There are interesting things happening in the world of OTT voice and messaging, particularly in the mobile operator arena. On the one hand, Telefónica is dropping the Tu Me and Jajah universal services; on the other, both it and Orange are extending their investments in Tu Go and Libon. Tu Go, just as a refresher, extends the reach of O2 UKs core voice and messaging services to non-cellular devices such as iPads and Android tablets. Now Orange is doing something similar with Libon, first integrating it with its domestic “Sosh” MVNO and promising to extend it to five more countries by the middle of 2014. Taken in the round, it looks like these big mobile operators are not trying to be the next Skype or Viber but rather seeing OTT as an additional form of CPE with which to extend the reach and usage of core cellular services.
All in all, this looks like a smart approach and answers the perennial question as to how cellular operators can make money out of OTT. It also leverages the long-term investments made in SIP and IMS and paves the way for an eventual transition of all voice and messaging services to IP.