Go ahead and feel free to laugh at the title of this blog. I had a hard time maintaining a straight face as I typed it myself. It’s kind of like saying “local grocer sets out to challenge WalMart.” It’s a novel and virtuous idea, but ultimately, unrealistic. Skype has brand recognition and is integrated into some of the most widely used platforms, including Windows 8 OS and Facebook. We’re not talking about Acme VoIP, here, it’s Skype, which is like a god in the VoIP world.
A few articles surfaced today, pertaining to the TU Go app from O2, which has been polished up recently and re-launched along with some silly buzz. O2, who is based out of the UK, landed a spot on BBC News site, which proclaims this may just be the next big thing for VoIP. I beg to differ.
Like every other mobile VoIP app under the sun, with TU Go you can <drumroll> make calls for free. Pretty amazing, right? TU Go links with up to five devices, and they will all ring at the same when you receive a call. This is incredibly useful for surround sound calling – total immersion in your conversation.
It’s not like Vonage, Skype, Rebtel, ooVoo, Google Voice, et al offer anything like this. Sarcasm aside, let’s look at how interoperable the system requirements are for O2’s VoIP gem. With TU Go, you are limited to iOS 5 and above, Android Gingerbread and higher, and Windows 7 (possibly Windows 8, because the kernel is nearly identical, though this is not stated). Unfortunately, other platforms like Blackberry and Windows Mobile are missing out from this stellar VoIP app.
Like many other VoIP apps, calling someone who is not utilizing the service requires payment. The one nice feature TU Go claims to have is that it links to your existing phone plan, so charges accumulate in one spot rather than requiring that users make a separate, highly inconvenient purchase.
An analyst named Jeremy Green, who is implied to be from Ovum in the BBC article, believes that TU Go stands out from the rest of the VoIP crowd. This seems a little strange, seeing as how Ovum provides some of the best insight into the VoIP market. If you want to hear about a VoIP app that is actually gaining traction, look at Line. Guest blogger Dan Blacharski just posted a blog about a week ago mentioning the Line app. Happy reading!