Indian based Hike messenger app led by Kavin Mittal has overtaken US-based Zip Phone that offers free voice call services over VoIP. The price of the deal is not disclosed yet. It seems that Hke is planning to expand its empire by luring customers with free voice calls over the internet.
Although there are many giants including Skype, Nimbuzz, Viber that offer similar voice call services over the internet but the move from Hike becomes interesting as few weeks back Sunil Mittal-controlled Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom service provider, announced of charging different data rates of VoIP(an internet protocol). However decision was then reverted as it was breaking the concept of net neutrality.
Despite having his father’s own VoIP service in AitelTalk, Mittal acquired Zip Phone founded by Anuj Jain because Mittal notes that voice calling is one of the most requested features by the customers. Zip Phone is still in early stages with an aim of building a VoIP tool that is capable working anywhere around the world.
Hike Messenger founder & chief executive officer Kavin Mittal said: “From day one, we have strongly believed we can bring India online through communication. With this acquisition, we take another step towards that mission. Zip Phone’s technology will allow us to bring free voice calling to the market much faster. Incidentally, this is one of the features most requested by our users. We cannot wait to launch this on Hike.”
Recently there were rumours that chat messenger, Whatsapp too is building a VoIP tool to provide audio call services. Hike messeger which claims to have more than 35 million users in India itself faces tough competition from other messenger service providers. Line, Skype, Nimbuzz and Viber already are offering voice call services. Nimbuzz claims to have 40 million users in India itself.
With providing free voice-call service comes the fear of revenue cut for telecom companies. After the arrival of instant messaging, people rarely use messaging service provided by telcos that has resulted in five percent reduction in total revenue. According to a report, more than 80 percent revenue for telecom operators is generated through voice calls. Now companies are coming up with free voice calls which might be a big cause of concern for telcos.