Sunday, September 16, 2012

Voip cost comparison for international calls (Skype & WiCall)

First post for quite a long time as I was in Brazil for quite a while.

Indeed, while I was there I met a guy from Singapore who told me that, rather than Skype, he used a voip app called WiCall to make his international calls and was making huge savings.

Well, I had to look into this as I make an awful lot of calls from Ireland to Brazil and vice versa. I already had Skype on my iPad so I installed the WiCall app as well. No problems with the install and it works just fine. So far, so good. But what about the cost of calls?

The cost of calls on Skype is available from this page The WiCall rates can be obtained within the app under the More >> Rates (USD) tabs. Using these I put together the table below showing the cost of calls lasting 5, 15 or 60 minutes, to either fixed or cellular phones to some of the countries I commonly place calls to. Note that all calls, for the purposes of this table are from Ireland (Republic).

However, in formulating the table, there are further costs associated with Skype that need to be included.
First, there a connection charge which WiCall doesn't have. Skype's connection fees can be found in this page.
Secondly, Skype adds a 15% tax on all credit purchases which again doesn't apply to WiCall purchases. So to get US$10 worth of calls, I actually pay US$11.50 which effectively is a 15% surcharge.

All of these additional charges are included in the table below. The costs in the table are all in US¢/minute. The costs are color-coded with the cheaper of the two options showing in green while the more expensive is in red.

From this very limited study, it can be seen that there's a lot more green on the WiCall side which means I'm going to start using it when appropriate.

Edit (27/10/2012):
Actually, there are quite a large number of easily accessible VoIP clients ready to supply you with cheap, and sometimes even free, international calls.
You can find most of them here.
So, now I use 12VoIP to get free landline calls from Ireland to Brazil.
And for calls to cell phones, I use VoIPJumper where calls cost an amazingly low US$0.014/minute plus a connection charge of US$0.039.
I initially suspected that the quality of the call was going to be a lot worse than Skype's but, no, it's more or less the same and the call cost is very definitely as low as is claimed.
Note however, that to purchase US$10 worth of calls, you actually pay something like US$12.36 due to an additional "administration" fee whatever that means.
Nevertheless, it's still amazingly good value and more than ten times cheaper than Skype.

Based on this experience, it's certainly worth shopping around here irrespective of which country you want to call.



  1. This was such a helpful post Paul! I have never had to make international calls before but I am relocating for a job so I have been trying to read whatever I can on the subject. This was beyond helpful and it was very informative,thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. I live in Australia but most of my relatives lives in other countries so i wanted to know how to make cheap international calls from London to reduce my call rates.

    1. Yes, I hadn't come across Simple Call ( but it certainly looks very interesting.
      I'll certainly try it out.