O2 is facing a customer backlash after axing its TuGo voice over IP app which allows calls to be made over WiFi when customers have no signal.
The mobile network says the advent of WiFi calling, a similar feature which comes included in newer smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models without the need for an additional app, means TuGo has reached the end of its natural life.
However the move has been unpopular, with customers taking to O2’s own forums to express their displeasure.
Some also claim the move is intended to persuade customers who are otherwise happy with their existing phones to upgrade and sign up to new contracts.
The need for Android handsets to be running O2’s own firmware limits customers’ ability to buy their device outright from another retailer, avoiding the need to enter another longterm contract with the network.
In contrast, Apple forbids mobile firms from installing any software on its devices, and includes WiFi calling as standard on iPhone X, 8, 7, 6S, 6 and SE models, meaning a handset bought from anywhere will be able to use the feature on O2’s network.