How do you make international calls from your mobile phone? Mobile carriers often charge exorbitant rates for international phone calls but you can Internet based services like Skype or Google Hangouts and call any landline or cell phone number in the world for a low per minute fee.
All you need is a mobile phone connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot and some credit balance in your account for making the phone call. You can use these VoIP apps when travelling overseas as well and make significant savings for both domestic and international calls.
Now consider a scenario where you have a mobile phone but there’s no Wi-Fi around and the 3G/4G services are either slow or unavailable. Would you still be able to place calls through any of these apps? The answer is obviously in the negative but there’s at least one app that has figured out a unique solution to this common problem.
The app, known as Ringo, lets you make international calls from your mobile phone but “without” requiring the Internet. It does so by cleverly converting your request to dial an international number into a local number.
Let’s say you are trying to call someone in Singapore from India. When you make a call through Ringo, the app will internally dial a local number in India. At the other end in Singapore, it will again make a local call to the desired number and will connect these two calls using their own infrastructure. This process is transparent to the end users though it make few seconds extra to initiate the call.
Here’s a chart comparing the voice calling rates (in cents per minute) for all the popular voice calling apps. Ringo not only allows you make international phone calls without 3G or WiFi but it is cost-effective too.
In my testing, I found the voice quality good and the app automatically figures out all the international numbers in your phonebook. Also when open a contact inside Ringo, it will show their current local time and this little detail does help save a trip to Google.
Is Ringo a replacement for Skype or Google Hangouts? Well, yes and no. With Ringo, you do not need the Internet to make phone calls but you still need a local number. In the case of Skype, you do not need a local number but you have to be connected to the Internet. Also, Ringo is mobile only while Skype lets you call telephone numbers from Mac and Windows PCs as well.
Ringo is available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.