Bouygues Telecom has selected fring’s telco over the top (OTT) service as it looks to compete with the likes of WhatsApp and Skype.
The operator launched a World & YOU service, which enables users to make calls and send SMS via Wi-Fi for free while travelling abroad, to the 1.6 million mobile customers on its SIM-only B&YOU brand this summer.
“Our customers expect [a] high quality, low cost mobile service which, thanks to the fring service, we can now extend beyond local French cellular coverage, allowing subscribers to enjoy international communication as if they were calling from within France,” said Benoît Torloting, Head of digital & B&YOU.
fring, whose OTT solution enables peer-to-peer voice and video calls, chat and conferencing as well as traditional telephony services, was acquired by US-based vendor GENBAND earlier this month.
“Leveraging the fring OTT solution, we eliminate cellular network roaming charges and deliver our commitment to quality-cost competitive advantage even when our customers are travelling worldwide,” added Torloting.
In common with all other operators, Bouygues continues to face tough competition from OTT providers such as WhatsApp and Skype.
In August, for example, WhatsApp announced it was introducing a voice messaging snippets function as it encroaches ever further onto services traditionally provided by telcos.
Operators are looking at telco OTT solutions to rival the GSMA-led service joyn, which in an August survey said it was backed by just seven percent of operators polled.
Bouygues said cost-cutting measures helped it return to profitability in the second quarter of the year as France’s number three operator fights off the challenge of new entrant Free Mobile as well as the OTT threat.