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Crippling the N95?

My good friend Andy Abramson has uncovered a plot by UK carriers to cripple Nokia's slick new N95 phone.  Turn off the VoIP, is the thinking, and we can force the punters to use our GSM network instead.


I had a conversation yesterday with one of Nokia's competitors, raging at the fact that the carriers control everything that goes into the phone, at least in North America.  Nokia's gambit — sell uncrippled versions of their products at full retail — is certainly ambitious.  If they can create a market for the full versions of the products in an environment where it has now become illegal to lock phones to single carriers, perhaps they can simply pull through the full feature set.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Martin Dufort April 12, 2007, 9:38 am

    Hey Alec:

    Isn't that scary for little startups that produces mobile software like you and me. Looking at Verizon and their current ban on 3rd party apps and open internet access makes me wonder when this monopolistic market will end.

    I remember the same type of market with long-distance companies. Look where they are today.
    I think wireless carrier are afraid and very afraid to only become wireless bit-pipe providers. But hey, they are not providing the innovation in the wireless space, so they have to protect it any way they can.

    Rogers charging ridiculous overage for data access, Verizon blocking 3rd party apps, and not crippling phone to prevents Wifi usage…

    I wish that Apple or anyone else with a substantial financial backings would start challenging these guys and open up the market more.

    Would be better for everybody: the consumer, the enterprise and also the mobile software startups, the overall economy in the end.

  • Markus Goebel April 12, 2007, 9:47 am

    Maybe the mobile carriers really have to be afraid?

    I just love to use Wifi telephony on my Nokia E61. I use three different SIP telephony providers at the same time. Two of them ring on my mobile phone and my desk phone at the same time when a call enters. Only Truphone doesn't do this because it works only on mobile phones.

    It's really easy to enter the data for the SIP connection into the E61. In fact I use about 20 different SIP providers on my mobile phone: Pulver, Gizmo, Iptel.org, Ekiga.net and the like are all tied to my Voxalot account.

    You can dial 20 different numbers or SIP addresses and they all ring on my mobile phone. Great!

    I even tried VoIP on GPRS because I have really cheap data prices. It works, only the delay is horrible. But if my carrier provided 3G I would surely use it for VoIP. With HSDPA and VoIP the sound would be crystal clear.

  • Ram Fish April 12, 2007, 6:36 pm

    This is where the CarterFon ruling comes in and why the Skype petition to the FCC is so important. The true battle for Net neutrality should be though in the wireless space, and the first step is removing the carrier hold on handset distribution and OEMs.

    Together with a few others I have been working on FCC filing in support of applying the carterfon to wireless and supporting the Skype petition. If you are interested in joining please email me at ram dot fish at gmail

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