Tu Go is a brand new service from O2 which allows pay monthly customers to use certain internet enabled devices as a phone. That means sending and receiving texts, making and receiving calls and accessing your voicemail, all without ever touching your smartphone.
All you have to do is download the free app and you’ll be ready to go. It uses your existing O2 number, which keeps things simple, and you’ll be charged in line with your contract rate. So for example if you make a call from the app it will be counted against your O2 minutes in the same way as if you make a call from your phone.
You’re not limited to communicating only with other Tu Go users either, or even with other people on O2. You can communicate with anyone on any network, whether they have the Tu Go app or not.
Texts and call history will be synced across all devices and anytime you receive a call it will ring on all enabled devices, likewise texts will pop up on everything. It sounds like enough to give you a headache if you go overboard on enabled devices, but it has the potential to be very useful.
For example if you’re away from your phone- or forgot to bring it with you somewhere, this can keep you in contact with the world. It should also come in very handy if your phone battery dies, which, let’s face it, is a legitimate risk in these days of high powered smartphones with under powered batteries. It could also be useful if you find yourself somewhere that doesn’t have any reception but does have Wi-Fi access.
Currently the service is only available to pay monthly customers and can be activated on up to 5 devices. The supported devices right now are iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch’s running iOS 5 and above, smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3.1 (Gingerbread) and above and PC’s running Windows 7. More from O2 about TU_Go in the video below.
Sally Cowdry, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2 in the UK said of the service that “for the first time, TU Go will mean customers can use their O2 number across a huge range of devices. It will extend the O2 phone number and package far beyond just a mobile handset.”
It certainly sounds useful; however we do foresee a few problems with the service. For one thing if you use it over 3G or 4G you’ll be eating into both your data and your minutes/texts. It’s also worth being aware that there are similar services available which are totally free to use, such as Skype, however they don’t have the convenience of letting you use your existing mobile number.
Additionally if you’re a pay-as-you-go or business user you can’t currently access the service, which is a shame. Still, it’s early days yet, so it may well improve with time, and as it’s free to download you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a try.
By Kevin Thomas on 06th March, 2013