• Caught in the debt trap?

    Help us help you by taking our second annual Debt survey and you could win R3 000.

  • Rich man, poor man

    Culture change from below is the only way to overcome poverty, says Leopold Scholtz.

  • Tech bubble talk

    After the tech euphoria of 2013, the fast-moving sector has hit a speed bump.

Data provided by McGregor BFA
All data is delayed
Loading...
See More

Operators launch WhatsApp challenger

Nov 28 2012 16:45 Reuters

Related Articles

Facebook launches video chat with Skype

Microsoft near $8.5bn deal for Skype

Video making second mobile revolution

Market slams Microsoft's Skype takeover

 
Madrid - Spain's three biggest mobile operators are teaming up to launch a service they hope will help them better compete with the likes of WhatsApp, Viber and Skype, which are luring customers with the promise of free phone calls and messages.

The Joyn service from Telefonica's Movistar, France Telecom's Orange and Vodafone will offer free messaging, enhanced call features and in some cases free calls.

The move comes amid a sharp fall in the number of paid-for text messages sent in recession-hit Spain, where the unemployment rate stands at one in four and where WhatsApp is the best-selling application on Apple Inc's App Store.

The service has become so well known that the local government on the southern island of Tenerife has said officials should use the application to cut mobile bills.

Joyn, which allows users to send video and pictures while on a smart phone, is available for Android phones and will shortly launch for Apple's iPhone.

More telecoms companies in Spain and globally are expected to offer the service, which will be implemented across operators in Germany later this year and in several European countries in 2013.

"This is the beginning of something that will cross most operators in most countries," said Graham Trickey, senior projects director at telecoms organisation GSMA.

Telefonica and Vodafone have lost hundreds of thousands of clients in Spain this year since they stopped subsiding smartphones, a policy Vodafone recently reversed.

Cash-strapped consumers are spending less on traditional telecom services, a boon to Internet-based services like WhatsApp and Skype.

The number of paid-for text messages sent in Spain dropped to 1.5 billion in the second quarter of 2012, from 1.9 billion in the same period the year before, according to the country's telecoms regulator.

Operators are keen to maintain customer loyalty, even if they are not making money from them. And Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange could charge for some Joyn services in future.

"It's possible that in the future we could launch new added-value services that could be paid for, for example better quality videocalls," a spokeswoman for Orange Spain said.
whatsapp  |  skype
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're Talking About: Small Business

Standard Bank is looking for 12 entrepreneurs to participate in a 10-part TV series. They could win a R1m investment into their dream.
 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...