Thu, May 14th 2009 7:52pm
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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