China Mobile Offers Users Cheap Phone Calls To China With Jego App

China mobile phone communication © Norebbo Shutterstock

VoIP app give free incoming calls to users with an existing or rented Chinese or Hong Kong mobile number

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, has launched Jego, an over-the-top messaging and VoIP app that allows users outside China to make phone calls and send messages using a Chinese or Hong-Kong based telephone number.

Jego, which was first released in June but was quickly withdrawn because it was a prototype, is targeted at Chinese expats and businesses who deal with China wanting to save money.

China Mobile Jego

China Mobile Jego 1The application is available on Android and iOS, and allows users to link an existing China Mobile number, or rent a Chinese or Hong Kong-based number if they don’t have one. Incoming calls are free to receive, while outgoing calls are cheaper and calls between Jego users are free.

China Mobile has denied that the launch of Jego is in response to the rise of VoIP and messaging clients that are harming traditional revenue streams for operators as users bypass mobile networks.

It told Reuters that Jego combines a mobile number with internet technology and is part of a move to tie a telephone number with an app rather than a SIM card. The rise of over-the-top services is believed to concern a number of operators, not least O2, which launched O2 Tu earlier this year, allowing users to make calls and send texts using their monthly allowances over a data connection.

China Mobile will also hope that Jego increases its international presence, which is so far limited to a Pakistani network called Zong. Rival China Telecom launched a UK-based Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) last year in an effort  to win custom from British-based Chinese users and visitors.

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