Calling Elvis!

Published Date
01 - Jul - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Jul - 2005
Calling Elvis!
I do have a few relatives and friends living abroad and last month, a couple of them celebrated their birthday last month. Over the years, I have been wishing them over e-mail, but this year, I thought why not call them using VoIP? The dilemma? Is VoIP better than the good old phone?

Good old telephone...
Options galore! Should I use the landline or my cell phone? I have a post-paid cell phone and need to subscribe to international calling. Since my landline doesn't have ISD (International Subscriber Dialling), I will have to either buy a calling card or go to the corner shop to make the call. I choose the calling card worth Rs 100; gives me more control!
Time taken 15 min

Once I have purchased the calling card, all I need to do is punch in the code behind the card and dial the destination number. Easy as pie.
Time taken 10 minutes

The voice quality is all right, but the time lag is irritating. No choice, though... the calling card lasts me for about 8 minutes; just about enough to have a decent conversation.
Time taken 10 minutes

I had to go to the corner store and buy a calling card and eventually, it lasted me only eight minutes. Voice quality and lag were also a let down. Not too impressed, but this was simpler.

Total Time Taken :  35 minutes
Total Cost : Rs 100

...And this is what the computer has done to it

At home, I use my CDMA cell phone to connect to the Internet. The connection for using VoIP needs to be stable, but this will have to do for now. First, install a P2P software like Skype that helps you connect to another computer to talk. You will find it on the Digit DVD; installation takes around 15 minutes.
Time taken 15 min

Once installed, I need to configure it and ensure that the person I wish to call has the same software (it's a P2P, remember?). Thankfully, my cousin has it and I make the connection.
Time taken 10 minutes

My cousin has been expecting my 'call' and is on standby when I connect. We can talk for as long as we want and the connection is not too bad either. There is a slight lag though... and I would have done better with one of the new PC phone devices. We have a good 15 minute conversation.
Time taken 15 minutes

It was a good thing that I had forewarned my cousin of my call. With cost not being an issue, we could talk for as long as we wished. Voice quality was only marginally better, though.

Total Time Taken : 40 minutes
Total Cost : Rs 0

And The Winner Is...
Moneywise, the tech way is better. However, in terms of speed, the old way is better. But the tech way wins only because of the sheer convenience it offers. With this form of communication constantly improving, I guess I would stick to this. I'm paying for the Internet connection anyway… why pay again for making calls if I can combine the two?

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