T-Mobile Germany “Reconsidering” VoIP Strategy; Skype Stripped From N97

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imageWhen the iPhone application for voice over IP provider Skype was released in late March, T-Mobile Germany vowed to block the app, both physically and contractually. But it looks like the carrier is rethinking its entire approach to VoIP, according to the FT Deutschland, which reported that both Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) Germany and T-Mobile Germany were considering offering special VoIP plans. A T-Mobile Germany spokesperson confirmed with us that the carrier is indeed

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Robert Syputa

Voice has been dwindling in importance in 3G networks as packaged and unlimited plans have gained prominence and as 3G data and SMS have provided expansion of ARPUs.

The VoIP issue focuses attention on the major difference between current generations of wireless and NGNs. Either LTE or WiMAX institute open development platforms and IP communications to mobile networks that are impossible for operators to restrict in the face of competition that pushes top-side applications and bandwidth. To coin Marshall McCuen famous montage: "The media is the message… but its important to understand that the mobile network it is being sublimed into the personal experience".. people are the network. IP that has facilitated open communications, a proliferation of applications, and has provided the platform to spawn viral networking, cloud computing, and anywhere on-line search, supplants the importance of the discrete technology network.

This is a juggernaut that is inevitable because it is more efficient and empowering, not because the physics work right. That is the means. People communicating is the ends. The limitations on VoIP will be met by competitors who figure out how to get around them or who offer alternative plumbing of networks. While the state-sanctioned monopolies on spectrum remain a major advantage, there becomes more motivation to exploit the new paradigm than obstinately try to maintain the old.

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