HomeNewsO2 launches international mVoIP service

    O2 launches international mVoIP service



    O2 has launched its first service using technology from Jajah, the IP Telephony company it acquired six months ago.

    O2 Germany is launching ‘O2 Global Friends’, a service that allows users to call five friends who live abroad using a local number.


    Telefonica said that the German service is the first in a series of services it will launch using the Jajah technology. The advantage of the operator-based system is that users can access IP Telephony without the hassle of software downloads, new hardware or complex installs.

    The obvious downside of the service for users is that it is a “limited” service so far – keeping users to a international friends and family product. It’s not Skype. But for the operator it is a start in the process of marketing ad exploiting IP telephony at the customer end.

    The introduction of an IP-based calling service by a mainstream carrier shows the maturity of this market and we can expect other telcos to follow with similar services,” said Charlotte Patrick, Principal Analyst at Gartner. “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 carrier’s future strategy in this area.

    Trevor Healy, CEO of JAJAH and an executive director on Telefonica Europe’s board, answers Keith Dyer’s questions on this service.

    KD: How does the service work?

    TH: The cool thing is that we take a lot of the complexity out of VoIP. There’s no need for a new phone, headset or software download. The user simply enters a local number against his contact’s name, and that number acts as an international number.
    The nice thing about our technology is that it uses traditional GSM activity to the handset, and then when contact is made with the Jajah servers we take that across the ocean on IP, and then deliver that to AT&T.

    KD: So in that regard – breaking out international traffic onto IP – it’s not that different to how operators already handle international traffic, aside from the number translation aspect?

    TH: I think it’s different in that it’s quite a complicated algorithm that helps you use the numbers, carrying out the look up so that you can call a number and find your friend in Cairo, and I could call the same number and find my friend in Dublin. But yes, the days when it would be a strange thing for a carrier to use an IP network are over.

    KD: The release says this is the first of many services, what other services do you have planned?

    TH: I think we’ll see this service rolled out in other territories. In terms of other services – at Jajah we want to act as a platform for innovation within O2, delivering a range of new products to market. Of course, I can’t share what they are yet.