Mobile of today just got cheaper and easier, as the world’s most advanced OTT (over-the-top) service officially launched into the South African market – ttrumpet. ttrumpet is an app designed to let customers make free calls and messaging worldwide. It also provides a comprehensive platform for merchants, businesses and brands to market themselves using a range of tools including vouchers, online shopping, location/attraction search, image recognition and augmented reality – to name but a few.

“ttrumpet it’s not just a call and messaging app – it’s a platform that allows businesses, retailers and brands to provide value to consumers by demystifying mobile,” says Grant Theis, co-founder of ttrumpet.

“And while ttrumpet is a global app, in South Africa we have tailored the platform to offer more value than any other OTT competitor locally as we want to offer the South African market a simplified mobile experience of purchasing credits that can be used for GSM airtime, mobile data, international roaming data, and WiFi in a single application – no asterisks, no clauses, just transparency – regardless of the colour of your SIM.”

It doesn’t matter what time you make your calls, the nature of your calls or how many points make up 1,5 free minutes – ttrumpet is easy to understand with no hidden charges, no connection fees and no subscriptions – and as your phone is your ID, so there is no need to change your number.

“We have direct interconnect agreements with all the MNO’s and Telkom,” adds Theis. “As such, ttrumpet doesn’t only provide free calls, but it provides Outcalls at the cheapest rates in the country and worldwide. In fact, some country destinations are up to 70% cheaper than other OTT providers.”

ttrumpet Out will never limit you to calls within the ttrumpet network but simultaneously is a low cost way of keeping in touch with people outside the network. This optional feature forms a great complement to the free ttrumpet to ttrumpet calls.

In addition, ttrumpet has a universal wallet whereby users can purchase ttrumpet credits that can be used for out-calls, mobile data and airtime, and in Q3 2014, credits can be used for Wi-Fi hotspots and international data roaming.

“Then from a messaging perspective, we are looking to make messaging ‘quieter’ – delivering text, photos, videos and commerce without the added noise of everyone else on the Internet,” says Theis.

ttrumpet to ttrumpet messaging is free and flexible. Send messages to individual ttrumpet contacts, or combine contacts to start a group chat. Group chats can also be conveniently labelled so that they are easier to keep track of.

“ttrumpet Chat will be less voyeuristic and more private – where we will be placing a lot of emphasis on privacy in our release roadmap,” continues Theis.

ttrumpet allows you to quickly find information on every place that is near you – covering more than 100-million places worldwide. Get useful information such as reviews, offers, maps, navigation and contact/web details at a click of a button. “What’s more, you can scan product images, ads, texts, objects or QR codes for information,” says Theis. “ttrumpet recognises images and augmented reality so if it is in our database, you will see products come alive.”

On the commerce side of the platform, ttrumpet provides a comprehensive platform for businesses, merchants and brands to promote themselves to consumers.

“Today it is essential that consumers can engage with your business or brand on all mobile devices – and ttrumpet offers businesses just this,” continues Theis. “ttrumpet provides the perfect platform for businesses to manage all their social media properties from a single dashboard while engaging with customers and monitoring competitors.”

What’s more, merchants are therefore able to self-provide in-store vouchers and offers through a platform backed up by over 20 patents that includes POS redemption across all the world’s leading vendors. ttrumpet has also integrated with over 400 of the world’s largest e-commerce vendors covering millions of products – including all the largest vendors in South Africa.

“The app also has bleeding edge technology built into it allowing brands to immerse with consumers through advanced image recognition, augmented reality and proximity marketing through iBeacons – giving brands the tools to come alive,” adds Theis.

“Mobile should be about no asterisks, no clauses – just transparency and convenience. We have spent thousands of hours making sure that the app is beautiful and simple to use, where the platform has culminated in the perfect combination of ultimate consumer convenience and real business advantage via an everyday device – the mobile phone,” says Theis.

The first revision of the app is available in the App Store and on Google Play and excludes the messaging component. ttrumpet Chat will be released as an update in June 2014. “We really have a unique Chat service that will differentiate us substantially in the market. It will be worth the wait,” concludes Theis.