Popular Japan-based messaging service, LINE, is about to give Skype and Google Hangout some well needed competition in the Internet-based calling services market. The company plans to launch this new initiative in March, which it hopes, will put pressure on mobile operators where prices are concerned.

The Japanese company plans to launch a pay-as-you-go and 30-day service plan. Such a move could cause problems for mobile operators and could also steal customers from both Skype and Hangouts. In Japan, the 30-day service plan will offer a maximum of 1 hour talk time, which surpasses both landline and mobile calls. In addition, a different call credit plan will cost the user 14 yen per minute, which is approximately $0.14 in the U.S. currency.

Interestingly enough, LINE calls on your smartphone would look similar to that of a normal phone call, which should make things quite seamless and easy to understand and adopt.

When it comes down to gaining support, the company plans to offer LINE to over 1,300,000 businesses across Japan, along with offering 100 yen call samples to over 100,000 customers in Japan, Engadget reports.

It's a great idea what LINE is doing, as mobile operators would likely tremble at the sight of more VOIP applications entering the space to challenge operator dominance. As time goes by, it is likely that making calls via the Internet will become the norm.

The new service is expected to launch first in Japan, US, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the Philippines.

With the coming of LINE and its competitive calling plans, both Skype and Hangouts should now have something to fear. LINE is new and interesting, which is a good way for the app to attract new users. If things go according to plan, Skype and Hangouts could lose users over the coming months to the new service on the block. 

Sell your own stickers

LINE is also planning to allow users to sell their own stickers via its Web store, which goes by the name, LINE creators market. Registration is free of cost, and users will have the ability to upload up to 42 images in total. Each sticker will go for 100 yen, but that's after the uploaded stickers are reviewed and approved.

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