Red Herring has reported that Vodafone and Orange has blocked customers from using Internet telephony services such as Skype over their networks.
Phones are being shipped that have specifically had their VoIP capabilities disabled.
One such phone is the Nokia N95, an expensive
mobile multimedia computer that’s received great reviews, but which is now having features stripped out by frightened mobile operators.
According to Truphone, a VoIP service that has been blocked, users who try to restore VoIP functionality could be voiding their warranty, breaching their network contract, and possibly breaking the law.
It’s hardly surprising that mobile operators want to keep tight control on how their customers are using phones on their networks, and ensure that as much revenue as possible continues to funnel into them.
This issue isn’t going to go away, though. Will there be a backlash from tech-savvy customers irate at having their new phones messed up, and being tethered to overpriced call plans?