O2 and Orange refuse to stock Nokia N97

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nokia-n97-pic.jpgA row has erupted between Nokia and network operators Orange and O2 over Nokia’s plans to pre-load the Skype VoIP service onto the N97.

The N97, Nokia’s flagship touchscreen phone due in June, is eagerly anticipated around here, but networks fear that including Skype on the device could cause them to lose voice revenue, with customers opting for cheap unlimited data plans over plenty of free voice minutes.

It’s prompted “high-level discussions” between the companies, which is code for “someone up top is very angry”. O2’s official comment says: “We are currently working with Nokia to understand their Skype service and the business model around it.”

It’s interesting that the major operators have such a problem with the service, especially given the runaway success that operator 3 has seen with its Skypephone and followup Skypephone S2, and the awards that the Facebook-and-Skype-integrated INQ has recieved. I’m sure Three will happily take O2 and Orange’s customers for the N97.

(via Pocket Gamer and Mobile Today)

The Nokia N97 is available to buy on contract at Phones4u.

Duncan Geere

9 comments

  • Orange will be complete idiots not to provide N97’s…..I nearly left them a while ago because they did not do the N95 8Gb….this time I will DEF leave if they don’t do the N97!!!
    The HTC Magic on Vodafone is an awesome fone…and that is where I’ll be going if they don’t sort it out!!

  • Nothing new here. The N95 was delivered from Orange with the built in VOIP function disabled via the wifi, meaning you had to go via the billable 3G of GPRS connection.
    Luckily with a bit of fiddling (changing the model number to generic N95, and then doing a firmware update) you can fix this. Install fring and you have free skype calls via wifi.
    It’s annoying as I bet we will have to wait a couple of extra months for the Orange crippled firmware to be developed and installed.

  • Free downloadable apps. like Nimbuzz and Fring allow VOIP throughput on Symbian/WinMo/UIQ/Blackberry. It’s no loss not to include this software from the get-go, and both aforementioned apps also include support for all of your IM connections too.

    Where there’s a will…

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