fonYou to let operators fight back against Google Voice, Ribbit et al

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Digital Storm Black|Ops certainly looks good

[Spain] With the rise of consumer-facing cloud telephone services, such as Google Voice and Ribbit, the call management services of traditional mobile operators are starting to look a bit long in the tooth. How long, therefore, before they roll out rival offerings of their own?

Not long, hopes Spanish MVNO fonYou, which today announced that it will begin licensing its Online Mobile Telephony solution to mobile network operators.

The company’s platform allows operators to offer their customers the ability to control their mobile phone services online, giving them direct access to call records, text messages and voicemails via a web browser. The degree of control and customization seems quite detailed too, including the option to set different voice mail greeting messages for individual contacts, configure your address book online, re-direct and block certain contacts, and so on. The browser-based user interface also appears to be slick, and presumably can be re-branded for each partner operator.

If my network offered such a service, it would certainly be one more reason to consider staying with them next time my contract is up for renewal. And with customer churn the number one issue which preoccupies the carriers, fonYou’s proposition does seem compelling. Cue a quote from Fernando Núñez Mendoza, CEO of fonYou:

“With Online Mobile Telephony services operators can compete with the new generation of aggressive cloud-based models such as Google Voice, Ribbit or Skype, and get closer to their customers. In this new competitive environment, fonYou will empower operators to quickly launch new ‘sticky’ services, greatly improve the users’ experience, and secure their position in the new and growing online market segments.”

And fonYou’s proposition has already stuck. The company says it’s signed up its first group of mobile operator customers who will launch their own version of the Online Mobile Telephony solution in the next quarter.

Next week fonYou will demo its service at the Mobile Premier awards and at our own TechCrunch Mobile 2010 event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

  • Mark


    In Spain, Customer churn is not a concern of operators at all. Basically, any decent offers they make are not for upgrading customers, so if your with Orange and you want their latest phone which they might be offering free for new customers, and your contract is up, you basically get shafted.

    When I lived in the UK it was the exact opposite. Not sure what goes through the heads of the Operators here…

    When I found I was in the situation where my operator had a new phone I wanted at a considerably reduced rate, I would port my number to a pay as you go on another network, and then back again. Or I would just take a new contract with a new number.

    Funnily enough fonYou is Spanish, I guess they must be licensing it to operators who give a s#@t about what their current customers want!

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  • Edward OMeara

    Bigger question is whether mobile operators would be clever enough to use their interface. Most companies insist on customizing “white label” products so much, an end-user rarely experiences the benefits of smart design.

  • Liam

    Wonder if Mr Fon himself, Martin Varsavsky, has a stake in this? If not, suspect he will be well hacked off with choice of name.


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  • Mark

    @edward I agree most operators want to “rebrand” so much that it becomes worse than useless… I guess the PR/Media departments in those companies have to justify their budgets by messing with everything.

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