No Reason To Block VoIP, Says Vodafone

Vodafone’s German unit had said before it would begin blocking VoIP in 2007, but the company’s CTO said today there’s no “long-term, sustainable” business case in blocking the technology on its networks. While it may sound like a great step forward for openness — particularly when other operators are blocking VoIP — the fact of the matter is that most operators don’t need to block VoIP when their data pricing does it for them. Vodafone UK, for instance, doesn’t appear to offer an unlimited data tariff, and 1000 megabytes of data costs 75 pounds a month — so whatever a user may think they’d be saving by using Skype for calls, they’ll be paying in data charges. Even operators that are partnering with Skype aren’t really losing money: E-Plus in Germany bundles Skype with an unlimited data plan for 40 euros a month. E-Plus’ ARPU is 21 euros a month, so even if somebody does use Skype for all their calls, they’re still giving E-Plus a decent chunk of change. Vodafone and its competitors don’t need to create a PR mess for themselves by blocking VoIP, their data pricing does it for them. It’s reasons like this, rather than any technical issue, why a VoIP application like Skype will find little traction in mobile.

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