If you have an Econet line activated for Internet, there might be some ways to save a few extra dollars on calls and SMSes. There are some nifty tools used world over to make “free” calls and SMSes especially where the mobile network operator is kind enough to offer unlimited internet traffic for a flat monthly subscription.
What most subscribers are using for calls at the moment is Fring and Nimbuzz (our favourite). The call is made using the Skype platform so both the caller and recipient need to have Skype accounts. For SMS there’s mjoy, a mobile web application to send texts for free to almost anywhere in the world.
Other applications, appropriately named IM aggregators, will seamlessly pull all your online social networks and instant messaging platforms into a single neat chat interface. If your friends are on Google Talk, MSN, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo Messenger or any other such platform you can chat all day for free. Way cheaper than sending SMSes back and forth the conventional way? Nimbuzz does this in addition to the free Skype calls mentioned above. eBuddy as well.
I’m sure there are a couple more such tools out there, so hey, add them on in the comments section below and let’s share the freedom!
Ok. Technically you pay for the Internet so this is not exactly free, right? Yes and No. You do pay for the Internet so yes, not free in that sense. But then again you pay a flat monthly subscription of $25 for unlimited Internet traffic. This means you can make as many calls, send as many SMSes and chat for as long as you want! If not free, let’s just agree it’s ridiculously cheap!
No prizes for guessing this is part of the reason Econet suspended activation of lines for data services late last year citing capacity issues and an unexpected overwhelming response to the 3G launch. And like we wrote last year, the data services activation will probably not start until the billing is adjusted to a usage based one. So hey, don’t say we didn’t tell you in time; This will go away in time, enjoy it while it lasts! When the billing method does change to usage based, simple math will tell us which is cheaper, the IM aggregators or the traditional 9 cents SMS.
By the way, Econet doesn’t really mind. They actually have a few tips and links to help you with exactly this on their Facebook page.