Thursday, September 01, 2005

E-Plus and Skype, but other VoIP is VERBOTEN 

E-Plus today announced E-Plus Online Flat. Thilo Salmon on his blog VoIPmatters found this ge and gave it the correct title: Mobile Schizophrenia.

Germany's mobile network E-Plus announced the immediate availability of its all-you-can-eat 3G data plan. Punters may opt for unlimited UMTS/GPRS traffic at 39,95 € per month on top of their existing calling plans.

Today's Press release (German / Google Translation ) makes a most interesting read. E-Plus bundles Skype along with its data plan while explicitly prohibiting the use of VoIP in their Ts & Cs (see bottom of the press release).
Now this is really funny: the 39,95 € per month for UMTS data is nice, although in Austria Mobilkom A1 already offers since some time 500 MB download for 39 € and T-Mobile 676 MB for 35 €, which is basically sufficient if you do not use it exclusively as your only Internet access - and also as long as you are not so stupid to use it if you are roaming in another country: then you pay 10 Euro per MB.

The most interesting thing of course is the fine print Thilo mentions: Die Nutzung von Voice over IP ist ausgeschlossen - which means in English: Usage of VoIP is VERBOTEN.

Except Skype.

So they have in the fine print an excuse to do port blocking and if you circumvent this, they may throw you out, but Skype gets exclusive rights to be used.

They also consider their customers very stupid, because they even offer them a bonus: FREE DOWNLOAD of the Skype Software. Ok, you also get a free handset, but you have to pay 10 Euro for the SIM Card and I do not know what you have to pay eventually for the PCMCIA Card (you may also use your 3G mobile phone with this SIM-Card, if you consider it funny to change permanently the SIM Card hidden behind the battery - it is not possible to make normal mobile phone calls with this SIM card.

In Austria both with Mobilkom and T-Mobile you get the PCMCIA Card for free.

This again proves that mobile operators basically have no idea how to deal with idea to be reduced to their place: be an access provider and leave the services to somebody else who does better.

Please comment below:

1. When do you think IMS will be able to provide the same functionality Skype is providing today?

2. What functionality Skype and others will provide at this time?

This blog is awesome! If you get a chance you may want to visit this free software site, it's pretty awesome too!
Japp . . . leave the mobile phone providers where they are . . . they have been cheating on most of us for years with their billing policies and I tell you, the time where we will not need to pay them anymore for their sick services and attitude will come soon. VoIP over our mobile phones will come in the near future. It is about time anyway. Don't you think?

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