Ringo, an international voice calling which lets users call without the need of an internet connection has now been launched in India. The app surface in May last year and has finally expanded its network to India. The app claims that their calling rates are 70% lower than existing mobile operators and credit based VoIP calls via Skype or Viber. The app has the potential to debilitate mobile operators’ declining revenues.
The company explains that the Ringo app uses a unique call flow to convert international calls into local calls. When a Ringo user from India contacts someone in the United Kingdom, Ringo will automatically dial out a local call to the Indian user and another local call to the UK user and connect the two over reliable carrier circuits.
To do so, users need to create an accounts with an amount ranging from INR 25 to INR250. It also provides a facility for itemized billing to track their usage and can also use debit/credit cards or net banking to top up their account. It syncs with user’s phone contact along with cost of a per minute call on Ringo.
Bhavin Turakhia, founder and chief executive officer of Internet domain registrar Directi acknowledges that Ringo is a low-margin business, but believes that in a country of India’s size, even capturing 10% market share will result in a good enough return on investment. Besides, India remains primarily a voice market, hence Turakhia claims the rising use of data networks will not pose immediate competition to Ringo.
A week ago, Hike acquired ZipDial to provide app based voice calling and with rumours with Whatsapp calling to be a reality soon it is not surprising that these calling apps want to tap the potential of Indian market.
Directi, which started by offering web-hosting services in 1999-2000, today owns a group of businesses including domain name registrar BigRock, tech solutions arm LogicBoxes and free SMS and group chat provider Talk.To. In January last year, Nasdaq-listed Endurance International Group acquired the web business of Directi for over $100 Mn.