Line seems to be the best option for Burma telecommunications

Like it says in the title, Line.

My wife is in Myanmar/Burma for a week. I looked up the best options for calling to/from that country before she went, but the telecom market is in a state of constant flux and it seems they the government controls the sales of SIM cards. What sad state of affairs: Third world telecom service with first world bureaucracy!

As it turns out, most of the airports and hotels she’s been to have had barely decent wifi, which has left us experimenting with voice/video chat services. Here are the results for using chat apps on Android to/from Yangon, Mandalay, and maybe other places in Burma:

1st place: (Naver) Line
Excellent voice quality even on weak connections. If there was a major disaster, this is the app I would rely on (oh yeah, that’s why it was made in the first place).

2nd Place: Google Hangouts
Fairly stable, but laggy with both voice and video calls. Consistently laggy, though (about 1/2 second), so usable if you want to speak slowly and wait for responses.

3rd place: Skype
Skype changed my world, then abandoned it. I still have most of the money I put into Skype credit 7 or 8 years ago. TOTALLY UNUSABLE FOR ANYTHING UNLESS YOU LIVE IN KANSAS CITY AND GET FORCE-FED INTARWEBS FROM GOOGLE. Seriously, I’m going to uninstall Skype from all my devices. So fucking sad.

2 Replies to “Line seems to be the best option for Burma telecommunications”

  1. Very interesting. In case of emergency, this is good to know.
    Skype has become a problem for me, too, since I do a majority of my work via computer, and most clients are slow to adapt and try Google.
    In any case, for those of us living in earthquake Cali, what do you think; is it a good idea for us to look into having Line as an emergency backup?

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