijack somebodies VOIP line .
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