Peer-to-peer calling app Ringo has suspended its domestic calling services that was launched last week, alleging that telecom operators had blocked its service. The app, which offered low-cost local calling at 19 paise a minute, said it has stopped domestic calling rollout and is working on a "favourable resolution in due course of time".
"The service is a fully legal, compliant service, and follows all aspects of the DoT and TRAI regulations. However, in spite of being fully compliant with the law, the service allegedly seems to have been blocked as of half an hour ago (November 30) without any notice to our service providers," the company said in a blog.
It added that its international calls will continue to work as it is without any issues. The company had launched the international voice calling service in January and is now available in over 100 countries.
"We will continue to persevere in providing innovative voice solutions, and intend to take relevant remedial action, but do not have an ETA on the same. As it stands, until we manage to get an intervention from relevant regulatory authorities to unblock our service, none of our domestic calls are going through," Ringo CEO Bhavin Turakhia wrote in the blog.
The cost of calling is 90 per cent cheaper than calling rates offered by telecom operators. This adds further pressure on telecom companies that are facing challenges in voice business as consumers switch to messaging apps like Whatsapp that also offer free voice calls.
The company said if the process takes longer than 2-3 days, it will refund unutilised amounts paid by the customers. Ringo buys bulk minutes through aggregators like Tata Communications, British Telecom and Verizon. It uses high-end technology that connects both the initiator and the recipient of a call via a conference bridge. It had said it aims to have a million customers in 3-6 months.