O2’s TU Go: Share Your Phone Number & Plan Across Smartphone, Tablet & PC

March 7th, 2013

O2’s TU Go service allows you to receive your calls and texts on up to 5 devices. You can also call & text using your O2 plan.

o2O2 has launched a new service for their Pay Monthly contract customers. Dubbed TU Go, the unique service allows O2 customers to pick up their phone calls, text messages and voicemail on up to 5 devices. Once configured, all of your devices will ring at the same time and you can choose the most convenient device to answer from. The service also allows you to make calls and send texts using your O2 price plan.

The free service is available to all O2 Pay Monthly customers, though you’ll need a compatible device. You can use it on the iPhone, the iPad, Android devices (including Samsung Galaxy devices), the iPod Touch and PCs & laptops running Windows 7. In this article, we review the TU Go offering.

How does TU Go work?

TU Go is a voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone service. Typically, phone calls are transmitted through your mobile operator’s voice channels. TU Go bypasses these voice channels and encodes your phone call as a data stream instead (a series of 1s and 0s). This series of 1s and 0s is transmitted to O2 over an internet connection (usually a wi-fi connection). Once this internet-based connection has been established with O2’s servers, O2 initiate a standard phone call within their network. Other voice-over-IP applications include Skype and BT SmartTalk.

O2 benefits from customers using TU Go as calls and texts are offloaded from their mobile network onto your broadband connection. This frees up additional network capacity for them. Likewise, you can also benefit from TU Go – there are price savings when you’re abroad and reliability improvements where O2’s coverage is patchy.

Who can benefit from TU Go?

O2 TU Go DevicesTU Go can be of immediate benefit to three groups:

People who juggle multiple devices. If you divide your time between multiple devices, it can often be more convenient to pick up a call or a text on a device other than your smartphone. TU Go allows you to pick up your calls & texts from a PC, tablet or MP3 player. You can also install TU Go on other smartphones. If you change handsets regularly, TU Go will ensure that you’re reachable on the same number regardless of the phone and SIM that you’re using.

People who spend time abroad. When you’re abroad, you’ll normally need to pay a lot more when using your phone. For example, within the EU, O2 normally adds a 50p connection charge to all calls made or received. They also charge 8.5p for every text sent. Outside the EU, expect to pay up to £1.50/minute when making a normal phone call and £1.25/minute when receiving a call. You’ll also need to pay 40p for every text message sent.

Providing you can find a free wi-fi network, the TU Go app allows you to avoid expensive roaming charges. With TU Go, you can call and text home for no additional charge. Sign in to the app and you can use your inclusive minutes and texts as if you’re in the UK. This makes the service a great alternative to services such as Skype. Particularly when calling UK-based mobile numbers, there are likely to be savings with TU Go. For more information, see our guide to using your phone abroad.

People with poor mobile coverage at home. If the mobile signal isn’t so good where you live, the TU Go application can potentially improve the reliability of your calling and texting experience. Normally, calls and texts are transmitted over 2G and 3G mobile networks. If you’re in the countryside or you live in a basement flat, the signals from these networks may not be very strong. This can lead to a lot of dropped calls.

With TU Go, calls and texts are transmitted over the internet instead. They don’t rely on the mobile network for coverage. As long as you can get a decent wi-fi signal, you can use TU Go for reliable calling and texting.

How much does TU Go cost?

O2 TU Go - CallTU Go is a free service for all O2 Pay Monthly customers. Any calls made through the service and any texts sent through the service are charged to your O2 bill. As you can use your O2 airtime allowances as normal, TU Go is an ideal companion for O2’s unlimited Refresh plan. With TU Go, you’ll have a single phone number and plan that allows you to make unlimited calls & texts on 5 of your devices for no extra charge.

If you use up your inclusive airtime allowances, O2 currently charges 35p/minute for UK calls and 12p for UK text message. Other calls (e.g. international calls) are charged at their normal rates.

Do I need to be an O2 customer to use TU Go?

Yes, you must be an O2 Pay Monthly customer. We recommend the unlimited Refresh plan as it comes with unlimited calls & texts but the service can be used on any of O2’s Pay Monthly plans. This includes the Simplicity SIM-only tariffs.

TU Go is not currently supported on the O2 Pay & Go and O2 Business tariffs.

Do the people that I’m calling need to have TU Go?

No. The people that you’re calling do not need to be on O2 and do not need to have TU Go. You can call any phone number in the UK using the service.

Can I use TU Go when I’m abroad?

Yes, TU Go can be used when you’re abroad. If you connect to wi-fi and use the TU Go application, you’ll be able to call and text home at the same rates that you’d normally pay in the UK (you can use inclusive allowances as normal and won’t need to pay the extra roaming charges). If you call or text through your phone’s normal interface (i.e. outside of the TU Go app), you’ll be charged the standard roaming rates.

If you’re travelling outside the EU, we would recommend against using TU Go on a roaming 3G data connection. Due to the high costs of roaming data, it would almost certainly be cheaper to make a call in the normal way.

Does TU Go also allow me to share a data plan between devices?

O2 Tu GoNo. TU Go only allows you to share the calling and texting capabilities from your main smartphone. It does not allow you to share the data plan.

If you wish to share the data plan from your smartphone onto other devices, you’ll need to use the tethering feature on your handset.

Please note that all of the devices that are enrolled in TU Go must have a working internet connection in order to make/receive calls & texts. Typically, we recommend using these devices on wi-fi and your home broadband connection.

Can I share TU Go with other people?

No. The TU Go Terms and Conditions prohibit you from sharing the service with other people. Section 3 of the terms and conditions reads as follows:

The App cannot be shared, and may only be used by the individual who is the account holder for the relevant O2 mobile phone number. If you disconnect your O2 account, or are in breach of your terms of service with O2, your TU Go service will be terminated.

If your O2 plan comes with unlimited calls and texts (e.g. O2 Refresh), you may be tempted to share your TU Go account with friends and family. We strongly recommend against this: not only would it be against O2’s terms and conditions but there are privacy and security implications too. Setting up TU Go on somebody else’s device allows them to intercept your calls and texts (they can answer your calls and read your text messages). You should also be aware of this when installing TU Go on a shared device (for example, a PC or tablet that is shared amongst your family).

Where can I download the TU Go application?

O2 TU Go - RegisterThe TU Go application is available on the following platforms:

Once you’ve downloaded the application, you’ll be asked to enrol your phone number in the TU Go service. Once you’ve provided your O2 number, a PIN code will be sent to you via text message. You should enter this within the app. You’ll also need to verify enrolment via e-mail: a message will be sent to the e-mail address that is registered with your O2 account.

How many devices can be registered for TU Go?

You can register up to 5 devices for each phone number on TU Go. Once you have reached the limit of 5 devices, you can add new devices by removing older ones.

I’m not currently an O2 customer. Are there any alternative services?

TU Go is a unique service in the UK. Whilst there are a large number of voice-over-IP services, only O2 allows you to use your normal mobile number when receiving calls and texts on other devices.

If you’re not an O2 customer, one alternative is to use Skype’s Online Number service. This will give you a “virtual” landline number in the country of your choice (you can choose from 23 different countries). Using Skype’s smartphone applications, you’ll then be able to receive calls and texts on that number on all of your devices. The service costs £40.25 per year (equivalent to £3.35/month).

I’m moving to O2. Can I keep my current phone number?

Yes. If you were to switch to O2, you can keep your current phone number. You’d also be able to use that number to enrol in the TU Go service.

To transfer your phone number to O2, ask your existing mobile network for a PAC code. This is a nine-digit code that you should provide to O2 once your new contract has been activated. O2 will then handle the transfer of your phone number. This process takes no more than 24 hours. Our PAC Code Finder can take you through this process one step at a time.

Where can I find out more?

You can find out more about TU Go on the O2 website. If you’re not currently an O2 customer, you can check out their Pay Monthly tariffs here.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 18 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. ken said:

    Hi Tugo is installed on my laptop with windows 7. I write a message and click send. Tugo then switches of wifi and asks me to connect to wifi. I click on the little button…wifi comes on and if I write the message again it sends, but the next message does exactly the same. So it seems that each new message in some way turns of the wifi connection to Tugo,,,,,any ideas out there much appreciated
    Ken

  2. ken said:

    Thanks Ken for the initial reply….this is how things stand…..I can use Tugo on my laptop wifi no problem with earphone and nic……On my iPhone 4 i select a number and there is one ring…..I watch the screen and the call connects because the call timer starts…..but I cant hear them and they cant hear me…..I have deleted and reinstalled the app twice now but the same problem persists…..but as I said earlier in my last post landline calls are fine…..the calling to mobile issue only started when I downloaded the ios 8 update
    So wifi is handling the calls as shown be laptop
    Landlines fine from the phone
    The problem is my mobile to mobile which as i say does connect but we cant hear each other
    Any ideas
    Ken

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ken,
      Thanks for getting back to me. It sounds like a really bizarre problem – my guess is it’s probably a bug with the TuGo application. O2 Customer Services are probably best placed to answer your question – if not then you could try the TU Go help forum that’s run by O2.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of any more assistance!
      Ken

      1. ken replied:

        Thanks Ken but its interesting that the laptop is still running v1.4.1.31…..and the phone is v2.8 since I did a reinstall of the app….I just wonder if the earlier version was more compatible…..is there a way to get back to the earlier version, do you know?
        Also if I receive messages through TU go at home where I have no mobile signal…..when I get in signal range the same messages all come pouring through on the message app for the phone…..is there any way I can stop this happening do you know
        Thanks
        Ken
        OH I have spoken to O2 quite often about this and all they say is delete and reinstall the app

  3. ken said:

    Hi fellow Ken Tugo has worked perfectly on my iPhone 4 for about a year….now I can make landline calls through the wifi using TuGo but with mobiles no sounf etc…..but the call is answered the other end as the call time begins but I cant hear them and they cant hear me….volume settings are at max….this seemed to happen when an update ios 8 reared its head
    Any ideas
    Thanks
    Ken

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi there Ken!
      Thanks for getting in touch with details of your problem. From what I understand of your comment, calls are working when you’re using TuGo to call a landline phone number but they’re not working properly when you’re calling a mobile. This sounds like a pretty bizarre problem: I don’t think it’s a problem with your handset or with the Tu Go application (otherwise the landline calls also wouldn’t work). It’s probably an issue on the Tu Go server side so the best thing to do would probably be to get in touch with O2 Customer Services.
      Best wishes,
      Ken

  4. Deano said:

    Hi Ken,
    I live in the UK and have an O2 UK unlimited plan (free calls and text). I have family in Ireland. If i use this Tu Go app on my home WiFi in the UK to call family in Ireland, will it be free or is it only when I’m abroad?

    Thanks,
    Deano

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Deano,
      Thanks for your comment. The call charges for using TU Go are exactly the same as when you’re using the O2 UK mobile network. Hence, assuming your O2 UK unlimited plan doesn’t include calls to Ireland, your TU Go also won’t include these calls. You’d be charged the normal rates when calling an Irish phone number. Where TU Go comes in handy is when you’re travelling abroad (e.g. whilst you’re in Ireland). You could use TU Go to call the UK avoiding the normal roaming call charges when travelling in Ireland.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Deano replied:

        Thank you for the quick reply Ken. Yes, that’s answered my question 🙂

  5. Sonicjim said:

    Hi Ken.
    Yes I’m referring to call charges not data charges, data roaming was turned off and I would only use Tu-Go when on wifi. I can clearly see the calls in my Tu-Go timeline that occur at the same time as my bill and for exactly the same duration.
    As my bill does show a number of free calls via Tu-Go I can only assume its a random routing error with their systems – a very expensive routing error… I just want to warn others that this service is flawed.

  6. sonicjim said:

    Ive recently come back from 3 weeks in china and used Tu-Go very frequently and o2 have now billed me for some of the calls made via tu-go amounting to around £200. I am now in a long difficult battle with o2 to recover my money.
    My first call with an advisor and a manager has started by them telling me that i will still be charged for calls made from outside the UK via tu-go (which is absolute rubbish because I do have at least 50 calls on my bill which have been routed correctly through tu-go at with no charge, and thats how they are selling the service!!!)
    Obviously i am outraged that they message me demanding immediate payment whilst travelling in china or they will cut off my service so I paid the £700 they demanded and now that I’m back and I’ve received my bill I’ve gone through each call in my tu-go timeline very carefully comparing to my bill and discovered these errors.
    My tip to anyone using this service is don’t delete your timeline and check against your bill very carefully!
    The fight with o2 continues…

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi sonicjim,
      Thanks for your comment and the best of luck regarding your dispute with O2. Just to confirm – were the charges incurred for using data abroad or were they incurred for making calls via TU Go? In the first case, it’s important to be aware that standard data roaming charges still apply when abroad. If the latter, it is very strange as I know people who’ve used TU Go abroad without any charges.
      Ken

  7. Tom said:

    I’m not sure if it would really be that good to have 5 different devices all ringing at the same time. It might become a little annoying – especially if you were having a text conversation with someone.

  8. Pete Forman said:

    According to Orange's T&C, using Signal Boost whilst roaming is forbidden but I don't see any restrictions for other domestic Wi-Fi connections.

  9. Pete Forman said:

    Orange have a similar offering called Signal Boost. To use it an Orange phone is required and even then not all its handsets are supported.

    I've been using TU Go for a week now and find it very useful. Mind you, the signal here is poor.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Cheers Pete! Thanks for the heads up! I guess the key differences are that you can't use Signal Boost on public hotspots & when you're abroad… also you can't use it across several devices. The fact that you can do this on TU Go makes it quite a significant and exciting product for me!

      Anyone who wants more info about Signal Boost can find it here: http://www2.orange.co.uk/servlet/Satellite?c=OUKService&pagename=OUKPersonal&cid=1306843176798
      I also covered Signal Boost back in 2011: http://cow.neondragon.net/index.php/oranges-uma-offers-enhanced-reception-at-home-for-blackberry-phones

      Ken

  10. Dom said:

    Excellent, well written and easy to follow breakdown of this service. Thank you Ken!

    Do you think other networks might do something similar? I hope so!

  11. @AdamDempsey said:

    I've been using it for the last few days and it's very useful already, looking forward to there being a Mac release then it will become even more handy for me

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