Spain’s Telefonica has revealed plans to shut down Jajah, its US-based internet telephony service, at the end of January.
“As of January 31, 2014, Jajah [Mountain View, CA, USA] will no longer offer any Jajah.com or Jajah Direct services to its users in the United States or elsewhere,” said a statement published on Jajah’s website.
“This means that, as of January 31, 2014, you will no longer be able to make any calls through any of Jajah’s services, including the Jajah.com website and Jajah Direct,” it continued. “Registration of new accounts are no longer being accepted.”
Jajah was founded in 2005 and acquired by Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) for the sum of $207 million in 2009.
Telefonica has not provided an explanation of its reasons for shutting down the service, but it faced tough competition from a host of other internet-telephony players – including Microsoft-owned Skype (Luxembourg) – and had probably struggled to generate income.
The operator has also appeared keen to focus resources and efforts on its Tu Go over-the-top (OTT) service – launched in the UK market in February 2013 – itself an evolution of the Tu Me internet telephony and messaging service it had begun offering in May 2012.
Although take-up of internet telephony has had an impact on revenues from traditional services, operators have been launching their own internet telephony products in an attempt to dissuade customers from using third-party providers.
Many operators naturally see a marketing benefit in maintaining a service connection with consumers – even if the service generates no revenues.
Nevertheless, some operators have shown a willingness to form partnerships with OTT players, providing OTT content and features as part of standard data tariffs.
Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (Bonn), for instance, has a partnership with online music provider Spotify (Stockholm, Sweden), allowing mobile data customers in Germany to access Spotify’s premium services for no additional charge.