T-Mobile Germany Tries The Jedi Mind Trick With Mobile Skype

from the no-it-isn't-yes-it-is-okay-it-is dept

The Skype app for the iPhone proved to be an instant hit, topping App Store download charts around the world, including Germany, where T-Mobile reminded its customers that using Skype, or any other VoIP app, could get them kicked off its network. The operator now says it’s “looking at different ways of dealing with VoIP”, perhaps including offering some special plan where users would have to pay some fee to use VoIP. It also says it’s not actively blocking any voice apps, although when it begins selling the Nokia N97 smartphone later this year, the Skype application that’s normally pre-installed on the device will be stripped out. T-Mobile’s justification for removing the app is great: it’s not because they don’t want people undermining voice revenues by using Skype, but because “by not putting Skype on, subscribers could choose from a number of VoIP apps, and not be limited to just one.” That’s as opposed to having Skype pre-installed, and customers being able to download and install any other VoIP app alongside it. Only in the world of mobile operators does removing choices for customers actually increase customer choice.

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Companies: t-mobile

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Comments on “T-Mobile Germany Tries The Jedi Mind Trick With Mobile Skype”

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Robert A. Rosenberg (profile) says:

Re: IE and Windows

The problem with the Preloaded IE was NOT that it was preloaded (so unless you knew enough to download your favorite browser you automatically used IE) but that Windows was designed so you NEEDED IE to run.

Yes, you could then use IE to download your choice of Browser and then declare it as THE BROWSER TO USE for browsing (demoting IE to only be used to support Windows but not browsing) but that leaves open the question of how to download the other browser in the first place (unless M$ placed installer copies of FF/etc. on the install disk and you used that installer to install your selected browser which would then auto-update to the current version).

Brad says:

Re: Re: IE and Windows

If that’s the case, how come MS CONTINUES to get in legal trouble over the bundling of applications that are completely ancillary? Are you going to convince me that Windows Media Player was somehow inexorably linked to the function of the core OS, and it wouldn’t function without it, had a large international body not stepped in? Bullshit, it’s just free money from a large company, so they’ll take it.

Techsupoort (profile) says:


Skype is the doomsday machine for telco’s. It will literally relegate them to being dumb pipes faster than any other technology. Telco’s in europe already give you unlimited txts/mms and big x-net mins – the EU competition Commission has now set pricing on roaming. Skype would just finish them off. My thoughts on the wifi situation is that T-Mobile offers the wifi bundled in its call/data/txt packages, in London anyway, and they’re pretty prevalent (in big cities) so offering wifi would more or less be de-facto 3G for some users.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Technologies From Different Centuries

Comparing telephones to the Internet shows up the stark difference between a technology product of the 19th century and one that came out of the 20th.

Funny that, even with mobile phones, the system is still fundamentally built on 19th-century principles. The network controls what you can do with it. New applications need the permission of the network operator. And here we see they can disable features where they see a threat to their existing revenue model.

Whereas with the Internet, the network is basically a dumb pipe that pumps bits from here to there and nothing more. All the application logic is in the endpoints; you don’t need permission from the network operator to come up with a new application idea, you just build your servers, perhaps offer software for download by users, and away you go.

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