Dubai: People in the UAE can now make mobile to mobile video calls as long as they have a Samsung smartphone running on Android platform and are on etisalat’s network.
However, the video calls only work with certain Samsung phones and with certain numbers.
The feature is not VoIP (Voice over internet Protocol) and it is a normal calling feature and works without WiFi or data package.
Gulf News staff made similar video calls on Samsung Android phones but were unable to make calls on other smartphones and operating systems like Windows, Apple and BlackBerry. It worked well with international calls also and from etisalat to du mobile but not vice versa.
Even though there is a lag, it worked fine and both the audio and video is clear. It is not sure when the video calling service had started.
The video calling feature works with Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Note 4, Note 2, Galaxy S5, S6, Galaxy S Duos and Galaxy Grand, so far.
The normal Wasel prepaid calling rate is 0.6 fils per second locally while the video calling rate is 60 fils per minute.
Etisalat is charging the same rate for video calling service without WiFi or 3G or a data connection compared to its official 3G video calling service, known as 3.5G Video Call. The Samsung video call service works without WiFi or 3G data package and through the normal telephony feature.
The technology that allows users to make video calls on a 3G network without a data package isn’t new, and had been available for over a decade. So-called “carrier supported video calls” only require a smartphone with 3G video technology and a network that allows such calls.
Samsung appears to be the only smartphone currently using this technology. It is unclear how long etisalat has been allowing such video calls, and Etisalat could not confirm to Gulf News if there had been any recent changes to its 3G network. In some countries, including the US, networks do not allow carrier supported video calls… see more