Telefonica shuts down Jajah services

European operator Telefonica will retire VoIP service Jajah in January next year. Users will no longer be able to make calls using either the website or the Jajah Direct service as of January 31, 2014.

Telefonica acquired Jajah for €145m in late 2009 but question marks were already being raised over the future of the service by March 2011, when the operator launched another cloud based telephony service called Second Line. The service gave users access to a second number, visual voicemail, call registers and advanced call screening.

Then, in August this year, Telefonica Digital, the innovation arm of the operator, announced it would be retiring its rich communication prototype Tu Me, which was developed as a result of the acquisition of Jajah. It was rolled out on O2, Movistar and Vivo branded networks in a bid to curb the popularity of third party messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber that had contributed to the erosion of operators’ voice and messaging revenues.

Tu Me was officially retired in September and users were instead being pushed onto Tu Go, which extends the same functionality to non-smartphone devices including iOS and Android tablets and Windows-based PCs.

Telefonica said in a statement to that despite retiring the services, Jajah’s technology and expertise “continues to represent the core of Telefonica’s communications capabilities”.

“Fully integrated into Telefonica Digital, Jajah is the key VoIP network platform for the group and its engineering teams are behind innovative products such as Tu Go, International Favourites, International Extras and Global Friends,” the statement read.

It added that since the acquisition of VoIP provider, Telefonica has invested to grow and reinforce the Jajah team in Israel by over 70 per cent and earlier this year it was re-named Telefonica Digital Israel.

At the time of the acquisition, Matthew Key, who was then chairman and CEO of Telefónica Europe, said: “The acquisition of Jajah broadens the scope of our communications offering and opens up new capabilities in the voice communication space.  People using social networking sites such as Twitter now have an even wider range of communications channels available – and have the option of speaking directly to each other as well as communicating by text or keyboard.”

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