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German carrier blocks use of Skype iPhone app

updated 12:25 pm EDT, Thu April 2, 2009

Germany halts iPhone Skype

German iPhone owners have been banned from fully exploiting the recently-released Skype app, writes the Associated Press. In spite of the title being legally available to download from the country's App Store, T-Mobile warns that it considers use of the app on its network a violation of contract. All VoIP services on the iPhone have been blocked since 2007, notes a representative for T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom.

In explanation, the representative claims that VoIP apps could slow down T-Mobile's network; Skype lawyer Robert Miller insists, however, that the app should not slow down cellular services. It is also believed that many carriers see VoIP as a threat to their profit models, which are dependent on per-minute charging for voice calls. Skype is able to circumvent this by offering free calls to other Skype users, and cheaper plans for calling conventional phones.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Buran

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    Skype doesn't use cell!

    "T-Mobile warns that it considers use of the app on its network a violation of contract" -- but the app doesn't use the cell connection. Wifi only, in part because Wifi is faster and so there won't be as much latency, which is important for voice calls but isn't noticed (as much) for things like downloading webpages.The cell carrier has no right to dictate what apps users run on their own (or others') wifi networks, especially if they are personal home networks. Hopefully someone has corrected these guys by now. It's scary that the company responsible for selling and activating these phones doesn't know how they work.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    so

    Did they block Skype from running on just iPhones, or the entire network?

    Skype lawyer Robert Miller insists, however, that the app should not slow down cellular services.

    Yeah, it "shouldn't". Doesn't mean it won't. And like a lawyer is going to know.

    It is also believed that many carriers see VoIP as a threat to their profit models, which are dependent on per-minute charging for voice calls.

    What is it with these carriers. You'd think by now they understood that they did not roll out these networks and services for their own business models, but for the benefit of those other companies too cheap to set up their own networks, and too cheap to license the networks of others.

    Of course, if all these 'services' are allowed, the carriers will just raise the prices of the data plans to start making up the lost income on the other side.

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    This is no different

    from the restrictions in the US. As I understand it, VoIP is for Wifi only right now.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Wifi

    If it only works on wifi then this isn't even a story, since all they are saying is voip is blocked on their network. They aren't blocking users from using it on wifi.

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