WhatsApp voice calling has landed on multiple platforms already and it’s soon reaching other mobile operating system in the coming weeks. The new feature is being touted as a free service which is absolutely true and you’re obviously aware of the data costs you’ll incur, but did you know that using it could be more expensive than regular calling?
Firstly, if you’re constantly on Wi-Fi, then this will not be an issue. But for people that travel a lot and have no Wi-Fi networks around, cellular data is the only option and it could end up costing more than you’d expect. Calls made from WhatsApp are basically considered VoIP and they consume data.
How much, is basically dependent on the type of network you’re on. Better the connection, the higher the bandwidth the application will use. On LTE, AndroidPit notes that calls from WhatsApp will consume as much as 1.3MB per minute. Of course, this number varies and it can go as low as 600KB also.
The average here is set at 800KB each minute, which is a lot of data. Assume that you have a 1GB plan which you use for voice calling only via WhatsApp. You’d be entitled to around 1250 minutes a month and divide this into each day, you’ll get just about 40 minutes of calling which isn’t much.
What also has to be considered is that your data is being consumed even when someone calls you via the app. This on a normal cellular connection this would be free for you. Prices for internet plans vary by location and provider. So we’re not going to take that into consideration and you’ll have to do the math yourself.
At the end of it all, you could end up shelling out a lot more when using WhatsApp for voice calling compared to tradition means.