I've discussed this issue before, but it's going to come up a lot since third parties are starting to develop applications that run on the high-speed networks of operators. Most contracts are quite draconian regarding what you can use the high-speed wireless connection for. VoIP applications are one of the services that are not allowed. Last week Mino Wireless launched what it calls the world's first commercial VoIP service for mobile, offering international calls for cheap, as low as 2 cents a minute, compared with $1 per minute or more.
Operators are going to have to deal with this issue more overtly as companies like SlingMedia, one of today's Fierce 15 winners, make more inroads using the high-speed data networks of operators to offer all kinds of services that circumvent operators' own services. Despite what the contracts say, most operators have little way of knowing at this point what people are using service for. Will operators embrace these services as a way to sell more data plans or block them?
For more about Mino Wireless' VoIP plans:
- take a look at this article from IDG News Services