After beginning service on June 23, 2011, LINE released a new feature on October 4 of the same year that allows users to call each other for free. Since that time, LINE has continued working to improve the quality of its voice calling feature in order to provide a richer and more useful communication tool for its users. However, the free calling service offered by the app has been limited to calls between LINE users only, meaning that the service could not respond to needs for calls to homes, businesses, offices and other landlines as well as those to mobile devices not registered with LINE.
With the release of LINE Call, the app is now responding to those needs by allowing users to make low-cost calls to public landlines and mobile telephone numbers. Any registered user with an iPhone or Android device*2 can choose to use this new feature from their LINE app in addition to the free voice calling feature already available to LINE users. The new service boasts clear and uninterrupted high-quality voice calls with an interface just like any other mobile phone call without any additional in-app setup.
＊2：LINE Call is only available for users with a registered mobile device phone number. Users registered through their Facebook accounts will not be able to use LINE Call.
LINE plans to start offering the new service in Japan, United States of America, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, and Philippines beginning in March 2014. Any user with a mobile device registered in an area covered by the new service will be able to make calls to landlines and mobile devices anywhere in the world using LINE Call.
Special Features of LINE Call
1. Any LINE user can start using the service immediately.
Users with the LINE app installed on their mobile device can begin using LINE Call without any additional setup. When dialing, the user has the option of not only using the keypad, but they can also make calls like any other regular voice call by using contact information stored in the device or simply selecting a number from their call history. Users also have access to a telephone directory database*3 of over 6.5 million phone numbers from mainly stores and other business facilities located in Japan that allows them to search for phone numbers based on location information, category, and keywords. Additionally, the mobile device of the person receiving a call made through this new service displays information about the call such as the number of the mobile device making the call*4, so there is no worry of the receiver not being able to tell who is calling.＊3：Database constructed around store and business phone number data provided by ZENRIN DataCom Co., Ltd.
＊4：Caller ID feature not supported by NTT docomo. When making phone calls to NTT docomo devices in Japan, the device will display a message that reads “unable to receive call” or “unlisted number” instead.
Screenshots of “LINE Call”
2. Clear and uninterrupted high-quality voice calls
LINE Call takes advantage of premium phone lines provided by multiple major telecommunication service providers. LINE is making considerable efforts to secure major ground-based telephone lines in order to handle high call volumes as well as adapting the service to the unique capabilities of each OS and mobile device type, in order to offer the user clear and uninterrupted voice calls of the highest quality possible.
3. Low-cost calls domestically and internationally to landlines and mobile devices
There is no initial setup fee or monthly service charge with LINE Call. The user simply pays for the time spent making calls. The calling fee is the same regardless of whether the caller is in the country or travelling abroad*5. Domestic calls made to landlines in Japan cost JPY 2 per minute*6, the lowest rate in the industry*7, while calls to mobile devices are charged as low as JPY 6.5 per minute. The fee for making international calls from Japan is cheap too - calls to countries such as the USA or China are charged at JPY 2 per minute for both landlines and mobile devices. For a limited time*8, LINE is holding an event in which calls made to almost 1.3 million stores including a portion of businesses with a “LINE@” account, a separate service marketed towards corporate clients by LINE, and stores and facilities listed in the telephone directory database can be made free of charge using LINE Call.*9
＊5：The calling fee is based on the receiver’s country or region as well as the device used (landline or mobile device).
＊6：Amounts are calculated by using the service plan with the lowest rates available.
＊7：Based on the 30-Day Plan with calls up to 60 minutes.
＊8：The ending date of this special offer has yet to be determined.
＊9：In effort to prevent abuse of this event, free calls made to some landlines will be limited to 10 minutes per call.
Service Plans and Payment Methods
LINE Call will offer two types of service plans for users to choose from.*10 The user can either charge their “Call Credit” by paying in advance for the time spent making calls, or they can choose to adopt the “30-Day Plan”, which boasts a lower rate but requires the time be used within 30 days of the purchase date. There are also two forms of payment methods available. Would-be callers can either pay inside the LINE app (Call Credit only) or purchase minutes on the LINE Web Store.
＊10：LINE users on Android devices may also use LINE Coins to make calls.
Service Rates for Domestic Calls in Japan
(All prices are per minute unless specified otherwise.)
This payment method allows users to pay for calling time in advance by charging their credit.
1. When purchasing call credit inside the LINE app, there is a limit to the calling packages available for purchase.
2. Call Credit purchased through Google Play or the LINE Web Store must be used within 180 days of purchase.
3. Actual service rates and Call Credit may vary according to changes in rules regarding service fees set by Apple Inc.
This plan features two options that must be used within thirty days of purchase. Users can choose between a plan that allows calls to landlines only, and one that allows calls to both landlines and mobile devices. The maximum amount of time available for purchase on the release of LINE Call will be the 60-minute package. Domestic calls made from within Japan to landlines and mobile phones will be charged at JPY 6.5 per minute, while the landline-only plan boasts a JPY 2 per minute service fee that is cheaper than the one available with Call Credit.
1. 30-Day Plan packages are only available for purchase on the LINE Web Store.
2. Purchased calling time not used within the 30 day period may not be carried over after the 30 days has ended.
3. Users of the 30 Day Plan can only make calls to the country selected when purchasing the plan.
4. The landline-only package may not be available in some countries and regions.
Detailed service plans for calls made to countries and regions other than Japan will be announced when the service is released.
In preparation for the release of this new service, LINE has announced a grand opening event to commemorate the occasion. Starting on February 27 (GMT+9), the first 10 thousand users to friend the related LINE official account (@linecalljp) will receive JPY 100 worth of call credit for free. This amount is equal to 7 minutes of call time to a domestic mobile device, or 33 minutes for calls to domestic landlines.