Orange launches VoIP mobile app to rival Skype

Operator's new voice over IP application will give users free international calls on iOS, with an Android app out in the new year

Orange has launched an application that gives mobile users free international calls and could prove to be a potential rival to Skype.

The voice over IP-based Libon app is designed for the Apple iOS mobile platform, with a Google Android version being made available in the new year.

Available in 90 countries, the app enables users to make free high definition voice calls, send instant messages and create personalised voicemails. The app is said to work on any mobile network.

Libon users enjoy completely free voice calls between other Libon users wherever they are. Like Skype, contacts only need to download the free app to connect over 3G or Wi-Fi networks.

Libon's voicemail features include customised greetings for individuals depending on which contact group they have been put in, text transcription of voicemails that can be emailed, and greetings that can integrate your last tweet or Facebook status.

Contacts, conversations, and messages are also synched and backed up in the cloud, meaning replacement phones can receive all the backed up data after downloading the app again.

The free version of Libon is available with free HD calls and text messaging between Libon users, voicemail with greetings customisation for up to three different contacts or groups of contacts, and voicemail transcription for Libon contact messages.

A Premium option allows unlimited customised greetings, full-length transcription of all voicemail messages, unlimited storage and email copies of all voicemails. In addition, and probably more important for most potential users that are roaming, this package gives users an hour of international calls every month in 31 countries, but the popular destination of Spain isn't one of them.

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