VoIP specialist Vyke is set to release an upgrade to its mobile software that will restore full mobile VoIP functionality to mobile handsets that have been intentionally crippled by mobile operators.
Expected for release in the fourth quarter of 2007, the forthcoming version of Vyke Mobile IP will provide users with a fully functional, stand alone mobile VoIP application that circumvents the mobile operator orchestrated removal of built-in handset VoIP capabilities.
Vyke’s long term mobile VoIP strategy is based upon empowering the user to make his or her own choices regarding their communication services. In pursuing this strategy, Vyke has recently announced an agreement with The Cloud Networks Limited, the dominant European metropolitan area wireless network provider, giving Vyke users the ability to access mobile VoIP services across a network of 9,000+ hotspots and 16 large area, metropolitan networks, including such areas as the City of London, Canary Wharf, Manchester and Amsterdam.
Kjetil Bøhn, Chief Executive Officer for Vyke Communications plc, said “The incumbent mobile network operators must be feeling very threatened by mobile VoIP. In the short amount of time that this immerging technology has been in the market, they have already responded by removing VoIP capabilities from mobile handsets that they sell and by introducing very restrictive contract terms prohibiting their customers from using their networks to access services such as VoIP and third party peer-to-peer messaging clients.
Vyke has been dedicating itself to circumventing these obstructionist tactics by developing our own stand-alone mobile VoIP application as well as providing access to large scale wireless networks on behalf of our customers. Users need to remember that these defensive tactics are not to their benefit and that attempts to keep mobile VoIP out of the market amount to nothing less than an announcement that the mobile operators intend to continue overcharging consumers for as long as they can.”
Tommy Jensen, Executive Chairman for Vyke Communications plc commented further, “The Open Mobile Terminal Platform (“OMTP”), a mobile operator sponsored forum dealing with mobile handset issues, totally missed the point with its June 28th report on mobile VoIP. This report established the guidelines that mobile operators should follow in disabling mobile VoIP features from new handsets sold under contract subsidy.
This really does beg the question of why the operator is disabling anything when the whole point of providing contract subsidies is to get a minimum term contract with the user. If the mobile operator decides that the subscription plan and contract length provide enough revenue to warrant a subsidized phone, what possible grounds do they have to justify tampering with the capabilities of the phone?
The user should be able to do whatever they want with the phone as they have already signed a contract that guarantees the mobile operator sufficient revenues to justify them giving him or her the device in the first place.”
Jensen added, “There is an elephant in the room that no mobile operator or regulatory agency seems to be acknowledging – network neutrality. When Vodafone decides, as of June 1st, to prohibit their users from using third party applications for services like instant messaging, VoIP or text messaging, they are effectively censoring their user’s ability to choose what services they want to access from a network that they are paying for.
Imagine if a home DSL provider blocked access to Google because they wanted to force you to use their own search engine, on which incidentally you had to pay a charge for each search. As wild as it sounds, this is a direct parallel to what is happening right now in the mobile arena.”