FCC 'should reject' Skype's mobile plea

The US' telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission, should reject an application by eBay's Skype division the agency's chairman Kevin Martin said, quoted in an Associated Press report. Skype is demanding that US mobile operators should be obliged to allow any device to work on their networks

Skype, which provides free voice calls and videoconferencing over Internet connections, asked the commission in February 2007 to apply the 1968 Carterfone decision to wireless networks. However, Martin is arguing that the industry's recent push toward openness makes such a ruling unnecessary. The Carterfone decision opened AT&T's fixed network to phones other than those made by its manufacturing arm.

Martin cited Verizon Wireless' decision to open its network to any device or application by the end of this year and the participation by T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel in Google 's Open Handset Alliance. The Alliance is developing open software for phones.

The report quoted Martin as saying that, 'in light of the industry's embrace of this more open approach, I think it's premature for the commission to place any other requirements on these networks.'

Martin's decision would need the support of two other commissioners to take effect, but that support would probably be forthcoming from two Republican appointees, the report said and added that no-one from eBay was available for comment.