Skype revolutionised how people make calls internationally, but its biggest downfall is that it needs a web connection to work.
The Ringo app attempts to rival this by offering calls between countries for the same price as local calls – using submarine cables.
This means the app bypasses expensive carrier call costs, doesn’t ask people to turn on roaming data and the firm claims is typically 25 per cent cheaper than Skype.
Ringo is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices in 16 countries.
This includes Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and U.S.
Users on Ringo in these countries can then make calls to any destination worldwide, and to any number – the recipient doesn’t need to have the app installed.
When a call is made via the app, Ringo connects it to a local phone network and assigns it a local number.
It then switches the call to travel through submarine cables under the oceans. These cables are used by carriers, and transport high-speed data around the world.
When the call reaches the destination country, it is reconnected to the local network again.
Although it assigns the call different local numbers each time, the call appears as if it’s coming directly from the contact.
By not using a web connection the reliability and call quality is higher than on other services, according to the app’s website.
On Ringo, users pay 1.7 cents per minute to call the U.S. This compares to 2.3 cents per minute on Skype, and 11 cents per minute on Vodafone.
Ringo does require connectivity when signing in, but the firm claims it is working on ways to reduce that too.