Friday, May 4, 2007

Brits sabotaging VoIP too

So it’s not just the American and German carriers trying to destroy mobile VoIP any way they can, but also the Brits.

Consultant Dean Bubley analyzes the Vodafone and also 3 and T-Mobile UK data plans. I’m rushing off to my day job, but my reading of the various contractual contortions is “unlimited use” for mobile Internet is not the same as what we’ve come to expect for the wired Internet. In some cases it discriminates against particular uses like VoIP, while in other cases it’s just about the bandwidth use.

There may be a legitimate technical basis for such restrictions, and some of the stuff about running server farms is similar to what residential DSL and cable modem users face (at least in the US). Nokia, DoCoMo and the other mobile phone promoters have been telling us for years that most of the world will get their Internet over their phone, but for now they’re offering dialup speeds and don’t even want customers to use that pipe full-time.

The VoIP regulatory issue will eventually be solved, leaving the technical network capacity issue which the operators must eventually solve. (EV-DO and USDPA are a lot better than CDPD so they’re heading in the right direction). It seems doubtful WiMax will be any better (given the spectrum limitations), but perhaps “4G” (whatever that is) will make the incrememtnal cost of wireless bits free.

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