The new feature uses an internet connection rather than cellular phone service to make calls. Photo: Pixabay

CAPE TOWN – Uber announced a new way for riders and drivers to communicate through the company’s app using voice over internet protocol (VoIP).

What is VOIP?

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls. 

The new feature uses an internet connection rather than cellular phone service to make calls. 

The company started testing an in-app VoIP service back in June, according to The Verge, which reports that Uber confirmed the global launch of the feature during a conference.

Other ways for drivers and riders to communicate include: SMS text messages, in-app chats and public switched telephone networks. 

“Data calling is now much cheaper than voice calling” in certain markets, said Gagan Mac, product manager for communications at Uber.

“Data is much cheaper. Not only is it less expensive, but for drivers, it allows them to stay within in the Uber app when coordinating pickups with riders. Smooth pickups hinge on seamless communication between riders and drivers," Mac said. 

Business Report lists a few Pros and cons of using a VOIP:

Pros:

1. Low Cost

Compared to traditional phone service (and in many cases wireless service), VoIP is far less expensive. 

2. Portability

You can’t just pick up and move with a traditional phone system.

With VoIP, all you need is an Internet connection. Most VoIP phone setups are self-install, and you’ll be up and running in a matter of minutes.

Cons:

1. Reliable Internet Connection Required

VoIP uses the Internet to complete your call. While most of us have an Internet, there are people who don't have. 

2. Latency

Due to being so reliant on a good internet connection, it could cause a delay in the app or a poor phone call. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE