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Vodafone to charge more for VOIP from June

Link: Vodafone’s new pricing model excludes VoIP and P2P | The Register

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.


  1. “That is, if you can *actually use* VOIP on your Vodafone handset.”

    Very true – I spent an hour on friday trying to set up Truphone at work before giving up – one of the worst set up experiences I’ve ever come across.

    Any suggestions for other VOIP software for N95s?

  2. I had Truphone working on my N80ie for a while on Orange, but only via wifi. Kept breaking all the time, unregistering, and generally being a pain in the arse, so I uninstalled it.

    John – has your N95 got Voda software on it? You know they’ve lopped the SIP client from their build, which apparently means Truphone won’t work..

  3. Well the second time I went through the set up process it created 3 new SIP profiles for Truphone, which I can still see on my handset. However as I was setting it up at work and it wanted to define the data channel as wifi (rather than 3g/hsdpa, which would have been fine for me), and we don’t have open wi-fi at work gave up, I never completed the process.

    First time I went through the process I accidentally broke the wizard, and then had to route around on the truphone website to work out how to re-start it – in fact you can’t, you need to download it again. Not great design…

  4. I’ve just gone through the Fring setup process on my E61. It went like a dream.. very straight forward, easy to figure out, and everything I’ve tried so far seems to work. The website is very helpful, the user manual is written for a complete idiot but not patronising, and within 5 minutes I had it working with Skype, MSN and our office VOIP system.


  5. I have been using truphone all around the world. In airports, hotels, in my first and second homes and it is a very good application. Clearly what Vodafone is trying to do with this pricing is a big joke. Similar to “passport pricing for roaming” they give the impression it is reasonable. However it is actually priced in a way that you consume and pay as much as possible. I just recommend to avoid them and turn to alternative carriers like O2 or T-Mobile in the UK and use truphone as an add on as often as possible; First the call quality is higher than on 3G, second it works where 3G does not work, it is much cheaper and you do not support the GIANT money spinner Vodafone

  6. To John,
    One of your problems (at least) is that the Truphone Wizard only presents you with Wi-Fi connection options during set-up. The company has only ever described its service as going over Wi-Fi and the Internet, however, so it’s not doing anything unexpected. Ironically, one of the original reasons for this was to protect customers from ‘bill shock’ caused by using VoIP with expensive data tariffs. It has always been possible, but not recommended, for ‘uber-users’ to manually delve into the settings (rather than use the Wizard) and to force connection over a different data carrier. As data tariffs have improved, there are plans to change this soon to make it part of the Wizard.
    Truphone doesn’t only work on open WiFi; it will work on password-protected Wi-Fi (WEP or WPA/2) as well, as long as you know the settings and enter them when prompted.
    There are also plans to improve the Wizard/install process. Meanwhile, have you tried watching any of the installation videos on YouTube? Try this link as I don’t know which handset you have.
    Failing all that, contact – they’ll sort you out I’m sure.


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