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@Chirayu Samarth • 15 Mar, 2014 • 2 likes
Earlier this year, at the Mobile World Congress WhatsApp had announced it will soon launch VoIP calls, shortly after Facebook bought the company for $19 billion and looks like the time is nearing. Screenshots of popular messaging app's coming-soon voice-calling features went viral on the web on Friday, thanks to the blog iPhoneItalia. The images below depicts a beta version of WhatsApp for iPhone with a new interface for making calls. Further, the shots also suggest that the new WhatsApp won’t be very different from the existing app. The new VoIP feature will allow users to make voice calls with their smartphones over cellular or Wi-Fi connections.

whatsapp_VoIP
Credits: iPhoneItalia​

A few weeks ago, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum had promised to provide voice communication options to its iPhone and Android users with expanding it to Windows and Blackberry users later. WhatsApp already offers voice messaging that lets people leave recorded voice messages for one another. The voice communication that Koum announced would mean something more like a telephone call rather than a voice mail. Apart from this new voice calling feature, the other change coming in the next WhatsApp update is that the camera button to attach photos to messages will be located right above the keyboard instead of tucked away behind the "more" button. WhatsApp will compete directly against other VoIP apps such as Viber and Skype.

whatsapp

Although Facebook already offers voice calling via its Messenger, WhatsApp is operated independently and used by around 465 million users who would benefit from the addition of free calls. However, there is no information as to when this update is coming.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Source: TOI
@Dhananjay Harkare • 16 Mar, 2014 So, it means that now WhatsApp (better read Facebook) would now save what we talked over phone!
@Chirayu Samarth • 16 Mar, 2014 Yes...
Seems like...
@lal • 16 Mar, 2014
Dhananjay Harkare
So, it means that now WhatsApp (better read Facebook) would now save what we talked over phone!
Hahaha, that is one way to put it 😁
@Rajni Jain • 16 Mar, 2014 I am not sure at this moment would it be right to say that with VOIP feature, WhatsApp is going to give competition to VONAGE (A top shot VOIP provider at USA).

Another way to put is - if Whatsapp has plans to release the VOIP facility all across world, that can become a mega hit.

Bigger question is, how the phones network providers will be taking it?
@Madhava Verma Dantuluri • 16 Mar, 2014 Interesting
@Anand Tamariya • 16 Mar, 2014
Rajni Jain
I am not sure at this moment would it be right to say that with VOIP feature, WhatsApp is going to give competition to VONAGE (A top shot VOIP provider at USA).

Another way to put is - if Whatsapp has plans to release the VOIP facility all across world, that can become a mega hit.

Bigger question is, how the phones network providers will be taking it?
Most likely in India, VoIP over fast speed cellular network (aka 3G/4G) won't be allowed leaving it as restricted as it is today.
@Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran • 16 Mar, 2014 Could you please elaborate on VOip.Is it seemless and fast enough without any disturbance as in normal calling?
@Anoop Mathew • 16 Mar, 2014 • 1 like
SarathKumar Chandrasekaran
Could you please elaborate on VOip.Is it seemless and fast enough without any disturbance as in normal calling?
VoIP, unlike conventional telephony, depends on the IP network. The clarity solely depends on the path optimization between the IPs connecting the caller with the called party.

This in turn reduces the cost of the setup and thus VoIP calls are cheaper.

Basic Idea of a VoIP setup:

Caller would use a Mobile Dialer with the SIP settings and IP details provided by the VoIP route provider. The VoIP route provider provides the access to the termination sides depending on various rate plans for various destinations. The VoIP carriers in turn transfer the call in the form of packets to the terminating destination. The termination is done by converting the IP packets at the termination end into the Radio frequency suitable for 2G/3G/conventional telephony. Then the call gets terminated to the callee or called party's number through their telecom operator.

The clarity of the VoIP call will also depend upon the type of Digital Signal Processing that is done for reducing the size of audio packets transferred from one IP to another. Varies codecs such as G.729, G.729a, G.729b, G.729a/b, G.723, G.711, etc are used in determing the 'quality' of the VoIP route based on SIP protocols.

P.S.: A TDM connection will be a much better option than IP to IP for better clarity and fewer issues will be observed.
@Anoop Mathew • 16 Mar, 2014 • 1 like
Rajni Jain
I am not sure at this moment would it be right to say that with VOIP feature, WhatsApp is going to give competition to VONAGE (A top shot VOIP provider at USA).

Another way to put is - if Whatsapp has plans to release the VOIP facility all across world, that can become a mega hit.

Bigger question is, how the phones network providers will be taking it?
Case 1:

Call from IP to IP (aka Voice over IP) that would terminate over the Internet i.e. both devices must be online on the Internet.
Eg: Viber, Skype.

Case 2:

VoIP calls that would originate from the internet but terminate to a 2G / 3G or other network.

Eg: Mobile dialers such as iTel, MoSIP, etc can be used to make calls from abroad through the internet to any 2G/3G/CDMA number.

It'll definitely be a competition to our telecom companies only if watsapp manages to allow free calls as per case scenario number 2. Otherwise, it will not be a threat. As mentioned on the actual post, this new feature would compete against Skype and Viber.
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