Directi’ Ringo app, which was launched earlier this year, targeting only International calls, have now launched ultra cheap local calls service as well. Priced at just 19 paisa per minute, Ringo claims that this tariff is 90% cheaper than existing calling rates offered by telecom players.
If we compare leading telcos, then its something around Rs 1.20 per minute for STD calls, which can come down maximum to 40 paisa per minute, on special offers.
Besides, Ringo is also claiming that this rate is atleast 25% cheaper than majority of Internet based calling apps, in case we consider the data charges into it.
Earlier, we had carried an interesting report on how Whatsapp calling, which is Internet based ‘free’ service, is actually not free. With almost 1.2 MB data spent on every minute, a 4 minute call on Whatsapp can cost Rs 1 (on an average data tariff of Rs 250 for 1 GB)
Going by the same parameters, a 4 minute call on Ringo will only cost 76 paisa.
No Data Usage = Better Call Quality
The interesting aspect about Ringo is that, it doesn’t use data services to connect a call; which theoretically makes it better quality that there is no interruption.
This also means that the recipient of your call via Ringo doesn’t need to have the app installed. Users can make a call to both mobile and landline number using this app.
Once a user initiates a call on Ringo, he is connected with the server instead of that person. Then, the server connects the call with the recipient, which omits the usage of data. It can be compared with the manual tele-operator based communication system, wherein a person manually connects the callers.
Hence, although the mechanism is not completely Internet free, it diminishes the usage of Internet to a larger extent, and uses the existing network of mobile operators to make the call work.
Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Founder of Ringo, said, “In a country where 3G penetration is not fairly high throughout, we also have a strong edge over Internet telephony apps, as Ringo calls do not use data, and are comparable in price.”
How Ringo Is So Cheap?
That’s an interesting question: Without owning any infrastructure, how can an app like Ringo provide India’s cheapest local and STD calls?
The answer lies in then business model adapted by Directi.
They buy calling minutes in bulk from the telecom players, and then pass on the accumulated savings to the customers. As per reports, they have initiated such contracts with leading national and international telecom players such as Tata Communications, British Telecom, Verizon and more to offer this cheap tariff.
Using this unique business model, Ringo is aiming to get 1 million customers within the next 3-6 months.
Stiff Competition In This Space
Besides Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and Google Hangout, which offer free Internet based calls, there are several other players in the market, which are aiming to disrupt the telecom industry with their services.
In early 2014, Freecall.in was launched, which offers free calls without Internet, which uses a similar operator based model.
Even Airtel has launched their Internet based chat and calling app.
Earlier this year, Hike & Numbertank had started offering free voice calling using Internet. Viber has already launched free International calling way back in 2013. Following Airtel, Reliance Jio has also launched their own chat and voice calling app based on Internet.
It would be interesting to observe how Ringo is able to create a niche of it’s own within this crowded space, and make some dent in the telecom industry.
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