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Vodafone being sued over VoIP blocking

Brian White

It seems that a cold day in hell will have to arrive before some stuffy mobile operators don't let customers do what they want to with their handsets and purchased data services. In the latest round of madness, Vodafone users in Europe are having multiple issues using wireless VoIP clients on their handsets (usually smartphones) based on selective blocking techniques by Vodafone. While we're not yet calling the carrier "Vader"fone with an evil and dark helmet as the corporate logo, we feel for those European Voda customers. The carrier is now being called on the carpet for not meeting interconnection obligations and disabling Internet telephony on handsets that it sells -- which was inevitable we think. One rather blatant misstep by Vodafone has the carrier actually blocking calls to customers of Truphone, the VoIP service that brought the lawsuit against Voda. Want more? How's this: Voda handsets are also reportedly blocking Skype services to users of its mobile Internet service. Part of Voda's shaky response includes these lines of piffle: "Vodafone believes that VOIP-over-mobile (can't even get VoIP right, heh) is not yet a mature service proposition as it does not have guaranteed quality of service, and would fall short of the customer experience demanded of any service we launch. To ensure a solid end-to-end customer experience, this service would require in-depth testing, billing integration and customer service support which is currently not available." We call shenanigans here. Unlocked Nokia N95, here we come.

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