So you’re the proud owner of a Nokia N95 connected to Vodafone, and want to use something like Truphone, or another VOIP client. You’ve already read the bad news that in their infinite wisdom Vodafone have decided you don’t want to use VOIP as it’s an ‘inmature technology’, but that didn’t stop you finding a way around it. And now this..
Vodafone’s new pricing model for data comes in on 1 June and at a glance seems fair enough – if you use less than 0.5MB in a day you’re charged at a penny for every 5KB you use (£2 a MB), go over that and the next 14.5MB is free, then you’re back to a penny for every 5KB used.
So far so good, if not a little complicated. But then the cursory glance of the small print reveals this:
Slipped in to the conditions of use is a clause stating that VoIP and peer-to-peer services (P2P) are excluded from the offer, billed separately at £2 a megabyte, with a minimum of 5 pence per session. Skype is listed as an example of a VoIP service, but the definition of P2P is much broader, including “instant messenger services, text messaging clients, or file sharing”.
Eh? So if you make a VOIP call Vodafone will not only charge you £2 per meg, but also a minimum of 5 pence per session. Consider it a stealth ‘connection fee’ for VOIP. That is, if you can *actually use* VOIP on your Vodafone handset.
So while the rest of the industry is going off doing ‘unlimited’ (subject to fair use) data policies, Vodafone are making life more complicated – and at the same time having a jolly good go at killing off the concept of mobile VOIP.