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WhatsApp voice calling set to launch in the coming weeks

by Staff reporter
13 Jan 2015 at 09:42hrs | Views
WhatsApp voice calling is set to launch in the first quarter of 2015.

WhatsApp's voice calling will be a mobile-only service, competing against the likes of WeChat, Viber, and Skype, and was originally set to launch in Q2 2014.

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum explained that the delay was due to several technical issues with the service which needed to be worked through.

One of these issues was how the voice-over-IP (VoIP) service will operate when the data coverage or network quality is poor.

Koum said that WhatsApp has many users in emerging markets where GPRS and EDGE are often the standard.

This raises the question as to what South African mobile users can expect when WhatsApp's voice calling is launched locally.

Any VoIP service needs good network quality to function well. It is a bit questionable if local mobile operators make the grade.

Some users have expressed concern that the mobile operators may shape or throttle VoIP traffic if WhatsApp voice calling starts to eat into their voice revenues.

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