So how can you call an international telephone for 25% less than Skype? Well it’s got to use some kind of VOIP, right?
How does it work? A user installs the Ringo app on their iPhone, Android or Windows phone. When they select a contact with an international phone number, Ringo dials a local number and then routes the call internationally from there.
The key thing is that the call is carried on conventional dedicated telephone circuits, every step of the way. And as we all know, but may not always like to admit, the result is a far superior experience to VOIP applications such as Skype or Viber.
So much for the “carrier grade quality”, but what about the price? Can it really be 25% cheaper than Skype?
Bhavin explains that Ringo purchases international call connectivity at wholesale rates in the same way that telcos do. But telcos then typically mark up their retail price by several multiples.
Ringo’s pricing is much more competitive, and by offering carrier grade quality, cheaper than VOIP, they are doing something very disruptive. What’s more, all it needs is telephone connectivity, which means you don’t need a data plan, or WiFi access.
Bhavin is betting on the fact that quality and convenience matter to consumers, and that they are willing to pay for them. Once you can supply the product at an equivalent standard to traditional telephony, then you can win business by competing on price.
“In 2012, the international calling market made $95bn for the entire telecom industry worldwide”, he says. “Carriers have been able to maintain their rates because there haven’t been any alternatives that offer the same quality.”
Now there is!
Ringo is currently available in over a dozen countries, including India, UK and USA. It will launch in Ireland in a few weeks.