Hike, an Indian messenger app spiced-up the market by launching free voice calling. Technically called VoIP, the service will allow Hike users to connect over vocal calls across 200 countries in which Hike is currently active.
The launch may be a positive effect of the recent acquisition of US-based voice calling company Zip Phone by Hike. The acquisition was aimed at leading the fierce competition with the VOIP providers such as Skype, Viber, Line, Facebook, Whatsapp (to be launched soon), Google and Wechat.
“India is a very cost sensitive market and as a result, we’ve ensured that our service is extremely efficient on data that means our users can pack in more minutes per MB when calling on hike,” Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, hike messenger, said in the statement.
Launched on 12th December, 2012, Hike is backed up by Bharti Softbank, which is a joint venture corporation between Japan’s SoftBank Corp, which is a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation and Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises. Hike also raised $65 million in a big round of funding led by Tiger Global after hitting all time high 35 Million user traction in August 2014.
Hike uses a 128-bit SSL encrypted, firewalled server for all its media exchange and text communication via Wifi only. One of the most significant feature includes is data is not backed-up to Hike’s server and is dynamically stored in the user’s device.
There has been rumours of Whatsapp launching voice calls recently, but seems like Hike has taken the lead over the “Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition”. Surely it can harm Whatsapp’s plans for coming launches, as it routes on 70 Million users across India, which is almost 10% of its customer base. The service is however in its beta phase and is only available for Android users, but work is in progress for iOS, Windows and Blackberry platforms. It will be very interesting to see how the users respond to this competition.