Why do we still pay long distance for calls?

The telephone when it came out was a great technology. No longer did we need to write letters and send them and wait for the reply after a couple of weeks. Now we could have communication in real time and connect almost instantly. All you needed to do was pick up the transmitter and call your friend and wait for them to pick up the receiver. It was an awesome technology. However it did come at a cost and in its early days was a very expensive piece of technology. Few people had it so most people still used letters for distant friends.

Your voice was transmitted through cables analogly to the receiver. The further away the person was the more expensive the call was. So long distance calls were very expensive in the early days till the earlier 80s, when analog communication improved and also with the rise of fibre optics and digital communication, companies could connect places much cheaper and on a great scale. Prices of phone calls dropped and long distance and oversee calls become much cheaper.

Today with most calls being transmitted digitally, phone calls are quite cheap to do and long distance calls too. However other technologies have arisen to help people to communicate as well. Mobile networks, the internet and it’s whole host of communication tools like e-mails, im clients, voip networks etc. So why do we still pay for long distance calls at a premium ? Why hasn’t the new age of communication technology taken over long distance calls.

The cell phones we have today mostly come with internet connection possibility so to me it should be more advantageous to me to use the internet to call my friends using video call apps or chat with them over facebook or something.

Despite the host of new options to call people today, some things haven’t changed with phone calls. Calls are not necessarily becoming cheaper. It still cost more to call long distance and most importantly the technology is not improving. This is something that should have decreased in price with improvement in technology and greater need for real time communication. However that hasn’t occurred and doesn’t seem likely.

However it may just be the case that phone calls are never to become close to free but just supplanted by another technology like many others before it. The telegraph never became cheap to do and the telephone nevertheless still took over business of telegraphs.

Phone calls through traditional methods seem destined to be taking over by alternatives means like im chatting in real time, voip calls, video chats etc. However probably the main thing blocking these alternatives technology from taking over the business of traditional phone calls is the availability of internet everywhere even on the road and the fact that the main means of having internet on the road is mostly controlled by major phone companies which now looks like a risk they don’t want to take by leaving their phone business vulnerable.
In any case it shouldn’t be long when internet becomes available on a greater scale on the road and at home with much more bandwidth where the direct cost of paying for a phone call or long distance call goes away for the alternatives means using the internet.

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The best apps for video calls and chats on desktop and web


This is the most comprehensive list of the best video chat apps. These are apps for making video calls with your friends or family.

1. Skype
The most popular of them all and probably the first video chat app that most of you guys used. Skype has great video quality and and awesome sound so your conversations are great. Their mobile app is awesome as well. with skype you can call phones, start group calls (piad feature) and play games with your friendsIt’s a pity they are still a desktop app and not a web app.

2. Oovoo
A website that launched in 2007 and is getting more and more popular these days especially with teens. It does video calls and free group chats contrary to skype. It’s available on desktop, mobile and web.

3. Google+ hangouts
One of the most popular features of google+, google hangouts are group/personal video calls google+ users can start on the fly. It has great quality and awesome features, like shared views, online collaboration tools. games etc. Google+ is great but it’s a pity that it can only be used by google+ users.

4. Vox.io
New slick video chat website from Slovenia. Vox.io allows you to make cheap calls to phone numbers around the globe as well as video call your vox.io contacts. You can also send text messages to people and they have a great im client. They are available on web and on ios.

5. AV by Aol
The only app on this list you can use without registering, it’s an amazing app. It’s web based so you don’t need to download anything except if you’re browser doesn’t have flash and it’s super easy to use. You go to the website, start a call, get a link and send the link to the person you want to call. They then join the call and you guys can chat. It’s really that simple to use. Also AV chats can host up to 4 people so that’s pretty awesome.

6. Bistri
A newcomer as well. They allow you to video chat with your contacts as well as send files between each other easily. They also give you a link that you can give to friends so that they can send you files and call you. They are available on the web and on ios.

7. Faceflow
An up and coming video chat website. Faceflow is web based and lets you call any of your friends that may not be on faceflow using a call link the give you when you log in. The person you are calling doesn’t need to be a user to answer the call. Also the call quality is quite good. Faceflow also has chatrooms to interact with other faceflow users as well as a feature to meet new people like chatroulette.

8. Runfaces
A pretty slick website, runfaces is more of a video chat social network. The website is centered around sharing your experiences with video and also connecting with friends. Like a twitter for video, it also allows you to add friends that you can video call at anytime.

9. Video Chat Rounds
Probably the best facebook based video chat app, this is an app that is only on facebook. It’s great for video calling with your facebook friends as well as meeting new people. They are also very interactive and have a vibrant community.

10. Vivrer
A new web app, Vivrer is a video chat website that wants to provide an alternative to phone number calling. When you register you create your personal call address which is a permanent link that anyone can call you from like a phone number. Also anyone can call you even if they aren’t a user. Vivrer also allows you to call anyone from the website easily user or not, start group chats on the fly as well as chat and call with your facebook friends. It’s a pretty slick new comer.

So there you have it. A list to satisfy your needs for video chatting. Go use them then.

7 uses of video conferencing

Video conferencing is becoming a bigger part of people’s lives these days. People use video conferencing for meetings, to call their significant ones or to hangout with their friends online. Since there are some people who still may want to figure out what is going on with this video chatting craze we decided to make a list of the best uses for video conferencing. Here we go.

1. Talk with friends and family:

Probably the first main use of video conferencing websites when they came out. Video calling apps are a great tool to talk with your friends and family. People loving staying in contact with their friends, family or significant other and what is a better tool to allow you feel the warmth of your close ones than video conferencing even if you’re 5000 miles away. Using apps you can call them, talk with them and see them as if you guys were all hanging out together. Also long distance relationships have become much easier to bear and maintain because of video conferencing.

2. Interact with a community

Ever joined a forum and had a great conversation with a member and wanted to get to know them more, right then. Or have you ever felt like hanging out with a community you followed. Well luckily for us video chatting has since made that much easier, with apps like google+ hangouts and tiny chat you could just hangout with a community you like online for hours as if you guys were together.

3. For meetings

Remember the movie Up in the Air where George Clooney travelled from city to city just to fire people. I have to admit, I like the travelling but today companies don’t need to pay these costs when through video conferencing you can get meetings done with people from anywhere in the globe. Be it shareholders, advisors, the board, colleagues etc all you need to do is pop a camera and connect with the rest of the meeting and talk. That much easier and that much more convenient.

4. Online learning
A lot of things have been disrupted by the internet and while the internet has been a good companion for school, online schools could soon chip away at physical schools. People can now stay at home and take classes online and join video conferences of their classroom to be able to have a discussion. As simple as you can learn with others online through video chatting, you can also teach a bunch of people through video chats.

5. Host an event
Wanted to watch a show of your favorite singer performing in town? Well before you used to have to buy concert tickets to the show and drive there to watch it. That still happens today but today they are other options to watch shows like online through video streams. You can watch games, movies, shows etc with your friends online and reap the same pleasure from being behind your computer as if you were at the game.

6. Interact with following
Video conferencing makes it much easier for celebrities to communicate with their fans. Using ustream, livestream and google+ hangouts, celebrities have hanged out with their fans on numerous occasions. Whether it’s to show their fans around their house or to communicate to their fans about important updates, video has made that easily possible. You too can use it to host an event. You could be in a band and broadcast a concert from your garage to a stream of millions of fans. Maybe that would be the way concerts are held in the future.

7.Saves money on travel
Hey, how is this not an important use of video conferencing. Now that you have apps like skype, viber, oovoo etc, you don’t need to actually go to your parents’ place every other weekend. You could just pop on skype and talk to them for hours like you guys were at home together. That saves money on travelling. Same goes with meetings. Why buy plane tickets to fly to the meeting why you could catch it up on your laptop and participate on it from your laptop.

So there guys, there you have it. 7 reasons to use video conferencing.