The service lets customers make free calls worldwide – and the app is ad-free. But the app is not just for making calls, there are three aspects to it – talk, discover and offers.
Grant Theis, cofounder of ttrumpet says “ttrumpet is 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. 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 Wi-Fi in a single application – no asterisks, no clauses, just transparency – regardless of the colour of your SIM.”
Calls to other ttrumpet users are free and calls to landlines cost 65c a minute (not billed on per second). Customers can make calls to different countries, for example, it will cost 12c to make calls to the US (check the app for various charges). The best part about it? It uses your existing mobile number. No need to change anything! The company says that rates are up to 70% cheaper, depending on where you are making the calls to. All you have to do is buy credit for the app to start making calls. You can also allocate ttrumpet credit to your SIM card. At the moment its just airtime that you can load and allocate. At the moment, credit can be bought from ttrumpet.com using a credit card. Future payment options include debit card through PayD. You can send airtime to yourself or to friends and family.
Future features include chatting, WiFi, buying mobile data and international roaming. Mobile data locally will roll out when ttrumpet has the APNs for all networks available in the platform. The international roaming feature is still coming but it will work like this: you will have to buy a SIM card for R49 once off and ttrumpet will provide this. Your existing mobile number will push everything to the new SIM card, so while you are overseas, you will get all calls, texts and be able to browse the internet at a cost of 49c a MB. You will pay 99c to receive calls. More about that when it happens. Chatting aspect is like SnapChat and Whatsapp. You can message people individually or in groups and there is a secret chat option. It’s not encrypted like Telegram but you can set a self-destruct timer.
The Discover aspect about the app is listed as “Places”. It lets you find information about places around you like restaurants, pubs, shopping, petrol stations, car rental, dentist, etc. It uses your location or you can set a city that you’d like it to search in. It has contact details for these places and built in maps to give you directions. Ttrumpet has more than 100 million places listed worldwide and South Africa is still work in progress as the company is busy getting business listed – which is free. All they need to do is “claim their spot”. Ttrumpet will only charge businesses if they want to list offers within the app. You can also use it to search for products and prices near you. Example, you can search “Beats by Dr Dre” and see what is costs, using your location.
As mentioned, Ttrumpet will let businesses list their offers free initially for about three months and thereafter they will have to pay for this. It also lets the business have a custom tab under their spot, putting any information they want out there. Offers could be vouchers or loyalty schemes. It supports POS redemption with most vendors (Trumpet holds 20 patents for this). They also claim to cover all the largest vendors in South Africa.
The app is still a work in progress and if you download it now, it can be used for making free ttrumpet to ttrumpet calls and regular calls (after you add credit), and used to search for offers and discovery places. However, it has just launched in SA, so they are busy with listings. I’d say give it a few months before you can use it for all the features mentioned above.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 15 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org