INGATE

From The Sip Trunking Experts

[February 23, 2007]

Is Skype's FCC Petition For Public Or Self Interest?

TMCnet Web Editor
 
Skype (News - Alert), the company that offers low-cost Internet calling, is apparently not content to limit availability of its services to only broadband networks.

 
Earlier this week, Skype filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission to force wireless carriers to open their networks and allow third-party hardware and software applications to use them. In effect, Skype’s own software would now be able to run on cellular networks.
 
In filing the petition, Skype is taking a page from the past by asking the FCC to enforce the Carterphone principle—a rule enacted in response to AT&T (News - Alert) holding a monopoly over wired networks. The rule forced AT&T to let consumers connect non AT&T phones and devices to its networks.
 
Skype’s petition expressed concern that wireless carriers and handset manufacturers were stifling innovation in the wireless and mobile sector, against the public’s interest.  For instance, one carrier practice Skype cited in the petition was the locking of handsets in the U.S. to specific carriers, whether it be Verizon, Cingular (News - Alert), Sprint, or T-Mobile.
 
By contrast, Skype stated in the petition that consumers in most European and Asian countries can readily purchase unlocked headsets they can use with separately purchased SIM cards.
 
The petition also claims that wireless carriers exerted such power over mobile device design that some features, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, were stripped from some advanced phone designs.
 
Though Skype makes some valid points in its petition, the company has so far been unable to muster an outpouring of support. Not surprisingly, the company has been dismissed by the mobile sector as self-serving and against consumer interests. But neither has there been much support from other technology companies that might benefit from loosening wireless network regulations.
 
Unlike decades ago when one could easily identify AT&T as an obvious monopoly, convincing the public to rally against wireless carriers is going to be more difficult. Who’s the main culprit here? Verizon Wireless? Cingular? Sprint? T-Mobile? And how many really believe these carriers twisted the arms of Motorola, Nokia (News - Alert), and other mobile phone makers when these companies reported record handset sales in recent years?
 
Do consumers really believe there’s a monopoly among these carriers when many routinely port their mobile numbers from one carrier to another and take advantage of free or low-cost handset deals. How about the dazzling array of different phones—many with cameras and Internet access—available to consumers despite Skype’s contentions of missing features. Is that a lack of choice that hints of an industry monopoly?
 
And the petition may not help Skype drum up much support for Internet-based calling, The concept of Internet-based calling remains a novelty to many—with concerns lingering over issues such as poor voice quality.
--------
Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s
White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Spencer Chin is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his
columnist page.
 

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Loading
Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner


Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.