There has been a lot of buzz around the new Skype iPhone app blocking calls over 3G networks because of mobile carrier´s pressure. The fact is that most 3G data plan contracts specifically block P2P and VoIP calls… So, given today market rules, it was just a matter of time for someone to break that apparently holy rule at a certain point, and stand out over its competitors.
MÁSmovil (an Spanish MVNO) not only allows VoIP calls, they are actively promoting the use of Skype and Fring over their networks (well, as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, they don´t have their own licensed frequency allocation, but they use another´s carrier network.. in this case, the service provider is Orange).
I wish this would be the first of a long list of carriers allowing VoIP… but this is simply not the correct time for this to happen. The true convergence of voice and data wireless networks will come with 4G, called LTE (Long Term Evolution) which is still far away from the current market horizon.
Even these are good news and provide an added value for this MVNO (for me a decisive one), I would have appreciated more transparency with their 3G prices comparisions, as they are a bit “tricky”.
For instance, when comparing with their stronger MVNO competitor, SIMYO, the charts show that 25 MB with MÁSmovil costs 0,75 €, which is better than the 0,99 of SIMYO. That´s completely correct, but they seemed to forget that with SIMYO you only pay 0,99 for the first 100 MB. Of course they don´t made a chart showing that you will pay the triple (3 €) for 100MB with them… on the other hand, MÁSmovil computes each single 3G connection as a minimum of 512 KB, in front of the 256KB gap of SIMYO, so forget configuring your mobile mail client for polling every 5 minutes (with both carriers).
Anyway, allowing VoIP over 3G networks is a big step forward for the final users.
Link MÁSmovil 3G prices [eng] | MÁSmovil 3G prices [esp]
Link MÁSmovil promotes VoIP calls [eng] | MÁSmovil promotes VoIP calls [esp]
Link SIMYO 3G prices
Link Skype & Fring reviewed