WhatsApp the instant messaging app owned by Facebook Inc. rolled out voice calling feature early this year for Android, and recently it was rolled out for iOS. There is a general perception that WhatsApp calls are free of cost, but there are no free lunches in this world. WhatsApp voice calling consumes your data and hence, not at all free. In fact, if you carefully monitor your data consumption on WhatsApp calls, you would realize that it is costing you a small fortune.
In a recent test conducted by AndroidPit, it was revealed that on an average a minute of call on WhatsApp consumes about 1.3 MB of data. So, if you are in a habit of making WhatsApp call over mobile internet then you might actually be paying more!If we do some number crunching, then a 500 MB data plan would be consumed within 6 hours of WhatsApp voice calling. That simply equates to just 12 minutes of WhatsApp voice calling per day!
On the other hand, another IM and VoIP app Viber is claiming that it hardly consumes 240 Kb per minute of voice calls. If you remain connected to a WiFi network most of the times, then WhatsApp calling is preferable as VoIP calls provide more clarity and detail as compared to voice calls carried over traditional mobile networks.
The 1.3 MB data consumption per minute has been measured over 4G LTE network. However, it can go to as low as 600 Kb on networks with slower speeds. So in a nutshell, the data consumption by WhatsApp voice call is also dependent upon the type of data network you are connected to.
“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.” highlights Mobiletor.
An incoming call on a normal mobile network is free of cost, while a WhatsApp incoming call will consume your data. While roaming, the data cost may be very high and it may cost you a fortune if you keep using WhatsApp instead of traditional mobile calls. So before you make WhatsApp calling a part of your daily life, make sure if you are saving or shelling out a lot more than your traditional mobile calls.