Skype wants access to cellular networks

Skype is reporting that Skype (now owned by eBay) has asked the FCC to have cellular network providers open their systems to carry VOiP. Skype is asking the FCC to apply the so-called Carterfone rules to the wireless industry. Those rules were enacted during the AT&T wired telephone monopoly to force AT&T to let consumers connect phones and other devices to the network, even if the devices were not made or approved by AT&T. Essentially, users could then use their data plans to make free Skype calls instead of racking up long-distance charges and using up their voice minutes.

Not surprisingly, a cellular trade group has already expressed its disagreement with this request, citing that such a move disregards consumer benefits provided by the competitive marketplace and would freeze innovation.

A number of carriers either have terms of service that bar the use of Skype on their networks or at least discourage its use.

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