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Telefónica's TU app text
Telefónica is not the first operator to release an OTT communications app — T-Mobile USA launched the Bobsled VoIP app for smartphones last October — but TU Me is the most comprehensive package yet to come from a cellular carrier.
The app draws its contacts from the user's phone address book. Telefónica's spokesman said there are no plans as yet to link it to social networks such as Facebook, but pointed out that users could invite their address book contacts to also download the app.
Disruptive Analysis's Dean Bubley, who has long been advising operators to create their own OTT services, reacted favourably to the app's release.
"I definitely like the OTT aspect and the potential virality," Bubley told ZDNet UK in an email. "It looks 'designed' as much as 'engineered', which is a good thing."
However, the analyst expressed concern about the way in which the app bundles many communication types.
"I'm less certain about the idea of putting all comms in a single app," he said. "I think there's value in fragmentation into multiple services, as it allow individuals to better segregate their personal comms 'universe' much better."
Image credit: Telefónica