T-Mobile Germany moves to ban Skype for iPhone | iLounge News


T-Mobile Germany moves to ban Skype for iPhone

T-Mobile Germany, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany, has said it will block customers from using the new Skype application for iPhone, both on a network and contractual basis. “It is clearly stated in our customer contracts that such services may not be used,” T-Mobile spokesperson Alexander von Schmettow told German publication The Local. “There are two reasons for this – because the high level of traffic would hinder our network performance, and because if the Skype programme didn’t work properly, customers would make us responsible for it.” Skype for iPhone works only over Wi-Fi connections, meaning it would have no effect on T-Mobile cellular network performance, only at company-owned Wi-Fi hotspots. Skype General Counsel Robert Miller points out in a blog post that the application is the number one download on the App Store in Germany, but that customers in the country have no choice but to abide by the company’s rules, at least while on T-Mobile controlled networks, because all German mobile operators forbid the use of VoIP applications.

“[T]here is no technical justification for this arbitrary blocking of Skype, and it represents a barrier to online business put in place by a private company just because they can, because they control access to the Internet,” Miller writes. “Yet, no one can do anything about it: German or EU regulation does not forbid such blatantly unfair practices, and the new EU legislation for telecoms which the European Parliament and European governments are supposed to adopt later this month will not help either, it seems from the latest texts being considered in Brussels: it may even make things worse, by legitimizing restrictions put in place by operators to users’ Internet access, as long as they inform consumers.” Meanwhile, Schmettow said the company will not hesitate to enforce the policy, stating, “[T]hose who violate their contracts can expect to have them cancelled. It’s the same with any contract. If you rent a no-pets apartment and expect no one to notice your little dog, you can’t be surprised when your landlord comes knocking.”

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Although I’m not convinced by the arguments (especially the complaining one) I think that it is justified (I don’t think it is fair) because it is stated in the contract. Skype still can be used on WiFi networks of other users/companies if allowed.

Which brings me to my main point: “when will internet providers see that they only offer a ‘data channel’ to the user and have no business with the data itself (it can be websites, email, twitter-feeds, porn, youtube, voip, ... anything the user wants). If I drive my car it doesn’t matter who’s sitting next to me or where we’re going… same with the internet.

I wish that 3G networks evolve in data only and that everything is considered data… no voice plan… no sms plan… just some (limited) bandwith usage. I believe that such networks are more userfriendly and in the end better for the users and the providers because everybody will use it.

Dialup vs ADSL… same story… pay per minute… flat fee

Posted by Calvin on April 3, 2009 at 12:37 PM (CDT)


There is a pro and a con. .. I understand that new users would rather chose the lowest cell/dataplan because they can use skype to talk and save minutes from the plan. Now companies like t-mobile would loose out on this because the user will chose not one of the higher priced plan and go to the lowest plan. So t-mobile still have to give the level of functionality.

Now, I do totally agree what u say Calvin, It’s our choice how we use the data channel and they can’t give us restriction. It’s like u blocking the FREEDOM OF SPEECH point!

These companies have to understand that 25% and up we all (don’t matter what provider), that we all experience droppedcalles, low data transfer at times, and so on. and they need get their head out of the sand and be fair.

I love my iPhone and even when I don’t have many issues with AT&T;, i experienced things like that I was not able to call 911 at night 4 times on two different weekends. The call did not get through at these 4 times.

So however you see, there are winners and losers on both ends. a balance is needed!

Posted by dennis on April 3, 2009 at 4:11 PM (CDT)

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