Richard Aberefa, a third-year computer science student at the University of Calgary, has developed an iPhone application called Cardup to make international calling easier and more affordable. The application is now complete, but is in testing stages with over 20 test users.
“Cardup gives you the option to call family and friends around the world,” said Aberefa.
Originally from Nigeria, Aberefa experienced difficulties calling his family and friends back home. He wanted to develop an easier solution for international calling.
“If international students want to call family back home, they have to go to a store to buy an international calling card or use an application that doesn’t always work or is too expensive,” said Aberefa. “Why I started developing Cardup is because I had the same problem. I wanted to talk to my family and it was very difficult and expensive.”
Aberefa has been doing design and development work for other applications and software. He wanted to use his expertise to develop his own application.
Aberefa said that with applications like Skype, Viber or Rebtel, international calls cost up to 30 cents per minute and recipients of the calls must have the same application.
“Not everybody’s family has access to Skype or the Internet, so I decided there should be a better solution,” said Aberefa.
Cardup is free to download and can be used to access any phone line in the world. Calls to Canada, China, India and the United States are half a cent per minute and anywhere else in the world is 2 cents a minute.
“There are so many different applications, like Skype, but Cardup’s main strength is in outgoing calls,” said Aberefa, adding that Cardup has a chat function that allows users to text one another.
“I am pretty excited about it and I think it is going to give a lot of value to users,” said Aberefa.
Third-year U of C sociology and psychology student Jenn Kim is an international student and is one of Cardup’s test users.
“I am originally from Korea and all of my friends and family are all over the place, like Vancouver, China, the States and Korea,” said Kim. “I am always having a hard time getting in touch with them.”
She said that repeatedly having to purchase calling cards was too expensive. She said Cardup has been a simpler way to reach people in different parts of the world.
“It has been really useful. For international students or whoever, [Cardup] just makes it really easy,” said Kim.