HomeNewsOrange brings Open Chat to Libon, which also replaces joyn

    Orange brings Open Chat to Libon, which also replaces joyn


    Customers of Orange-owned OTT service Libon will be able to chat and share media with contacts who do not have the app following a new update.

    Users can interact with anyone who has an HTML5 browser across a smartphone, tablet or PC. Recipients get a link to their chat and can then download the app from there or continue to chat through the web link. 

    The new features are in addition to Libon users being able to make free voice over IP calls with each other and free landline and mobile calls in more than 40 countries, if they sign up to a premium option.

    Giles Corbett, head of Libon, told Mobile Europe that the increased functionality was in response to growing competition from rival OTT services. 

    Facebook bought the messaging service WhatsApp last night in a shock €13.9 billion deal, which gives it access to some 450 million subscribers. 

    Speaking before the Facebook deal was signed, Corbett said: “From an Orange perspective, it’s a response to the likes of Viber and WhatsApp. There’s no point trying to flag it on consumers; they have to want it. Anyone is a click away from competing services so you need to provide something with an enormous amount of love built in. As a telco, this is not about trying to get some bloatware and shove it on consumers.”

    He said Libon helped to reduce Orange’s churn rate and also improved its financials. In France, Orange is giving Libon for free to customers of its digital-only Sosh proposition resulting in a 21 percent increase in international inbound traffic.

    Corbett said video functionality was being worked on but he did not feel it was a missed opportunity in the latest update: “We can’t do everything at once. Consumers don’t complain about what you don’t do, they complain about us doing things badly.”

    Meanwhile, Orange also announced Libon would become the group’s consumer app for all joyn-enabled services. Joyn is the GSMA-led RCS service, allowing interoperable OTT services across operators. 

    After launching in France and Spain, Orange said it is holding joyn trials in Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, with additional countries to follow this year. 

    Libon will replace the existing “joyn by Orange” apps in France and Spain.