So it seems that O2 are withdrawing their Tu Go application. If you have never heard of it, it is an application that you can run on your mobile, tablet or PC to enable you to send and receive calls and SMS messages over the Internet rather than the O2 Mobile network – a lifeline if you live in a poor mobile coverage area or travel abroad, but have access to an internet connection.
As per the Press Release on the O2 website :
We’re closing TU Go
TU Go is closing on 30th November 2017. You’ll be able to use it up until then but you’ll need to make sure you’ve saved any messages or images that you don’t have elsewhere as the app won’t work after this date. With O2’s launch of Wifi and 4G Calling on many current and new devices, it now means that you can make and receive calls whenever you are connected to wifi without the use of an additional app.
The following phones will allow you to make a wifi call wherever you have a wifi signal, without the need for an additional app:
iPhone X, 8, 7, 6S, 6, and SE (including Plus models)
Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 edge and Note 8 *
Sony XZ Premium, XZ1 and XZ1 Compact*
*Android devices must be using O2 firmware in order to work with Wifi Calling.
Looking at the O2 forums, Twitter there are a lot of angry O2 customers (or should that be, soon to be ex-customers) who use this tool due to poor coverage and/or travelling overseas. Staff at our local O2 store even recommended Tu Go when we were going overseas as well as for day to day use with our 2g at best coverage in the village.
Interestingly, when our (personal) Twitter moan was picked up by O2 Twitter Team, other than “The list of handsets will be updated in time” and “SMS over Wifi will be coming in 2018, there were no definitive timescales – a bit concerning if you have just bought a handset/were considering a new upgrade which isn’t on their “approved list”.
Whilst we do understand that there are plenty of 3rd party apps available for providing SMS/Text over the Internet, most of them need to be running on both parties handsets – not sure we could convince all of our personal and business clients to install a new app, just on the offchance we need to text them !
Now, whilst we would agree that technology moves on & supporting Wifi calling is a step forward, this only works in your favour if you support the wishes of the customers on your network AND their requirements i.e make calls and send/receive SMS messages over the internet on a handset purchased from you, the supplier.
Vodafone offer a Sure Signal unit which allows you to register mobile handsets so they can use your internet connection to make and receive calls in poor signal areas, O2 have a similar item called BoostBox, but fortunately this is only available to Business Customers and is over twice the price of the Vodafone unit !
With less than 6 weeks until the Tu Go application is stopped, it appears that a lot of O2 customers are looking at alternative providers who can provide the services they require as well as a fallback option if mobile coverage is poor.
Sometimes, it really is the little things that people need, not the latest greatest handset, just the ability to make calls, send and receive texts in areas of poor mobile coverage on a handset that isn’t the latest and greatest !