Unwired View has this excerpt from Nokia’s Elop (which is more detailed than the earlier transcript reported):

So, thank you for your question about Skype. Indeed, Microsoft did buy the Skype company as part of the ecosystem that comes with Windows Phone and Windows and so forth, so that’s quite correct. The feedback from operators is they don’t like Skype, of course, because for those operators who have a traditional wire-line business, traditional telephone business, it could take away from revenues.

And, so what MSFT has done – and we’ve been part of these conversations as well with operators – is as you correctly say, if operator doesn’t want Skype installed on a Windows Phone from Nokia or any other company, then the operator can make that decision.

Now, you’re right: it can be circumvented. But of course it’s on all Android devices, it’s on iPhone devices, it’s on iPad, it’s on all of those devices. So in fact what we’re doing with the operators is turning it around into an advantage. Instead of them just complaining about Skype on Android or Skype on iPhone, with Microsoft and Nokia, we can have a conversation that says “ok there, is this Skype thing, is there a different type of partnership we can do that recognizes that voice over IP like Skype is coming no matter what, but maybe we can do something creative that generates incremental revenue for you.” Some operators are looking at bundling Lumia, Skype and their own services with higher-bandwidth allotments to actually charge the consumer more and generate more revenue for them. So by actually controlling the Skype asset, we can begin a conversation about how we can have a better Skype-based relationship, which was impossible for operators to do before. So it’s actually quite a bit more advanced than whether operators like or don’t like Skype; they actually want to engage in a conversation about what does this mean and how could we do something that we couldn’t do before. Thank you.

Presumably the next step would be that the same charges could apply to Android and iOS. And while we’re at it, all of those texts that carriers are not collecting on can now be collected just by charging for GChat, iMessage and Messenger. See where this is going? Not sure if this is Microsoft’s doing or involvement or just a reality check that it is headed here so Skype may as well play nice and try to get a foothold from the start but we’re all going to be paying more. The words ‘net neutrality’ keep ringing in my head too…

7 COMMENTS

  1. You will only be paying more if you use those services, and I for one have no problem not using a Nokia WP if this is going to be one of their “selling points” or any of the impacted services on any other WP if it means paying more. Funny how none of this seems to matter with apple and their imessage and facetime features.

  2. Unfortunately, the carriers seem to be effectively immune from any sort of consumer backlash. Given our current dependence on these sorts of devices and services, as well as practical concerns that limit alternative carrier/plan options for many of us, consumers’ options seem to be limited to snarling and complaining on message boards and blogs. I don’t begrudge these companies their defense of their product lines or attempts to make money; but when their charges seem to be based on something other than actual resource consumption, it suggests that they’re being motivated by either Gekko-like greed or blind fear.

  3. If they are doing this I think the Skype User Community should bring a class action suit on all the carriers, because, we would use Skype on our data plan, for which we are already paying heavily or they should let us to optout for their voice calls and continue with data plans.

  4. I totally agree with @RamUppugunduri…. we already paying for the data plans then why should we charged more for the separate service

  5. I third that. Give us a choice of voice only, data only, or paired service. Otherwise I may seriously consider simply paying outright for my devices and go WiFi only. I have it at home, work, and many places I go out.

  6. So what about tango, oovoo, FaceTime this is just another way to “Rape” the customer. if apple would have bought Skype they would treat it as gold or oil!

  7. So are the cable providers going to start charging for Skype calls as well? If the above becomes reality, they have a good argument. Just sayin.

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