Cheap Calls to the Philippines

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    36

    Cheap Calls to the Philippines

    I am currently using Peoples Prepaid sim card to call the Philippines at least 3x a week.

    Rates are approx:
    Mon-Fri: $1.10/min
    Sat-Sun: $1.00/min

    I have been recharging my sim with $50 almost every week.
    I went to World Wide House a few days ago and also found a calling card that charges $1.19/min to call the Philippines. The initial value of the card is also $50.

    I've tried searching for Voip providers but most cater to calls to US/Canada.

    Is there a better alternative (like VOIP, etc.) to Prepaid sim card/calling card for unlimited calls to the Philippines that charge monthly fees instead?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    23,217

    If you want to call to a phone in the Philippines then you aren't going to get much below HK$1.10/min. The reason is that (like pretty much every aspect of The Philippines) the phone companies are in a corrupt cartel which means that they all charge upwards of US$0.12 (i.e. HK$0.95) just for the local delivery of the call when it gets to them. The international carrier also has to pay for the HK end and the international segment.

    Where there are truly competitive telecoms markets (e.g. HK, UK, etc) the cost of terminating calls is much lower.

    The Peoples prepaid SIM is about as cheap as it gets.

    The only alternative is if the people you want to contact in The Philippines have a broadband internet connection - then you could use Skype or similar from a PC here for free. But the quality is very variable.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    368

    Also, you can buy phonecards at some Worldwide stores at slightly above wholesale price. I get mine at 41HKD for 6.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    23,217

    Indeed, but you still aren't going to get an effective rate much below HK$1.10 per minute - remember that with phonecards there are normally lots of hidden charges (connection charges, daily maintenance charges, "taxes", call end fees, etc). With reputable suppliers (e.g. the Tawag Na card) it is possible to get the number of minutes they claim in the advertisement by using the whole card in one call; with disreputable ones even that isn't possible (or the call "accidentally" drops after a certain time so that you get charged the "extras").