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International calls gets cheaper with Ajura app

April 23, 2016

Travelling abroad means picking only important calls, keeping an eye on who you talk to and for how long. If you are a globe trotter and roaming costs are making a hole in your pocket, the Ajura app which creates multiple identities and substantially reduces roaming costs might just be the right solution for you. ‘Ajura App’, from Ajura, a startup within the Reve Group, stemmed from the startup’s aim to resolve pain points of customers on roaming. “All telecom costs across the globe have dropped. Roaming is an area that is yet to be opened up, so we decided to create a solution to overcome disproportionate pricing for the traveller,” said Sanjit Chatterjee, CEO, Ajura.

On downloading the Ajura from the app store, one needs to sign up with their regular mobile number and activate roaming before leaving the country. On reaching the destination country, the user needs to register the local sim number on the Ajura app. These simple steps followed will enable Ajura users to receive roaming incoming calls for residents of 54 countries at costs substantially cheaper than regular roaming costs. “When one travels from US to India, calls on international roaming are charged at around $1-2 per minute while on Ajura, the user pays about 3 cents a minute, thereby saving over 90% costs,” explains Chatterjee.

While the procedure sounds rather simple on the face of it, the technology that works at the backend has been developed over 2 years of research and multiple trials. The call processing is done using a mixture of cloud telephony, Voice over IP (VoIP) technology and using global carriers to terminate on GSM/ Fixed line networks using existing telecom protocols. Ajura allocates a temporary local number which acts as the conduit for the call forwards.

The app detects if the mobile user is online and routes the calls to the app. When the user has a local mobile number in the visiting country, the call automatically diverts to the visiting country number. A visiting country SIM is not necessary if the user takes all incoming calls on the App provided one has access to WiFi or a data network.

The product developed in India has several use cases. A user can have phone numbers and an identity in 54 countries – including Singapore, Hong Kong, UK, Canada and the US and this is relevant for travellers as well as NRIs visiting their hometowns.

A resident Indian who has global business contacts too will find the app useful. For instance, an exporter of goods or services, or a hotel with customers abroad can get an ‘Ajura global number’, of any of the 54 countries, and share it with their contacts abroad. When they dial this number, it is a local call for the overseas customer facilitating better communication.

“What differentiates Ajura from call services of other chat apps is that the phone calls received on the user’s home mobile number are automatically forwarded to the app, when the user is online — and the person calling need not have downloaded Ajura app,” adds Chatterjee.

Ajura app can also be used for recharges/top ups for other numbers. For providing incoming roaming, outbound calls and mobile top up facilities, Ajura earns a margin on the cost borne by the user. For providing a global Ajura number, the company charges a subscription of $10 per month.

Since the app was launched on the Apple and Google store, Ajura has witnessed downloads from over 50 countries including US, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

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