Globalization is at a break neck speed right now. Businesses are going multinational, Students are going abroad for higher studies and many stay there for further jobs.
In such a scenario international calls have increased a lot compared to past. The call rates have fallen but still can be a bit heavy on the pocket. In such a scenario many services have turned to internet to reduce the call rates.
With the rise of smart phones and coming of apps, many services have started out apps which enable the user to use his cell to use for the calling.
Plingm is such a service that aims to provide cheap internet calls to its users. This service works via internet protocol and a person can call anywhere in over 40 countries on any number. There are two mechanisms to it.
1. Plingm to Plingm
This is free of cost and is really useful if the other person also has Plingm installed. This is basically VoIP and lets you talk to other people provided both have good internet connection (read WiFi or 3G) and Plingm installed. Like messaging service Whatsapp all you need is your phone number to register.
2. Plingm to other users
Not everyone is on Plingm (yet!!) and the company knows it. Thus a person can call another person on the phone as well at cheap rates. These rates are different for different countries and are definitely cheaper than normal call rates.
The quality of service is good over 3G and registering is quite easy. Just put in your number and a message will be received with a code that needs to be input and you are done. The greatest advantage of using this service is the usability.
On opening the app shows the dialer and all your contacts are neatly laid in a tab adjacent. Recent calls and favourite contacts can also be visited directly from the main window.
On registering, you get 5 minutes free which can be used to call anywhere.
After that, you can use Plingm out (in the menu or on top-right of main window) to buy more minutes. These minutes are packaged according to cost. Different countries have different call rates and what you essentially buy is minutes according to cost.
So, if you have bought a package of 100 minutes for $3.99 then you can call all countries that have that rate. This is very good as it gives the advantage to talk to multiple people if they are in the right zones. (For example the above rate includes Canada, India, China, US and Singapore, thus including a lot of Indian population). The purchasing is in-app thus one can use Google Play or iTunes store to buy the minutes (convenient and safe).
Also, a user get 5 minutes everytime he invites someone (via invite by SMS function) and the other person joins. This is good though I feel that they should increase the minutes awarded.
For calling outside India this is a nice app. But India is a country with cheap calling rates and the price for India that I listed above is far too costly than what the service providers are giving. Thus I would suggest using it only if you have someone abroad with whom you want to talk frequently or if the other person is using Plingm as well. Inside India the current call rates are cheaper and thus not exactly beneficial to use.
For Navratri though, they have given an offer of free calling for Indians. Thus the next 7 days can be considered as a trail run when you can use it and see if it is elementary in use and need for you.