Vodafone and Orange are blocking Skype and similar services

Vodafone and Orange are blocking Skype and similar services

Summary: Red Herring reports that U.K. mobile phone network operators Vodafone and Orangehave begun blocking Skype and other low-cost IP phone services over cellular networks.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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Red Herring reports that U.K. mobile phone network operators Vodafone and Orange
have begun blocking Skype and other low-cost IP phone services over cellular networks.

This policy is being implemented via phones such as the Nokia95, which has built-in VoIP capabilities that have been disabled by both Vodafone and Orange.

Obviously, the issue here is fear on the part of cell carriers that far-less-expensive services such as Skype will take away some of their business.  

A visual representation of this policy exists. Truphone, a VC-backed VoIP over mobile player, has posted a video on YouTube illustrating its compatibility with most mobile phones, and then contrasting that state of affairs with some close-ups of a Vodafone block. 

Keith Wallington, Truphone’s international operations director, seemed to imply that a Truphone-over-handset workaround was possible, but he doesn't endorse it. The reasons: doing this would that Truphone does not recommend that users try to restore VoIP support on the “void the warranty, breach the network contract, and probably be illegal.” But he did urge users to complain to their network operators.

In this case, Vodafone and Orange. 

And as cell providers worldwide realize what's at stake, in many more cases in the coming months, I predict.

Topic: Telcos

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