O2 to claw back lost call revenue through new communication app

O2 to claw back lost call revenue through new communication app

Telefonica, which owns O2's telecommunications network, is hoping to embrace rising data usage for messaging and phone calls by releasing a new application.

Tu Me allows consumers to send texts and speak to colleagues or friends without eating into their monthly quota, with the result being deducted from data allowances.

The application is being released to compete with existing programmes like Skype and Whatsapp, which send communication over the internet. This often results in using a small amount of data, and can even be free in a Wi-Fi zone.

Earlier this year, Ovum revealed that social messaging applications had cost mobile network operators £8.8 billion in lost SMS revenue.

Speaking to the BBC, Jeremy Green, a principal analyst at Ovum, said that Tu Me is an example of Telefonica saying "if you can't beat them, join them".

"The tweak on it is that the service is still anchored to the users' telephone number and from a telecom firm's point of view that's a good way to protect their revenues," he added.

At launch, the application will be free for iPhone users, with another version set to be released for Android owners.