STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Hike to Offer Free Voice Calls to Its Users

Published: 28th January 2015 04:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2015 04:21 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI:  Homegrown chat application Hike messenger today said it will offer free voice calls to its users over 2G, 3G and wi-fi services across the globe in over 200 countries.

The introduction of voice calls has come within a month of Hike making it’s first acquisition - a free calling app – Zip Phone.

The free voice calling feature has been launched in beta on Android, which contributes to over 90 per cent of its user base whereas the iOS and Windows versions are slated to release by the end of this quarter, the company said in a statement.

The free voice calling feature by hike comes at a time when mobile operators are demanding that over-the-top (OTT) players like Hike, WhatsApp, Line, Skype among others should be brought under regulation.

OTT players ride VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol to let their users make free calls through the Internet. Sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has already begun the pre-consultation process regarding OTT players.

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile services operator, has dropped its plan to charge extra for voice calls made over the Internet using third-party applications following an outcry on social media.

Incidentally, Hike is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Corporation. It has been set up by Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

"While building free hike calls, we kept two things in mind. Firstly, India is a very cost sensitive market and as a result we’ve ensured that our service is extremely efficient on data. It means our users can pack in more minutes per MB when calling on hike. Secondly, we’ve made hike’s free calling service available globally in over 200+ countries," said Kavin Mittal, who is the founder and CEO of Hike.

Voice calls are optimised to consume very little data, giving its users more calling minutes per MB of data.

"Given that a majority of the mobile-internet users of India are still experimenting with data and are not on a high- bandwidth connection, this optimisation becomes critical for the Indian market," Hike said.

Launched in December 2012, hike has over 35 million users and has raised USD 86 million from Tiger Global and BSB till date.

Competing with global players like WhatsApp, Line and Viber, Hike has a fairly young user base with over 90 per cent of them under the age of 25, and in India.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp