How do I video chat on my phone without charging data?

Cristián T July 9, 2013
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I am having trouble finding out how to video chat my contacts with my Samsung Galaxy S III. My friend has an S II and seems to have a feature to video chat. He told me it does not charge data.

I tried Tango, but it’s really not that good, in my opinion. There’s no way to use it on Windows, and there’s no visible way to turn off notifications.

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  1. Dalsan M
    July 10, 2013 at 1:18 am

    There is no such thing as a video calling app for phones that will not use a data connection of some kind, whether through the cell phone provider or Wi-Fi. There may be some video calling apps and other apps that require data connections where the cell phone service provider will not charge service fees for using it. As far as I know, Verizon has no such app with similar abilities (at least for anyone without an iPhone with the FaceTime app). http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57511855-94/verizon-wireless-to-include-facetime-on-all-data-plans/

  2. Justin Pot
    July 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Yeah, if you're using WiFi there's no data charge. It's also worth noting that some carriers don't charge for data with some programs. Are you and your friend using the same carrier? If so, contact your carrier to figure out the details.

    • Cristián T
      July 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      My friend is using Claro while I use Verizon. I don't understand why he can do it and I can't to be quite honest. Is there something about his phone that he or the manufacturer changed? I doubt he changed anything since he's not that tech savvy, so I find it really odd that he can video chat without charging data when I have not been able to figure out how to do that. He has a data plan, but obviously some apps don't use data. I asked an earlier question asking if calling someone's phone number charges data. I had a pretty good idea that it does not but I still wanted to make sure. Apps that don't require an internet connection to function at their fullest capability obviously don't charge data. Keep in mind that with my phone, I'm not connected to a Wi-Fi network 100% of the time. I need to be able to video call people without charging data on the go, just like my friend does on his Galaxy S II, and I have an S III.

    • Justin Pot
      July 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Yeah, it would depend completely on the carrier – the phone has nothing to do with it.

      Here are you? Wikipedia says Claro offers free video calls in Puerto Rico, but only if you're using their VideoCall service. That might be it...

  3. Vipul J
    July 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Why not Skype using a Wi-Fi connection?

    • Cristián T
      July 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Because I cannot connect to Wi-Fi on the go. I need to find a way that I can video chat, on the go, without charging data.

  4. Jan F
    July 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    The best answer I can give is "data rates apply".

    Whether the video chart is charged or not simply depends on your mobile contract. If your provider charges you for mobile data you generate it doesn't matter which application you use.

    • Cristián T
      July 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      But if you voice chat with someone by calling their number, does that charge data?

    • Jan F
      July 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Unless you call someone via the phone network it will be counted to your data like anything else that uses mobile internet. So yes.

      Basically what happens at your providers end is they take the size of each packet going through your mobile internet connection and add them together.

      If it's a video chat those packets will be rather large. If it's voice chat only they will be a bit smaller. At the end of the day they are both data.

      The best thing to do is look for a provider and plan that has a lot of data already included, has reasonable prices for additional data or better, doesn't charge you for using more data but simply lowers your bandwidth.

    • Jan F
      July 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Sorry, to answer correctly:

      If you call their phone number it will NOT be counted as mobile data but will be counted to your telephone minutes.

      If you call someone via an internet based chat like Skype or Google Talk it will be counted as data.

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