How do we stay in touch with our international family or relations when you live in the beautiful continent of Africa? Most citizens of African have family based in other parts of the world. Whether you’re a Nigerian, Ghanaian, South African or from another part of this beautiful continent, being able to get in contact without paying too much is something we all desire.
In this article, we provide you with some cheap tips on how to stay in touch with family, wherever you are!
If you have a reasonable internet connection, then using Skype to call other friends, family or business relations is an option to use. Its important to make sure they also have a Skype connection so that your calls are more or less free (when connected to internet). Skype also offers you the opportunity to see who you’re talking too. You just need to ensure your computer, smartphone or tablet has a camera installed. When using a the camera, your internet connection will need to be stronger than normal. This applies to all countries by the way. Skype is great but it isn’t perfect and it does, at time, have issues when trying to use video. If your family don’t have a Skype account, you can still call them from a Skype account to a landline or mobile phone but the costs aren’t quite as cheap as the options below.
There are a number of calling cards on the market which allow you to pre-pay an amount to the card to make calls. An example of one is the by using a Calling card. What’s great about this company is that apply different rates depending on the type of call you’re making. If you’re a student, for example, they have a special student card with special rates. But it doesn’t stop there. Say, you’re travelling for work or pleasure but want to make sure your friends and families know you’re okay. The first thing we think of in such a situation, is to pick up the phone and call. The only issue with this is that, in order to stay in touch through the different countries you’re travelling, you still need to take into account the different call rates per country, to the country you’re calling. This is complicated and normally very expensive. Not with Universal Calling though! They have fixed rated whether you’re calling from within the African continent or from it to another country outside of Africa. They also have plans for landlines and mobile phones.
If you’ve not heard of Viber, then this provider is another useful option to consider.
Viber works via VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) which is really just a flash way of saying that it works when you have an internet connect, just like Skype and can be used on any device. We couldn’t see if it was possible to stay in touch with family who don’t have a Viber account and so, assume that Viber can only be used if both the caller and the called each have a Viber account. They do have interesting public chats which you can also connect and chit with. A nice touch!
Sometimes its not about family but strictly business. Not only that, but you may need to hold a conference call with partners in different part of the world too.
So, how do you handle this when it comes to affordability? We went to look for inexpensive options for professions and found a site called Conference Calls. This company claims to offer a 90% cheaper rate in comparison to other conference all companies and you’re not confined to any long term contracts. Sometimes, you just need to make one call every now and then and this company offers that flexibility. You can even try them for free for a period of 30 days, so, what do you have to lose?
4 – International call bundle for your landline
We’re not sure if this is the cheapest option but we do know that some telecom providers do provide this option. You’re best bet is to check if there is a possibility to make international calls to specific countries for a flat fee per month. In our opinion, this would only be useful if your calls are being made to one specific country which you call a lot. The advantage of landline calls is that they are generally more stable than mobile and cellular lines but only a little bit. Nowadays, cellular connections over the whole world are becoming better and better!
Our final advice: Take a good look at what works best for you and consider as much of your calling options beforehand so that you can make the right choice and make the option to stay in touch as easy and affordable as possible!