Dianne See Morrison
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 4:00 PM
The controversy around Skype rolls on. German carrier T-Mobile, and exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany, will not allow customers to use the application, and is blocking it both physically and contractually. T-Mobile spokesperson Alexander von Schmettow told the German online site, the Local that not only does it go against the terms of its contract with consumers, but that the "high level of traffic would hinder our network performance," and "if the Skype program didn't work properly, customers would make us responsible for it." He also dismissed the notion that Skype posed a threat to T-Mobile voice revenues, as had been written in The Financial Times Deutschland, and said that T-Mobile had been blocking VoiP software for two years.
In the UK, exclusive iPhone provider O2 told British newspaper the Times that they would not be blocking the application, and that since it was available in the App Store, it would be available to its customers anyway. It seems that the fact that it runs on Wi-Fi rather than on its networks has made it more palatable to O2.
Meanwhile, tech-savvy users shouldn't even think of figuring out a work-around, because T-Mobile plans to cut those users off. Schmettow told the Local, "Those who violate their contracts can expect to have them cancelled. It's the same with any contract. If you rent a no-pets apartment and expect no one to notice your little dog, you can't be surprised when your landlord comes knocking."
UPDATE: Read Skype's response to the blocking here.