We've all been there. Made a long-distance call (we mean to another country), then got hit with a huge roaming bill from our wireless carrier. Many apps that are available for our smartphones, have implemented their own international calling capability. Many of which are either free or very low cost. However they all need a data connection of some sort. Whether that be WiFi or a mobile data connection. On Wednesday, Rebtel announced "Rebel Calling". What this feature allows you to do is do unlimited calls - and free calls from app-to-app - to anywhere in the world without the need of an internet connection. Yes, you read that correctly, you can make calls without an internet connection. As the company states, this is "the first step in breaking down the high fees and borders that define international calling rates." Rebtel already has over 25 million users around the world. They cover around 50 countries which make up about 25% of the world's population.
Rebtel's CEO Magnus Larsson says that his company is looking to redefine the way users make phone calls. And references the way that Whatsapp changed the way we message others. Larsson says they are "taking back the phone lines from the corporations and putting it in the hands of the consumers." This is something that T-Mobile has tried to do, at least a little bit with adding in Canada and Mexico. However with T-Mobile's roaming you still need a data connection. That's something Rebtel will have over the carriers. The Rebtel app also includes Rebtel Unlimited calling. This allows users to make unlimited calls to any phone anywhere in the world for as low as $5/month. Speaking of pricing, Rebel Calling is going to be $1/month for unlimited calling. However it is free for all of 2016 to celebrate the launch. The app also includes Travel Mode, which allows you to call any phone in the world using WiFi when you are traveling abroad.
With the launch of Rebel Calling, Rebtel is also looking to rebrand itself. Their logo is being rebranded thanks to the creative team behind VICE. Rebtel's CMO, Fredrik Wrahme stated that the company's mission is "to turn the telecommunications business on its head" which is why Rebtel's new logo is now upside down. The new logo is pretty simple, red background with white lettering, but it's upside down to drive home the fact that their plan is to do the same to the wireless business. Especially when it comes to roaming fees on phone calls.
The Rebtel app is available in the Google Play Store. The update should be available shortly.