Valid question, don’t you think? With free online calling and apps messaging having taken the market by storm, one would think that every other technology would turn obsolete. These apps work on every device regardless of the operating system or whether it is a PC, smartphone or tablet. Plus, as the name suggests, calling is free. Even if the person being called is not using the application, cheap international call rates make it convenient for users to talk for long hours. These free online calling apps also offer additional features like social media and instant messaging, stickers, video calling and more. And yet, there is a huge market for cheap calling cards today. Millions of users worldwide still use calling cards in spite of the existence (and dominance) of free online calling apps.
Technology has reshaped every industry. Communications, which is considered the backbone of global connectivity, has not been spared either. In fact, one can argue that communications has seen the maximum progress thanks to technology. From telegrams to conferencing software, we have come a long way. And the same thing holds true for phone calling. From the telephone invented by Graham Bell to free online calling apps which let you call from a computer or a mobile by using the internet, the world has witnessed quite a revolution.
So why are calling cards, which are so 2008, still in circulation? Well, there are a few reasons which make us think that they are not going anywhere at least for the next 20 years.
Firstly, they exist because of the obvious reason of local cards being frighteningly expensive if you want to make international calls. A calling card, which is generally region specific, offers cheap international calls whether you are in your native country or a foreign one. These cheap calling cards are readily available in most places. All you have to do is purchase and start using. The introduction of Virtual Calling Cards (VCCs) makes your life easier. Simply go online, sign up for an account using your credit card and you are all set. However, as we mentioned in a previous post, ensure you choose a reputed one to avoid being fleeced.
The existence of calling cards can also be attributed to technology. Technology, which is a boon for most, is still a bane for some. Many people find Skype and other free online calling apps tedious to use. The elder generation is not as tech savvy. So downloading and installing the apps on their phones or computers troublesome. Plus, these apps depend upon internet connectivity to function. An error in connection can lead to interruption in calls. Not a pleasant experience, is it? Plus the hassle of having to look for an internet enabled zone when you are traveling to use the apps, because internet charges while roaming will cost a fortune.
Thirdly, compatibility of devices does come into play. We did mention earlier that free online calling apps are device agnostic, but among mobile phones, they only work on smartphones. The first world countries have an 80%+ penetration of smartphones. A large part of other countries still own basic phones. Virtual calling cards work on these phones. So if you call India but the person whom you are calling doesn’t own a smartphone, he would prefer using calling cards to get back in touch with you.
Despite the younger population ignoring calling cards as a mode of communication, the latter still has a strong demand in the communications market. For reasons which we have mentioned above, many people still prefer this mode of communication. Which is your choice? Calling cards or free online calling and messaging apps? And why? Do let us know in the comments section.