Want To Get Out Of Your iPhone Contract on T-Mobile Germany? Easy, Just Use Skype

from the verboten dept

Skype has gotten some press this week after it announced the availability of a an iPhone client for its service (except in Canada, though, thanks to patent issues). The application only works over WiFi, though, and not the cellular data network. Operators typically say these restrictions are in order to prevent the use of massive amounts of bandwidth and harm network performance for other users; what seems more likely is they're worried that Skype will "steal voice minutes" away from their network. That's a silly belief though, because when users are already paying for a big bundle of minutes, and have unlimited off-peak minutes, and so on, it's not very likely they'll go to the trouble of using Skype for most calls. Perhaps the only ones they'd use such an application for are for calls they weren't going to make through the operator's network anyway -- such as international calls, for which they'd use a cheaper landline, a calling card, or wait until they're in front of a PC. Blocking Skype from working over the mobile network only hurts the operators by putting up a barrier in front of customers, it really doesn't protect any revenues. But no matter, the blocking -- or worse -- goes on. In Germany, where Skype is the top download from the App Store, T-Mobile (the operator which sells the iPhone there) is threatening to terminate the contracts of customers who use Skype on their iPhones, because the contracts prohibit the use of VoIP services. That's a nice touch: play by our rules, or you'll no longer have the privilege of giving us your money. You know, that doesn't sound so bad, because then users are free to take their business elsewhere. Although, as Skype's general counsel points out, every other mobile operator in Germany also bans VoIP.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: contract, germany, skype, voip
Companies: t-mobile

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2009 @ 9:29pm

    Obvious business model

    1. Buy iPhone in Germany
    2. Get out of contract by using VoIP
    3. Jailbreak
    4. Resell
    5. Profit!

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.