VoIP calls on cell phones are a great way to get around paying for wireless minutes. It’s too bad Orange and Vodafone don’t understand that point of view. Apparently, in an effort to prevent revenue loss from VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls, the two European GSM network operators have opted to disable built-in VoIP feature on Nokia’s flagship N95.
The Register is reporting that Orange and Vodafone have decided to cripple the VoIP integration on the Nokia N95 as part of (or rather, not part of) their brand-specific software package. The practice of locking a subsidized phone to a carrier’s own network is quite common and preventing VoIP integration may just be an over-reaching extension of that practice. But, applications like TruPhone depend on the N95′s integration to work, so crippling VoIP also prevents TruPhone from working. Stand-alone VoIP applications still work because they don’t require VoIP integration, but the user experience is lacking in comparison.
Orange says that their move to disable the feature “was not a policy decision and that future handsets might, or might not, have VoIP enabled.” Vodafone straight refused to comment on the issue. Apparently, the decision is being explained by both companies as helping to simplify the user experience.
Yea, thanks for looking out for your
bottom line customers, Vodafone and Orange.