A decade earlier, the weekend would be a virtual get together because Indians would call their family and friends from the US once a week and speak to everybody at home. This was because the calling rates were exorbitant.
A while later, calling rates dropped and then came the VoIP technology. Vonage sensing the opportunity was the first one to offer unlimited calling to India and a whole lot of other countries. Indians in the US rushed to sign up.
It would not cost the earth even if you wanted to call up to find out about Indian recipes and the ingredients behind a dish. You could call your mom, aunt or even your granny and speak for hours while cooking the perfect tummy-yummy, finger-licking Indian dish with the step-by-step instructions given on the phone right then.
The rates were low and everybody was calling home; even the lady who joined her husband after marriage would call up her parents and talk for hours and discuss everything - the lack of domestic help to aid her with daily chores; the tattooed couple next door who were not married but had kids; about the lamp post opposite her apartment window and its efficiency; and yes even talking to the family pet that was in India.
Others came in as well – Allvoi, Unovon, Ooma, to name a few, to capitalise on this and started offering the services. It certainly was truly UNLIMITED calling by all means.
Today it seems we are again looking at the dark pre-2006 era. With all the telecom carriers increasing the call rates to India by a whopping 250% in March, every VoIP provider of services would be forced to increase their monthly charges and offload this cost of burden to their valuable customers. This would be felt across by the entire Indian community when they see their monstrous bills in about a month’s time. Else the VoIP would have to force the customer to limit their calling, thereby bringing in an end to the era of ”Unlimited Calling”.