Remember that announcement about Skype being preloaded on the Nokia N-series from Mobile World Congress? Well, Orange and O2 aren’t too happy about the VoIP operator taking a bite from their voice revenues. Rumors are floating around that both carriers might pull their N97 stock should the Skype deal go through,and even pull other Nokia handsets packing Skype. 3 and T-Mobile have been hunky-dory with Skype preloads, but an internal source at one of the purportedly furious companies wasn’t shy about voicing their discontent.
“This is another example of them trying to build an ecosystem that is all about Nokia and reduces the operator to a dumb pipe. Some people like 3 may be in a position where it could make sense to accept that. But if you spend upwards of £40m per year building your brand, you don’t want to be just a dumb pipe do you? Nokia have tried several ways to own the customer over the years and operators have had to say no.”
End users have a lot to gain from cheaper rates, but mobile operators understandably have their qualms about becoming a “dumb pipe”. If there’s the demand though, is that the future of carriers?