Light Reading

Telefónica: Tu Me Has Got To Go

Sarah Thomas

Telefónica's Digital division is pulling the plug on its over-the-top voice and SMS service, Tu Me, instead focusing all its efforts on its cross-platform communications app, Tu Go.

The operator confirmed Tu Me's shuttering on Wednesday and let its users know service would end on Sept. 8. This time last year, Telefónica reported having more than 600,000 active users for the service.

Jamie Finn, who leads Telefónica's OTT efforts, says it's abandoning the service in order to really focus on Tu Go, its newer app that lets users send texts or make voice or video calls from any device, including their tablet or PC.

"We are doubling down on Tu Go since it only makes sense to focus on what is working and our customers are asking for every day," Finn writes in an email to Light Reading, adding that it had to prioritize Tu Go "based on the operator's not unlimited engineering resources."

The logic makes sense as Tu Go has been successful for the operator and extends its core communications services rather than offers an alternative to them. It's been a way for Telefónica to keep customers loyal by increasing the value of their service. (See Et Tu, Telefónica?)

There is, however, another very clear reason Tu Me is getting the boot. Most mobile users are already well entrenched in their communications app of choice. If they aren't using traditional voice and SMS, they have a favorite OTT app. Just today, WhatsApp revealed it has hit 300 million monthly active users, sending 11 billion messages and receiving 20 billion messages per day. Luring those users back to an operator-offered service was never going to be easy, even if it's free.

Tu Go fills an actual need in the marketplace, however. As I've mentioned before, divorcing the device from the communications service makes a lot of sense. As with email, when it syncs across all screens, it is markedly easier to use. There's no service cannibalization risk and no alternative app that's going to be easier than a native one. (See Texting & The Phone Get Divorced .)

It is disappointing to see Tu Me shut down. We've often praised Telefónica as an operator that seems to "get it" when it comes to OTT in the past. But I do think it was the right move. And I'd add that it does support Telefónica Digital's mantra of exploring new services, seeing what sticks and ditching what doesn't -- acting like a startup, basically. As Finn says, they learned a lot from Tu Me that will now help with Tu Go, so it wasn't a failure. It's a smart business strategy and, for Telefónica, this appears to be the right decision.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/9/2013 | 1:32:32 PM
re: Telefónica: Tu Me Has Got To Go
I'm sure the users who have the plug pulled on them are thrilled with the audacity.
Ray Le Maistre
Ray Le Maistre,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/8/2013 | 9:36:22 AM
re: Telefónica: Tu Me Has Got To Go
And WhatsApp has just added a voice messaging service too....
Ray Le Maistre
Ray Le Maistre,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/8/2013 | 9:25:21 AM
re: Telefónica: Tu Me Has Got To Go
You've got to hand it to Telefonica -- as pointed out in this blog, to launch a service, attract a user base and then pull the plug about a year later to focus on something else that is working better goes totally against the normal behaviour patterns of a telco. Does that count as a cultural success for Telefonica Digital?
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Everything is changing in the comms space and Helena Norrman, Ericsson's CMO, says that having a diverse workforce is one way to ensure companies can transform and thrive.
Kirksey, director of the OPNFV, is passionate about improving the gender balance in comms, and she's bringing men into the equation with an event with WiC next week.
Quotas backed up by KPIs are the best way to level the playing field for women in comms, SAP's SVP says as she provides a global perspective.
The chief of staff for Cisco's head of engineering and champion of women engineers at the networking giant shares her perspective and advice for women in comms.
Speakers at the Grace Hopper Celebration shared practical ways to improve the hiring pipeline for women in tech. By changing how we recruit, we can also change who we recruit.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (0) comments

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.