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Skype, Viber and Whatsapp - as well as of course, pictures - are contributing to the crisis of many modern ill-equipped smartphones running out of memory.
However what if you could chat to your loved ones millions of miles away for free, without even downloading an app?
That's the revolutionary new offering from mobile providers such as T-Mobile, who allow US customers who are working and living abroad to phone home with absolutely no extra charge, as long as they have a Wi-Fi connection.
What if you could chat to your loved ones millions of miles away for free, without even downloading an app?
Staying in touch with mom and dad while studying abroad was vital to a 27-year-old from Philadelphia living and working in Oxford, who would prefer not to be named.
The doctoral student and lecturer, who has survived with Skype so far, says: 'I use Skype a ton to keep in touch with family. I'm an academic so most of my time is spent on a campus which is very well covered with Wi-Fi.
'I call my parents and two sisters all of whom apart from my little sister are very busy in the hospital (my parents are doctors and my elder sister a medical student).
'It's impossible to just call home and speak to them since they would all usually be doing their own thing at work by the time I was already through most of my day in Oxford, so this was a way I could connect with them through mobile.
'And it's very flexible in that when everyone was together, I'd use Facetime to call my dad and he'd pass the phone around so I'd see everyone but also sometimes they didn't have much time to talk or I didn't so we'd turn Facetime on, continue doing our work - cooking, studying, laundry - while intermittently talking to each other over the course of a half hour or so.
'The fact that it was Wi-Fi usage not mobile data made that possible and obviously affordable.
Apps like Skype are contributing to the crisis of many modern ill-equipped smartphones running out of memory
'In regard to Wi-Fi Calling... Wow. I had no idea about that - I've really only used Wi-Fi calling in a broad sense to call family back in New York through Skype, Viber and Facetime. I didn't even realize there was a separate Wi-Fi Calling service until I looked it up just now.
'I spent a few summers working for the UN in Africa and had to use Skype to keep in touch there, as well.
'It involved a pretty complex operation - staying in the office late to use the satellite link-up; figuring our a time that worked for both parties across the time divide.'
T-Mobile lets US customers who are working and living abroad to phone home with no extra charge
Zujaja Tauqeer, 25, from New York City, found keeping in touch with family back in America crucial during her three years studying History in Oxford.
She completed her DPhil in August and is now I'm in medical school in Boston at Harvard.
'My different family members range from being very quiet to simply can't shut up so for talking!' she says.
'Viber is very helpful in that it allows you to text and seems emoticons and stickers which are often useful for my dad to express himself (he's not very talkative).
'My mom on the other hand will call me on Skype because I bought a US number so it was free for her. She worries about money unnecessarily, a lot!
'We could talk on and on about the meaning of life conversations that can't be had over text or take too long to be holding your phone to your face all along while on Facetime.
'I began looking as soon as I got to Oxford for ways to keep in touch cheaply.
'Obviously when my family would call through landline direct to my mobile number it was much more reliable. Towards the end of my three years in Oxford they began doing that mostly. They had a bit more money and a better international calling plan.
'I was using T-Mobile/Orange and always used Skype to call them though... Viber just to send random messages.
'After watching a video about Wi-Fi Calling I'd definitely use it when going abroad for short periods.
You can stay connected when removed, even in the most coverage-light areas of the world
'I think it's useful if you're in Oxford and you happen to be in some of the old houses where you get no service at all from any provider - which happened to me a lot.
'But I think the reason why people use apps when studying abroad is because video calling is a very important feature. Also free messaging. As Wi-Fi Calling also includes messaging that's definitely useful.
'But how would others call me if I'm abroad? Would it charge them? Also, once Wi-Fi Calling becomes popular, would the charge for that somehow get built in to the price you pay for your monthly plan?
'If I'm not paying extra, sure I'd do it.'
Wi-Fi Calling is indeed absolutely free, allowing American customers to make international calls when traveling abroad so they can stay connected when removed, even in the most coverage-light areas of the world.