It has already been launched in 16 countries, and now 'Ringo', an international calling application, makes its India debut. While launching it in the country, Bhavin Turakhia, founder and CEO of Directi, an Internet products and services company, claims that Ringo will help make international calls cheaper and that too without using the Internet. Well, mostly.
"In India, conventionally, when you talk about international calling, you're dividing yourself into two buckets," says Turakhia, talking about having either purely Wi-Fi and data apps like Skype and Viber, where the other person also needs Skype/Viber and needs to be online, or the carrier, which is reliable and works all the time, but is also very expensive.
"There is no app in the middle which allows low-cost international calling without using the Internet," says Turakhia. Ringo will use the Internet to make a request for the call. Turakhia says the app will not use the Internet for the call, but will be similar to calling through a carrier, and will compete with the likes of Skype as well as regular telecom carriers.
To offer the service, Turakhia has partnerships with global telcos either directly, or through an aggregator.
On the delay in launching the app in India, Turakhia says: "The regular call flow available in the US and the UK is not entirely available in India because of the regulatory and partnership concerns in the manner that it operates. To design this call flow took us a little time in India and that's the only way we could have launched in India."
With Ringo, the consumers will be able to see the rates per minute for every call they make. "We're trying to bring in a level of transparency," says Turakhia, adding that calls through the app will be 70 to 80 per cent cheaper than regular phone calls, and about 20 per cent cheaper than calling apps over the Internet.
Through Ringo, which charges on a per minute basis and deducts credits that the consumer has to buy, Turakhia is making a small margin... "Our goal is [that] when we achieve the scale and volume, we will continue to increase and enhance that margin."