18 February 2010

Skype in a Struggle to Be Heard on Mobile Phones

(New York Times)
In a world where network neutrality has become a rallying cry for advocates of an unfettered Internet, Skype, the pioneer in low-cost and even free online calls, has become a prime example of the limits of wireless freedom. In the United States, Skype is blocked on mobile networks, and the service is available only on the Apple iPhone over Wi-Fi. In Europe, Skype is carried by the company 3 in Britain, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Italy and Sweden. But many other cellular operators still block its calls, prohibit their customers from downloading Skype?s software or outlaw the use of VoIP service in standard sales contracts. Most operators and network equipment makers still perceive Skype and other Internet phone call providers to be potential freeloaders, stealing their customers while they invest billions of dollars to build out and upgrade mobile networks.

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