Germany Operators 'joyn' Forces
Posted on March 14, 2013
This comes as somewhat of a surprise, as we last reported at the end of January that Deutsche Telekom had said they were delaying their launch of joyn "indefinitely" due to technical issues. Certainly good news to see they have overcome these issues and in a shorter timeframe than expected.
Deutsche Telekom is now the second operator to offer joyn in Germany, along with the country's other largest carrier Vodafone, who launched their service in August 2012. Telefónica also plan to launch Joyn in the market later this year, at which point the service will then be available to over 80 per cent of all mobile customers in Germany – which is essential to make the service a real contender against popular OTT apps in the region.
Launched as 'joyn by Telekom' initially as an Andriod application, the iOS equivalent is due to go live on Apple's AppStore in the coming weeks. While it is currently only available as an application to download, Deutsche Telekom is confident that mobile manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC and Nokia are set to embed it in future models.
One of the key strengths of joyn, particularly of relevance in Germany, is that it offers greater security compared with OTT apps such as WhatsApp, which came under scrutiny in January following a joint investigation by Dutch and Canadian regulators, for violating international privacy laws. "Since the companies offering the service are located in Germany, along with their server facilities, the service conforms to stringent European data-protection regulations," explains the official GSMA announcement, pointing out that network operators make money by charging for connectivity rather than mining user behaviour and contacts.
With regards to pricing, Deutsche Telekom are allowing the service's chat and file transfer functions to be used at no additional charge to customers on tariffs that include a data or SMS flat rate bundle. Usage of joyn also won't contribute to data caps, so 15MB files and video calls can be happily exchanged at the end of the month as well as the start of it. The service will also available to prepaid customers at no additional charge until the end of August to encourage service uptake.
It will be interesting to see how the service is accepted by Deutsche Telekom's customers, but we expect that now the two largest German operators have launched joyn, the levels of interest and service uptake will increase and gain momentum over the coming months. We'll be following closely!