The Japanese messaging service, LINE, is about to launch a new data-based call service that is attempting to undercut the voice-call pricing structures of typical land-lines and mobile carriers. The company announced that people in US, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the Philippines will only have to wait a short period of time as the service will launch in March for those countries. LINE has said that there will be a pay-as-you-go and a 30-day plan.
In Japan, the 30-day plan (priced at one minute for 6.5 yen, roughly 6.4 cents), will offer up to a maximum of 60 minutes, will encompass both mobile and landline calls. A separate call credit plan will cost 14 yen per minute to mobile phones, including overseas and three yen to landline phones.
So it really does look like LINE is trying to ‘Stick It’ to fellow call services such as Skype with a cheaper plan and more features! As the Japanese firm informs us, it’s all about the stickers. LINE’s apps do so much more than that just colourfully array our messages, though as the company plans to provide messaging services that do even more starting from next month. Just what ‘more’ remains to be seen.
The company is aiming to expand exactly who LINE users are able to contact within its own app service. What is interesting about this service is that when you use it on a smartphone, it just looks as though you are receiving a normal call.
To sweeten the deal for some, Naver is planning to offer the service to 1,300,000 businesses across Japan, as well as giving out 100,000 free 100-yen LINE Call samples to existing users. I wish my carrier would give out ‘free’ calls!
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[Image via lineblog.naver]