& cplSiteName &

Et Tu, Telefónica?

Ray Le Maistre
8/20/2012
50%
50%

The concept that a new service can be offered to consumers and then further developed and finessed on the fly depending on user feedback -- you know, how Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and other online applications giants do it -- is alien to traditional telecom service providers.

Which is why the team at Telefónica Digital is so excited to be doing it and clearly energized by the impact of its first major effort, Tu Me, a unified communications app for smartphones that was still in beta when it was launched and took just 100 days to develop.

And here's the other thing that's unusual for a new telco offering -- the application is free and can be used by anyone, whether they're a Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) customer or not, as it's an over-the-top application.

In the online world that's standard practice: In the telco world, people will have to go and lie down in a dark room to wrestle with the idea.

Tu be or not tu be
Tu Me was launched on May 8 this year, initially for iPhone users and in English. (See Telefónica Digital Gets Smart.)

The team soon had feedback from the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets, and now the app is available in those languages too.

On June 18, an Android version was released, and "that's when the momentum really kicked in," noted Stephen Shurrock, Telefónica Digital's chief commercial officer, during a recent media day in London.

By the end of June, Tu Me had 250,000 active users and by the end of July it had risen to 600,000 active users, with Spain, Brazil, France, the U.K. and the U.S. being the most active markets.

The whole way along, the Tu Me team, lead by Director of Communications Products Jamie Finn, has been monitoring and reacting to user feedback online. "We're aiming for customer care differentiation and social customer care. We have a big focus on listening to customers and reacting. We've already done a lot of revisions to Tu Me," he stated at the July briefing. Users even created their own user interfaces for the applications and shared them online.

(Listening to customers? Reacting to customers? That'll send more folk to darkened rooms....)

Tu die for
Tu Me was developed on what the operator calls its Tu Core ecosystem, which was developed from the Jajah IP applications platform Telefónica acquired in 2009. APIs to Tu Core are being made available to developers through Telefónica Digital's BlueVia operation. (See BlueVia Tackles the App Gap, TEF's VoIP Revolution and Telefónica Buys VoIP Player Jajah.)

Next up, again based on Tu Core, is Tu Go. (Are you getting this naming convention? Will we ever get to download Tu Kill a Mockingbird?)

Tu Go, set to be launched in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2012 and then rolled out internationally, is a different proposition from Tu Me in that it'll be for Telefónica customers only. And whereas Tu Me is an app-to-app service, Tu Go will act as an extension of the customer's existing service but branching it across multiple devices and access networks. The user has a single number that is used to sign on to the service via any connection (fixed, mobile, Wi-Fi) using any device. All of the usage history, contacts and other information is stored online, so that can be updated and accessed in real time from any device.

The Telefónica Digital team describe it as the best of the telco with the best of the Web (even referring to it as 'Over the Telco'). Finn believes this is the way all communications service providers (CSPs) will offer their voice and other applications in the future. "I expect that in five years, every telco will be offering their voice service across every device," he noted.

Except anyone launching that in five years will be a long way behind Telefónica Digital.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Verizon Backpedals on Go90
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/24/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.