Light Reading
In developing Tu Me, the Spanish giant's digital division adopted an applications development model that's more Google than telco-like

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
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:23:26 PM
re: Et Tu, Telefónica?


Definitely sounds like a cool, very un-telco-like app. I downloaded it on my iPhone and will give it a whirl. 

Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed