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Orange Launches Smartphone App for Free Calling and Texting

  By Mandira Srivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Mobile users now have a new way to cut their wireless phone bills with the release of Orange’s (News - Alert) new smartphone app that offers free calling and texting to any phone.

 This new application has been launched to give direct competition to services such as Skype (News - Alert), WhatsApp and Viber. In recent years, many telecom operators have started offering free calling and texting services.

Giles Corbett has developed the application and known as “Libon” for Orange, which will be available for smartphones using Google's (News - Alert) Android software in the first quarter of 2013. This application can be used by any iPhone user for free, while the company charging for some special features like transcripts of voicemail or email copies of voicemails.

With Libon you can call and test your friends absolutely free. There are some other telecom providers that have also introduced similar services which help save on voice call minutes and text messages. Telefonica (News - Alert), a Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider, also launched a similar app called Tu Me, in May, while Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications company, has one known as Bobsled.

"The situation is really simple - either you deliver the most compelling service or your users switch to something else. What's the alternative? We want to be in there," Corbett said in an interview.

Orange is also working on a new technology known as rich communications suite (RCS), which is supposed to update traditional mobile calls by adding chat functions, live video and file sharing across all devices. The telecoms industry association GSMA is also working on standardizing RCS for use across all telecom operators and all handsets.

Orange said the company was preparing a launch of RCS, which has been branded “joyn” by operators to give it a more consumer-friendly moniker, in June 2013.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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