updated 02:30 pm EDT, Tue May 1, 2007
Vodafone VoIP lawsuit?
The global phone carrier Vodaphone may be facing a lawsuit over VoIP services, writes Techworld. VoIP network Truphone accuses Vodafone of deliberately crippling interaction with its customers, some of whom use numbers which are legitimately in the mobile range. This allows them to be displayed on caller ID and receive SMS messages, but Vodafone subscribers will simply see them as blocked.
Vodafone is also blocking other VoIP related content including the website of Skype, arguably the largest VoIP service in the world. According to Truphone CEO James Tagg, this is breaking law, as "European telecoms legislation, gives operators an obligation to interconnect, and to offer unfettered access to services." Vodafone is even said to be deliberately sabotaging its version of the Nokia N95, locking out VoIP features that the phone would otherwise have.
Not everyone shares Tagg's perspective. The CEO of WiFiMobile, Gerry O'Prey, says that he has had no problems with Vodafone, although his company specializes in connecting dual-mode phones to business PBXs. Vodafone itself meanwhile is repeating a statement regarding the N95 specifically, saying that VoIP is "not yet a mature service proposition," and that to "ensure a solid end-to-end customer experience," it would have to work on testing, bill integration and customer support. It also argues that VoIP may actually be more expensive than simply relying on a regular network, as it can dip into expensive data transfer fees.