TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: VoIP on Cell Phones: Read the Fine Print -2

VoIP on Cell Phones: Read the Fine Print -2

John Blau, IDG (
Thu, 24 Aug 2006 12:26:43 -0500

T-Mobile prohibits the use of VoIP services on its mobile phone networks.
John Blau, IDG News Service

As low-priced Internet phone services for mobile devices emerge, users
should first check the fine print in their cell phone contracts to see
if they can take advantage of such offerings. There's a chance they

T-Mobile International, which has mobile phone operations in Europe
and the United States, is among the first companies to ban the use of
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, or Internet-based telephone
service) over its networks. Its Web 'n' Walk professional service
expressly prohibits such usage, and the company reserves the right to
terminate contracts.

Like many other mobile phone companies, T-Mobile wants to protect its
cash-cow telephone service from new providers of VoIP-over-mobile
services, such as Mino Wireless USA.

Last week, the Sunnyvale, California, company launched one of the
world's first commercial VoIP-over-mobile services, offering fees as
low as US$0.02 per minute for international calls.

That's cheap -- really cheap -- compared to the $1 per minute or more
mobile phone users in many countries currently pay to make
international calls.

VoIP-Over-Mobile Providers

To use Mino, customers need to install the company's mobile VoIP
application on a Java-enabled mobile phone.

Mino joins other VoIP heavyweights, such as Skype Technologies, a unit
of eBay. Earlier this year, Skype announced a VoIP partnership with
Hutchison 3 Group, which operates IP-based mobile broadband networks
in several European markets. The Skype mobile VoIP application runs on
Microsoft's Windows Mobile software.

Mobile VoIP startup Iskoot, which is located in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, is also working with Skype to allow users to make or
receive Internet calls with their mobile phones.

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