Private communications firm Silent Circle announced the expansion of Out-Circle Calling (OCC) encrypted hybrid calling that enables the company’s members to make and receive encrypted, private voice calls through the Silent Phone service to non-Silent Circle subscribers in 79 total countries.
Subscribers who enroll in Silent Circle’s encrypted international calling plans will be given unique 10-digit Silent Phone numbers letting them complete calls "outside the Circle" to and from an expanded number of geographic regions.
Out-Circle calling gives Silent Phone users a high-fidelity voice over IP (VoIP) option for calling standard mobile and public switched telephone network (PSTN) lines across the world.
Users can also benefit from having Silent Circle’s global encrypted mobile communications available anywhere they find cellular and WiFi networks, the company said.
Plans with additional minutes can be purchased at $19.95 for 250 minutes, $24.95 for 500 minutes and $39.95 for 1,000 minutes, and calls can be received from anywhere in the world at the calling party’s standard long-distance rates.
Silent Circle’s private communications apps are also available in Blackphone, a smartphone that puts privacy and control directly in the hands of its users.
Developed by SGP Technologies, a Swiss-based joint venture between Silent Circle and Spanish mobile phone developer Geeksphone, Blackphone devices began shipping to customers in June and feature PrivatOS, a privacy-enhanced operating system built on Android and a suite of privacy-enabled applications, including Silent Phone and Silent Text.
"With Out-Circle Calling, Silent Circle is directly challenging the legacy model of mobile carriers by offering an alternative to costly mobile roaming fees. This is an especially important issue for our enterprise and government customers around the world," Vic Hyder, Silent Circle’s chief of revenue, said in a statement. "International fees and roaming charges account for a significant portion of European and Latin American business overhead. Our encrypted international calling service completely eliminates roaming charges while protecting members’ privacy with the use of Silent Phone."
Out-Circle encrypted calling plans start at $12.95 for 100 minutes, which provides unlimited Silent Phone member-to-member calling, unlimited Silent Text messaging around the world, the ability to receive calls to the Silent Phone number from anyone in the world, plus 100 minutes to make calls to non-subscribers in any of the regions covered.
"Silent Phone and Silent Text already offer unmatched advantages, but with today’s expansion we are giving our members a tremendous increase in cost and flexibility benefits," Mike Janke, CEO of Silent Circle, said in a statment. "The facts are that Out-Circle Calling provides a low-cost, private alternative to traditional mobile calling plans that everyone from your neighbor to traveling multinational executives can use."