Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thrifty Chinese use VoIP calls

What is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol but is also known by other terms such as Broadband telephony, Internet telephony, IP Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband. Pick your choice, but I think the one most people use is Voice over Internet Protocol. It uses the Internet to transmit voice over the Internet and can bring substantial savings as compared with conventional telephone calls over telephone lines.

Why thrifty Chinese likes VoIP calls

Chinese ancestors have had to endure very hard times in the past having experience famines and have acquired a habit of saving for the future. Chinese are generally thrifty people and given a chance to save on expenses will jump at it. So it is no surprise that VoIP calls to make telephone calls, especially international telephone calls. PC to PC VoIP calls are usually free, but require that both caller and receiver be online at the same time. This can be inconvenient, but it is possible to make VoIP calls from PC to fixed line phones and even PC to mobile phones, but these would of course not be free. They are however substantially cheaper than conventional fixed line phone to fixed line phone calls or fixed line phone to mobile phone calls or mobile phone to mobile phone calls.

Now you don't even need a PC (Personal Computer) as there are special adapters that you can connect to any regular phone and make calls as usual. These adapters are something like a specialized miniature computer stripped of many functions of a regular computer. I have tried one, and unlike a computer, these adapters boot up pretty fast.

VoIP Providers and call plans and charges

Enterprises that provide VoIP calls are called VoIP Providers or Internet Phone Service. Most of them will have various subscription packages such as Unlimited Long Distance Calling Plan. Different packages will have different Long Distance Phone Rates.

Chinese diaspora

About one in five of all living human being on earth is Chinese and they are spread all over the world. Many Chinese related by family ties live in different country and it is not uncommon for them to telephone each other. Furthermore, there is a tendency for Chinese to prefer to do business with other Chinese, although that tendency has been reduced to some extend in modern times. Whatever, people doing business with each other need to communicate, and businessmen wants instant communication with instant response, and not wait for other party to respond to an email. Thus international calls between Chinese businessmen from different part of the world are very common. This fairly modern invention of VoIP is a god sent for them.


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