The world is indeed a small place now. At the drop of a pin, we can connect to anyone, anywhere in the world anytime. With apps like Skype, WhatsApp and Viber, we can stay in touch with our loved ones no matter where they are.
In lieu of this, Hutch recently debuted their “Hutch Connect App” which aims to bring you even closer to your loved ones enabling customers to call any mobile or landline around the world with 40% discounts compared to operators’ standard IDD rates. The App, developed for Android, is a uniquely different App from that of other popular Apps like Skype, Viber & Whatsapp, in that it does not require the other party to also be an App user. Any person, who has downloaded the Hutch Connect IDD App and registered their Hutch number against it can make calls to any number around the world, be it mobile, landline, smartphone or non-Smartphone and enjoy great savings. The call receiver overseas will see the CLI, so they can conveniently return a call back.
With Smartphone penetration growing at a rapid rate, Hutch Connect provides valuable cost saving for both individuals and businesses who make international calls around the world.
Calls are charged seamlessly on the Hutch Mobile account. Just like making normal IDD calls, the charges will be applied direct to the Hutch mobile balance in real-time. There are no upfront pack purchase commitments or expiries of the balance. The App is currently available on the Android ‘Play Store’ on searching ‘Hutch Connect’ and will soon be available on iOS and Windows mobile & PC.
Let’s break it down
The app consists of an interface similar to that of Skype, Viber and WhatsApp making it easy to operate and even easier to learn. When compared to Skype and Viber, where one needs a separate balance in the account, Hutch Connect will link directly to your Hutch balance in real time. You can even use the app to check your balance on the go and top-up when required.
As such, you can call anyone in any country at the cheapest standard rates. Though aimed at those who want to stay in touch with their loved ones abroad, the service can also be used to contact local numbers but they will be charged at International call rates. It uses your Hutch connection to create an account after which you can use the app to connect to other Hutch users. The benefit of this is that, by using the app, you can make calls and send text messages to your loved ones and friends even if they’re abroad.
Usability, Interface and Functionality
The initial sign up requires you to choose between logging into an existing Hutch Connect account or to sign-up for one. If you choose to sign up, you’re asked for your Hutch phone number and you are sent an authorization code via SMS. Once the code is entered, you’re ready to start using the app.
The main interface has a number of tabs which you can use to navigate between your contacts, chats and dial pad. You can also perform actions such as inviting users to Hutch Connect, and add contacts to your account.
The settings section of the app handles features such as bill payment and reloading your connection. You can also check the rates that would be charged for calls. Operating on Hutch Mobile balance, the cost of the call or message will be deducted from your Hutch balance just like dialing your IDD calls normally.
That’s not all though
Another key advantage of the App is that once registered with a primary Hutch SIM, any other SIM (regardless of network provider) can be used, and any and all charges will be added to the Hutch SIM. In addition, even if you go abroad and insert a foreign SIM, you can still use the app to keep up with your hutch contacts.
Functionality-wise, this is one of the more unique features that can be considered a “first in the world”.
How do I get a piece of the action?
To use the app, simply visit the Hutch website www.hutch.lk/hutchconnect or go to the Google Play Store and search for “Hutch Connect” or dial *123*9*1# from your Hutch smartphone to receive an SMS with the direct link to the app.
Overall, the App is a novel concept for those with loved ones abroad or for those who wish to stay in constant communication with each other.