We live in a well connected world these days where you can instantly draw upon the the great search engine in sky for the answer to any question, watch videos of Shetland Ponies moonwalking and other such delights that the Internet can bring. Now while this is all wondrous and invigorating, but what happens when you want to make an actual phone call? Well for the unlucky few this is a major stumbling block. Due to the way a lot of the buildings in the UK were built back in the early 19th century and in some cases even modern buildings we sometimes struggle to make a phone call from inside our own house/flat/studio/burrow. There have been numerous different options to try and resolve this issue over the years. Some have been cheap fixes, some have involved a lot of tinfoil and some have been very expensive however most of them have been largely ineffective. So is it not time that someone makes a change to this is a way that everyone can use and understand. Enter TU Go from Telefonica (O2’s parent company).
What is it?
Quite simply TU Go is a method to make phone calls from your mobile phone number but route them thought a data connection be it WiFi or Mobile Data. Of course there is more to it than that but in essence that is what it does. Now to get into the nitty gritty of it and how it works.
How it works?
After much deliberation on how to explain this I have come up with the following scenario.
“Little Johnny is wanting to phone Granny Smith on her ancient mobile phone that still uses AA batteries but he has very little signal.”
So before he discovered TU Go he would have had to use his Landline to phone her and therefore he would incur a calling charge and Johnnies dad would not be happy about that. However they do have WiFi in their house and Johnny has a smartphone so he downloads and signs up for TU Go and then finds Granny’s number on his phone, within moments he is connected to her and all is right with the world.
Now I know that this is very simplified usage scenario but imagine that Little Johnny was abroad and he has access to WiFi, this was the real penny dropping moment for me. Due to the fact that Little Johnny is using a WiFi connection to make the call and not the foreign network he will not incur any international charges for his phone call and neither will Granny.
TU Go will allow messages and phone calls to be sent from the customers phone number to be sent from their phone or tablet or even PC without using the standard voice networks. It looks and feel like the native apps on the phones and turns anything with a data connection into a phone. This is a brilliant solution for those of us that are in the unfortunate position of not having a reliable network connection but open access to WiFi. It is in this area where I think TU Go plays into the customers hands. I also really like the fact that it uses my phone number instead of a username etc as it means I have one less to remember.
Now this frankly groundbreaking app is only available to O2 customers in the UK as it is free for them to use it. At the moment is is only available for iOS devices and Android as well as your PC if it is Windows 7 or below. However it is going to be released onto WP8 and BB10 in the near future and I believe that there is a OSX version in the works. At the moment this App is only available for those customers on Pay Monthly, Business and Pay and Go will be coming soon.
I have been lucky enough to test this out in various circumstances and it is great and very easy to use. I am aware that there are some other apps out there that do similar things but the big problem with them is that they all require both parties to have a smartphone or tablet and generally the same OS though not always. TU Go’s system of allowing the phone call to be sent down the same connections used for normal voice is where it is unique.
Will this shake up the old reliables of using Femtocells or using alternative services well the jury is out on that but for this reviewer I am hooked. Now on that note I need to go and do my best Dom Jolly impression and call my mother from my desktop!
Here is a wee Video from the O2 Guru Channel explaining it