Telefónica’s O2 division in the UK will this week launch a new VoIP service called TuGo that will allow mobile users to make and receive calls on any Wi-Fi connected device using their mobile numbers, the company’s UK CEO Ronan Dunne confirmed.
The TuGo app will first appear in the iOS App Store on 28 February and will be followed by an Android version.
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The app will effectively enable O2 mobile users to continue to make and receive calls to and from their mobile devices even if out of cellular coverage, provided they can get Wi-Fi access.
The app will effectively see O2 compete against Skype and apps like Viber in allowing users to make and receive phone calls from their iPhones or iPads using their mobile phone numbers.
“The app will be integrated deeply with your current mobile phone tariff, wherever you are you can liberate your phone number on any device with a Wi-Fi connection. It turns any connected device into a voice client,” said Dunne, who was speaking to Siliconrepublic.com at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“It means you don’t have to have Skype and pay to make calls from Wi-Fi points.”
Dunne said the new TuGo service turns voice calling into a multi-screen experience.
“It frees you up to use any device of your choice to make phone calls but using the same mobile number people would have in their address books.”
Dunne said the new app was built by Telefónica Digital. He said the UK will be the first market to receive the new service but it will roll out in other markets in due course.
“Once you register you can continue to use your current minute and text bundle on any screen of your choice, literally,” Dunne said.