Between Skype, Google Voice, Viber and several smaller players, there are plenty of platform-agnostic services vying to put your voice through their IP (get it?), and now UK carrier O2 is introducing us to its twist on multi-device communication with TU Go. It's like a marriage of the traditional phone service with the idea of making calls on your laptop, or sending messages from your tablet. An evolution of parent company Telefonica's similar TU Me apps, the TU Go software spreads your phone number across up to five devices simultaneously. You can make and receive calls / texts and manage your voicemail from compatible kit with a cellular or data connection, with all activity aggregated into one "timeline." You can't hook your smartphone up to WiFi, or gab away on another device to avoid eating into your plan's allowance, though -- all usage is treated as if it originated from your phone. TU Go is now available to all O2 customers on a monthly contract, and if you want your whole house to ring at once, head to the link below to find apps for iOS, Android, and a beta for Windows 7 (note: it really is 7-specific, and won't run in Windows 8).
TU Go from O2 sets mobile numbers free as customers can make and receive calls from internet-connected devices
· TU Go service now available to O2 Pay Monthly customers
· New, free-to-download app lets users make and receive calls, texts and voicemail from their existing O2 number on any supported device
· Calls are charged in line with a Pay Monthly tariff – with calls and texts taken from a customer's existing O2 bundle
O2 is making customers' mobile phone numbers truly mobile with the launch of TU Go, a new service that is open to Pay Monthly customers. For the first time, TU Go enables O2 customers to make and receive calls and text messages on a range of devices rather than being tied to their handset.
TU Go is an application that's free to download. Calls and texts using the app come out of customers' existing O2 bundle of call time and text message allowances. The service will use a customer's existing O2 number, so there are no extra usernames to remember and no separate numbers to give out. Customers using TU Go will be able to make and receive calls and texts to and from anyone on any network, even if the recipient doesn't have the app installed. The O2 mobile network will deliver calls, texts and voicemail as normal so contacts won't notice anything different.
The TU Go app is available on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 5 and above), Android devices (smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3.1 – Gingerbread – and above) and PCs (running Windows 7 only) and means customers can use a single mobile number – their own – across any of these internet connected devices, seamlessly.
"Customers can now take their mobile number wherever they like, even away from their mobile," said Sally Cowdry, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2 in the UK. "TU Go lets you take a call on a tablet, pick up text messages on a PC and have conversations in places with Wi-Fi coverage but no mobile signal. We're letting nothing stand between our customers and their number.
"TU Go is a clear demonstration of the way we are bringing new technological possibilities to our customers – taking access to our mobile network beyond the mobile phone. While it is still in its early stages, and TU Go is a first step, we have plans to develop the services we can offer using this platform – bringing our customers an ever-wider range of digital services on a wider range of devices."
TU Go combines Voice over IP and the O2 mobile network, making it possible for customers to access their communication history on a range of different devices. The app works on both smartphones and 3G / WiFi tablets – and customers can choose whether to use it via a Wi-Fi or GSM connection, where available.
When a user receives a call, their TU Go app will ring across all the devices it is installed on (alongside their mobile handset), a text message will show just the same as it would on a laptop as it would on their phone. Users are also able to access their device's local address books and see all their conversations and call history in one timeline, synced across all devices.
TU Go integrates seamlessly with the O2 network, meaning customers using the app will experience the same service on, for instance, their tablet, as they do on their mobile phone with any calls or texts sent through TU Go landing on the recipients' phones as normal.
Those using TU Go will be able to log into the app on up to five devices simultaneously. The service collects calls, texts and voicemail directly from the O2 network rather than from the customer's phone, so it doesn't need to be installed on an O2 handset in order for it to work.
This gives them greater flexibility around which devices they use, whether that's using their tablet after their handset battery runs dry, keeping them connected on their PC when they've left their mobile at home or staying in touch when they are in an area with Wi-Fi but no mobile signal.
Sally Cowdry concludes: "For the first time, TU Go will mean customers can use their O2 number across a huge range of different devices. It will extend the O2 phone number and package far beyond just the mobile handset.
"Just as consumers' demands of what their handset can do – and what they use it for – have changed, so we think their demands of their network will change. TU Go is a statement of intent from O2: that we will continue to develop services that meet the existing demands of our customers and will go beyond those creating new products that open their eyes to the possibilities that mobile technology can deliver."
To download TU Go from O2, visit www.o2.co.uk/tugo. TU Go is initially available to O2 Pay Monthly customers.