Nanu is here to stay with free voice calls

By : |May 28, 2016 0

It’s about time that voice calls are made free of charge, and we are not just talking about VoIP calls with apps like Skype, but network-to-network calls that we depend on for our everyday life. Well, the biggest hurdle in attaining that feat has been the objection from cash-strapped telecom operators, primarily because they further lose the revenue that they usually earn for hosting a call on their network.

The App – nanu – has the perfect solution to this logjam. The app, founded by Singapore-based VoIP start-up Gentay Communications, offers its users to make free voice calls to any mobile or landline number, anywhere in the world. The app, which has a tie-up with the country’s largest operator Bharti Airtel, pays inter-connect user charges (deferring from operator to operator) for every call terminated on the latter’s network”.

The reason why over-the-top companies like Whatsapp, Hike, Viber, WeChat, Skype, and the latest Facebook Messenger, cannot pay the telcos for the call termination charges is because they don’t have a credible revenue stream. “They are basically stealing from operators,” Martin Nygate, founder and Chief Executive Officer of nanu says. The app, on the other hand, generates revenue purely from advertisements.

But fret not; these advertisements will not impede the call at any stage. They are instead inserted with the help of a technology as a ringtone before the receiver answers the call. The list of advertisers for nanu is far more extensive than its tie-ups with telecom operators. It has the campaign running for a brand such as Oxigen, Big Bazaar,, and HTC, among others at present.

CIOL Nanu Mobile App

This spells good news for the operators, who have been looking for revenue streams, like value-added-services, that will offset their revenue loss because of third-party VoIP apps. These apps, including WeChat, WhatsApp, and Hike, offer free messaging, voice and video services, using the data service on the operator’s network. But third-party apps running on data network offer meager payoff for the operators. For the users, the advantage is that one can make a call from the app to a mobile number for free, while over-the-top apps allow free calls only for app-to-app calls, surpassing the mobile network.

However, the user initiating a call may have to bear data charges. No doubt then, that Nanu has been able to rope in users from 211 odd countries, with the largest user base in India now. In India, Nanu’s journey started in October 2015 and within a short span of time, Nanu has acquired about 2 million users in India alone and is adding 15,000-20,000 users each day.

In a country where penetration of mobile phones is higher than the essential services like electricity, the app is touted to be groundbreaking. Especially in rural areas, where a data network is sketchy, and mobile phones are primarily used for messaging and making calls, an app that offers free voice calls will be useful. According to Nygate, the app gets a majority of its users from rural areas, or “from people who can’t afford to pay their mobile bills”. If the company can offer 3G-quality voice services, riding on 2G networks, as it claims; the social impact of the app can be far-reaching.

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