Yo messaging app MWC 2015
Yo! aims to 'connect the unconnected'YO!

A new smartphone app has launched that allows smartphone users to send messages, videos, photos and even other apps over a peer-to-peer network without the need to connect via the internet.

YO!, developed by Left of the Dot Media, claims to be able to bring high-speed connectivity and sharing to people for free, without investing billions in mobile infrastructure.

Despite the name, YO! has no affiliation with the similarly-named Yo messaging app, which caused a brief sensation when it was launched last year due to its limited functionality of only being able to send one word to other users.

Two-thirds of the world's population - around five billion people - have no reliable internet connectivity due to a lack of infrastructure or expensive data plans.

YO! utilises a smartphone's capabilities to enable connectivity between users, while also reducing the bandwidth burden on telecom providers.

"On my way to Barcelona, I spent one week in Bangladesh, putting YO! through its paces in some of the most challenging environments imaginable," said John Lyotier, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Left of the Dot Media.

"We really take for granted the pervasiveness of connectivity back home in North America and through the developed world. Browsing the web, sending messages, downloading apps, and consuming content - this is simply not done in Bangladesh.

The free app was launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday (2 March) and is available through the Google Play store.

"It is not that these emerging markets don't have access to technology that lets them online, it is just that it is too expensive and too slow," Lyotier said. "Our goal is to change that and connect the unconnected."