O2 UK is launching its Tu Go app the operator said will enable its users to make and receive calls, texts and voicemail via the Internet using their existing telephone number.
The service, available on all Apple and Android devices, is free to
download for O2 contract customers, with the calls and texts taken from
their existing bundle.
The aim of Tu Go is to free customers from being locked to a single handset, O2 UK product manager Caroline Dundas told BBC News.
"Customers can now take their mobile number wherever they like, even away from their mobiles," she said.
O2 UK customers can be logged into the Tu Go service on up to five
devices at once, said the operator. Incoming calls will ring all
logged-in devices, including handsets using SIM cards associated with
different networks and Internet-enabled gadgets such as iPods, according
to BBC News.
Commenting on the launch of Tu Go, Ovum telco analyst Jeremy Green
said that the app is more than just another "me too" VoIP app by an
operator. "It delivers tangible differentiation for Telefónica and is a
lesson for its peers in integration with carrier telephony services."
"Only available to O2 UK's postpaid customers, it is a cloud-based
telephony service, allowing the user to register multiple devices and
make and receive calls and messages from all of these as if from their
telephone number. Any usage comes from the user's postpaid inclusive
bundle. TuGo can therefore be used regardless of physical location over
Wi-Fi using the user's home contract. This also makes it an FMC
solution, because it will work indoors on Wi-Fi at places where mobile
coverage is poor," said the Ovum analyst.
O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne told Mobile News the operator was able to offer the service thanks to its acquisition of VoIP service provider Jajah in 2009.
The app is notable since a number of European operators have
complained of "over the top" (OTT) apps like Skype and WhatsApp cutting
into their voice and messaging revenues.