France Telecom-Orange on Thursday launched LibOn, a global free calling and texting application , in competition with services such as Skype, WhatsApp and Viber.
Designed for smartphones, LibOn enables users to make high-definition phone calls, chat, and create personalised welcome messages. Orange charges for some premium features like transcripts of voicemail or email copies of voicemails.
Available now for iOS, this free application will be launched at the beginning of 2013 on Android.
Libon is part of the company's "my communications" offerings announced on Wednesday at "Hello", a showcase of new technology in Paris.
Orange has also been working on a new technology known as rich communications suite (RCS), a new communication standard for enhanced uses (video, sharing, chat, etc.), already deployed in Spain and to be launched from 2013 in Belgium, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and France.
Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, AT&T and China Mobile are working on deploying RCS to their customers.
Orange also disclosed a partnership with Facebook, which will introduce more communication tools into social networks, with a first public teleconference service coming in summer 2013.