Cullian, a VoIP application that allows users to make phone calls to fixed lines and mobile phone numbers at very low rates and low data usage is launching this Christmas to take on Viber and Skype in sub-Saharan Africa and top international destinations around the world including the UK and USA.

The app, which allows free app to app messaging and voice calls was founded by Jian Lu, a telecoms engineer with over 20 years of industry experience in Africa and Asia, currently, Lu has a team of 20 dedicated professionals of varied disciplines in Europe, Asia and Africa working tirelessly to bring the Cullian vision to life.

According to Lu, the inspiration to develop Cullian was due to the fact that international calls were expensive, and data was even more expensive in emerging markets.

“It was rather from the frustration experienced through the high cost of international calls that seem to continue getting more expensive as mobile phone technology advances, so our goal was to make a product that would significantly reduce the cost for our users.”

Lu said the application will be free but the firm’s revenue will come from the sale of voice call credit for international voice calls across Africa and over 200 locations around the world. He adds that there is quite a lot of competition, especially in Africa, from a few telecom operators offering similar services, and applications such as Viber and Skype at service level, but Cullian’s target market is Africa and other emerging markets around the world.

Though not yet live to the public, as the firm is still running tests as well as fixing some bugs, Cullian promises VERY low call rates and data usage compared to its competitors.

“We believe that nothing is perfect, but we will try to release a near perfect product when make our official launch before Christmas 2016,” Lu said. “We’re launching in 19 countries, all in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC). We will roll out to the rest of Africa in 2017.”

Though WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts have similar features, Cullian doesn’t consider them as much competition. The firm says WhatsApp is in the realm of total free app to app calls, while Google Hangouts VoIP services are only restricted to the USA & Canadian markets. Skype & Viber are the exception, but Lu insists they can not afford to compete with Cullian’s low call rates.

“Considering the high cost of communication, especially for international calls, our system comes as a much needed refreshment, in Africa and other emerging markets” concluded Lu.

Download Cullian here for free.