Having acquired the mobile VoIP (mVoIP) developer JaJah last year, O2 Telefónica has announced the launch of its first IP telephony services using the technology in Germany.
O2 said that it would offer IP services--including VoIP calls on a mobile device--and a unified communications proposition initially in Germany, and through other European markets later this year.
The first of these services--O2 Global Friends--will provide customers of O2 Germany with the ability to make international calls by dialling a local number which then connects over the IP network. However, O2 Global Friends will only support five local numbers but can be called at anytime.
This limitation might be seen as an obvious downside in comparison to Skype by restricting users to an 'international friends and family' product.
Commenting on the announcement, O2 Telefónica Europe chairman and CEO, Matthew Key, said: "By launching our first JaJah-based products in Germany, we are bringing breakthrough services to Europe's largest telecommunications market. In the coming months we will roll out further JaJah-powered products across Telefónica territories to meet the growing demand for these new services."
Gartner analyst, Charlotte Patrick, noted that the introduction of an IP-based calling service by a mainstream operator indicated the maturity of this market, and would expect other telcos to follow with similar services. "Telefónica's purchase of JaJah has given it some really interesting long distance calling propositions and their impact on the market should give us an insight into the company's future strategy in this area."
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- read Mobile Europe
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