France Telecom Orange said its over-the-top communications app Libon will become compatible with Joyn and offer Rich Communications Services (RCS) later this year once the app has been rolled across the operator's European footprint.
Orange's Libon app will become Joyn-compatible this year.
Orange also said that Libon is now available on smartphones running Google's Android platform, following the launch of the app on Apple's iOS in November. This means that the app is available globally--with the exception of the United States, where it will be launched later next month--to enable users to make free calls and use smart messaging and visual voicemail.
"The launch of Libon on Android was an absolute must. It's overtaken iOS numbers in the smartphone OS wars and we're very excited to finally offer something to the thousands of users who have been asking about this," Giles Corbett, the head of Libon, said in a statement.
Orange also said it has provided upgrades to the iOS version of Libon, adding picture messaging support among other functions.
Meanwhile, the operator regards Joyn-compatibility as providing the best of both worlds: Joyn interoperability with advanced OTT functions. Orange has already launched Joyn in Spain together with Telefónica and Vodafone and is targeting rollouts in France, Belgium, Poland, Romania and Slovakia in 2013.
The move by Orange to launch an OTT app has been seen as a disruptive move by the operator to thwart competitors with similar offerings, such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook.
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