There has been much hype, talk and excitement about Skype for iPhone. Imagine all the free calls you could do with it thanks to VoIP, the iPhone and Skype.
However, carriers in the US and Europe have made moves to limit the use of Skype for iPhone only to WiFi hot spots. The ban has sparked outrage and legal moves from net neutrality and consumer rights groups from both continents. IntoMobile has more info:
In the US, AT&T (NYSE: T) has reportedly restricted the use of the Skype iPhone application from being used on the carrier’s 3G network. The move would keep Skype for iPhone relegated to WiFi hotspots. The UK’s O2 (NYSE: TEF) has likewise restricted the use of Skype’s mobile application to WiFi hotspots. T-Mobile (NYSE: DT) Germany, on the other hand has taken things a bit further and banned Skype from their network altogether.
In response to the ban, The Free Press, a Net Neutrality group in the US, has filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking the regulatory body to investigate whether AT&T is violating the Internet Policy Statement. European Net Neutrality advocate group Voice On the Net (VON) has asked that European lawmakers enact policies that ensure wireless customers can access whatever services they choose. They argue that consumers’ choice is being limited by carriers.
The report adds that the move made because carriers didn’t want to become nothing more than “data pipes” for consumers.
Here in the Philippines, the iPhone is officially distributed by Globe and so far it has developed a dedicated group of followers among techies, Apple fanboys and the elite.
Local iPhone users have also been excited about Skype for iPhone and it is now available from the iPhone App store for free. However, it remains to be seen whether local telcos, would follow their US and European counterparts in banning or restricting the use of Skype for iPhone on their networks.