Neelie Kroes hasn’t given a public opinion about zero-rated mobile content and apps, but her office has told anti-zero-rating advocates that it’s a competition issue rather than a net neutrality issue. It’s up to her successor, Andrus Ansip, to clear things up.
Orange is preparing to offer its “over-the-top” Libon app for integration into rival operators’ services, both as a modern way to make cheap international calls, and as a potential front-end for Joyn.
The WhatsApp/Skype rival Tu Me didn’t take off, but Tu Go — which instead extends handset functionality to the desktop and tablet — seems to be a greater success. That said, Joyn remains the elephant in the room.
Germany’s largest mobile operators, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, both support Joyn now. However, the service’s success depends on all carriers signing up, as has happened in Spain and South Korea.
Vodafone Ventures is leading an $8.3 million investment in Jibe Mobile, which is working on a platform to help developers integrate Joyn. Joyn, which is backed by GSMA, enables rich communications such as IM, voice and video calling and file transfers.
The three biggest mobile operators in Spain have all launched Joyn, the consumer-facing brand name for Rich Communications Services. But, with entrenched over-the-top rivals such as WhatsApp, is this long-gestating platform too late?