Telefónica Europe has rolled out its IP-based international calling services built on the JAJAH IP communications platform across its O2 businesses in Europe.
O2 customers in Germany will be the first able to use a new service called O2 Global Friends to make international calls by dialling a local number.
The service will allow customers to choose up to five friends who live aboard, with the O2 Global Friends service assigning a local number for each, which the user can phone at any time to reduce their international calling bill from their mobile.
The service, which O2 says is the first of its kind, will reach some 54m O2 customers across Europe in the coming months and will be accompanied by a high profile marketing and ad campaign.
O2's move comes just six month since it acquired internet telephony company JAJAH for €145m in a bid to strengthen its unified communications offering.
JAJAH CEO Trevor Healy said: "The power of an innovative Silicon Valley start-up joining forces with a major telecommunications company highlights the benefits of combining innovation with scale. Telefónica's global reach, huge customer base and marketing muscle will bring once-niche services to millions of mainstream customers, taking JAJAH-powered services to a whole new level."
Charlotte Patrick, principal analyst at research firm Gartner, said: "The introduction of an IP-based calling service by a mainstream carrier shows the maturity of this market and we can expect other telcos to follow with similar services. Telefónica's purchase of JAJAH has given it some really interesting long distance calling propositions and their impact on the market should give us an insight into carriers' future strategy in this area."