The thrill of your summer holiday or backpacking adventure inevitably plummets back to earth with a thud on receipt of your phone bill. Unfortunately it is very difficult to live without our treasured phones, and yet the price of making calls abroad sends costs through the roof. Plingm promises to connect you for astoundingly low cost, even for free, during the months of July and August.
In essence Plingm is not a product, but a free app for smartphones developed by Swedish VoIP app developer and available for holiday-goers throughout July and August. All travellers need to take advantage of exceptionally cost-effective communication is a smartphone with an internet connection; wifi in a hostel or café is by far the most advisable option as accessing internet through your network provider abroad will incur extortionate roaming charges. This nifty hassle-free creation is then easy to put to use. Users must first register and send Plingm their mobile number, which automatically grants 15 minutes of free calls to whoever you want to chat to. From there the catch is that you can only telephone other members of Plingm free of charge. A minor inconvenience; it suffices to invite friends to create their own account for free.
Say goodbye to usernames and passwords as your mobile number serves as the access details to your account. Moreover, the sound quality with a stable internet connection is second-to-none. It is no wonder that Plingm has been awarded a 4.7 out of 5 score on the App store rating scale, and that is the most sought after of the App Store's social apps in 13 countries.
The main flaw is the fact that, because Plingm is only compatible with smartphones, you cannot call landlines or basic mobiles for free. Nonetheless, travellers have the option of the Plingm Out add on service, which can be bought straight through the original app for a small charge. Backpackers dialling through to a landline via Plingm Out will spend up to 90 per cent less on their conversation compared to making international calls via your network provider.
Ingeniously, the reason touching base at home or giving a friend a buzz is free is because Plingm connects you via the internet, instead of through a network. Pandelis Eliopoulos, Plingm's co-founder, pledged: "Calling home and friends shouldn't cost a fortune." Available in 40 countries worldwide from Bahrain to Costa Rica and the USA to Malawi, there are few destinations that won't be covered even for the most extensive backpacking adventure.