If your sibling is in US or Canada, you would need to make a call from local telecom companies or use free calling from internet based services in order to have a conversation. One major difference between the two is of cost incurred for the call.
When you compare international calling rates of local telecom companies (Ufone, Mobilink, Warid, Telenor and Zong), most have similar charges listed on their websites. If you average out their rates, you get the following list for these countries with most Pakistani expats:
Canada/USA = Rs. 2/minute (Rs. 120/hour)
Saudi Arabia = Rs. 11/minute (Rs. 660/hour)
UAE = Rs. 13/minute (Rs. 780/hour)
UK = Rs. 2/minute & Rs. 120/hour (land line), Rs. 15/minute & Rs. 900/hour (mobile)
Which means if you call your sibling in the US 20 times, each call lasting 1 hour, it will cost you Rs. 2400 at the very least. If you apply the same for Saudi or UAE, that would translate to over Rs. 10,000 a month on calls alone. Using a free calling service, such as Skype, saves you from this cost and provides great freedom for conversation. To truly benefit from it, all it requires an internet service that fulfills your need.
A 15 minutes Skype video call takes up 30 MB bandwidth, which translates to 120 MB of data for one hour of regular video call. 20 video calls a month, each lasting one hour, would consume 2.4 GB data from the data limit alone. Email, web browsing, social media, data download and watching online videos would mean a service with 10 GB data cap would prove insufficient.
Skype itself recommends a download speed of 300 kbps (achievable on about 2-4 Mbps internet connection) for smooth performance. It cannot be stressed how important is hearing crystal clear voice and see flawless video call, and this is where the money saved from international calls come handy.
Purchasing the right package would make a huge difference to your internet usage. Rather than spending several thousand rupees on international calls, spending a smaller amount on upgrading or acquiring new connection with better speed and higher data caps will let you make smoother calls. The latest 3G and 4G services from telecom companies provide incredible speeds for both prepaid and postpaid users and can be ideal for those constantly on the move. The data bundles are large enough for several hours of calls with free access to social media on most telecoms, and cost only few hundred rupees. If both broadband and 3G/4G are not suitable for any reason, then wireless broadband also offer good speed and higher data caps for smooth calls in most major cities of Pakistan.
This means a 2 MB Wi-Tribe connection with 45 GB data cap and costing Rs. 2099 per month is still a much cheaper option than the expensive international calls through mobile phone. By making a smart choice you can find the right service for your needs.
What internet service do you use? Does it allow flawless video calling? Let us know in the comments.