MegaFon is launching a new OTT communications app developed by its inhouse innovation team.

The Russia-based operator claimed the point of differentiation for eMotion was that it lets users call and send messages to people who do not have the app installed.

However, while messages are free to send it charges users to make calls - 1.5 rubles to non-MegaFon customers and 0.8 rubles to MegaFon subscribers.

eMotion is available to customers with iOS and Android smartphones.

It is the latest product from MegaLabs, the operator’s inhouse innovation arm.

MegaLabs has seven areas of focus: content and media, financial services, mobile advertising, M2M and GeoServices, cloud, unified comms and “perspective” services, such as retailing, healthcare and education.

Yan Kukhalsky, CEO of MegaLabs and New Business and Partnership Director at MegaFon, said: “We analysed the app and messenger market and tried to offer our clients something they can’t get elsewhere.

“For example, the ability to call or send a message over the internet to someone who doesn’t have the app installed.

“Using eMotion you can, for example, call your mum or grandma on her normal cell phone over Wi-Fi when you’re roaming. And at a very good price.

“These simple but very convenient options mean MegaFon subscribers can always stay in touch with each other, wherever they are and whatever the circumstances.”

MegaFon’s CEO Ivan Tavrin resigned last month to focus on “current and new business projects”.

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