UPDATED: VFNZ Clarifies ## ISPs still trying to strangle VoIP - Vodafone, I'm looking at you.

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 17-Jun-2008 14:19

Thanks to Paul Brislen for clarifying Vodafones position:

PaulBrislen: There's no mystery here - we say in our terms and conditions that we don't support VoIP because we don't. We can't guarantee throughput, we can't guarantee quality of service. So it's not a supported application but at the same time we don't block it. If you want to buy a phone, use it for data and then use it to (gasp) make phone calls, you can!

tonyhughes: Hi Paul, thanks for that, sounds like good news, but I (retentive as I am) would really like a clarification, as the two statements are quite dissimilar:

"Casual Daily Rate does not apply to VoIP ...." (Website)


"use it for data and then use it to (gasp) make phone calls, you can! But we don't support it."

So can we safely assume from your post above that on Prepay, we can use VoIP, and that the data use will be covered under the $1 plan as if it was any other normal traffic? The proviso being that if the call quality is awful (or latency or other issues), there is no scope for help/support.

If that is indeed the case, then you have a very very compelling offer for a lot of people.

PaulBrislen: That's the case, Tony. We neither care nor block...

a bit is a bit is a bit.



Paul Brislen
External Communications Manager

Original article begins here...

Vodafone have just released their up-to-10MB capped-at-$1-a-day casual data rate on Prepay. Its really good value, and has made a big dent in the (over)price of mobile data in this country - I believe this is the beginning of really reasonable pricing.

Mauricios blog post about the plan.
Geekzone forum discussion about the plan.
Vodafones web page detailing the plan.

But hey - what's this on the VFNZ website?

* Subject to standard data restrictions. Casual Daily Rate does not apply to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

Vodafone have decided to restrict the content you are allowed to use.

P2P - okay...
Porn - okay...
Streaming Video / TV - okay...
Download files - okay...
A few hates sites - okay...
Online gaming - okay...

With no restrictions on any other services, much less the bandwidth hungry stuff like P2P or streaming video, it is clear that it is not a quality of service issue. It is not network congestion. It is not contention ratios.

So we have all these other services (and whatever else you can think of), but not a VoIP call or two?

What is Vodafone afraid of? That VoIP will kill calling revenues? Maybe calling prices need to lower if that is the case. Make VoIP less attractive through true competition rather than dictating a single type of internet use that is not allowed.

Define VoIP: Is it a port? Is it a packet of data with voice in it? Skype? SIP? What about a voice clip over MSN/WLM? What about a videoconference that also sends my voice? Webcams are okay I assume? But the moment I add voice to the session, and breaking ToS?

Vodafone, please define what a VoIP call is for us, so we can see exactly what standards and protocols you are scared of, and are discriminating against.

No VoIP = less data use = less revenue for Vodafone.

The bulk of my VoIP traffic would be incoming, and most of my outgoing is made from WiFi zones anyway, where I wouldn't be using Vodafone voice minutes.

The more services I can use with your network, the more I will have to pay you.

Lets see some 'net neutrality, which will result in increased customer satisfaction, increased data revenue, less management, and more competition (in voice as well as data).

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Comment by sbiddle, on 17-Jun-2008 09:01

It really is a shame.. VoIP using G729 works really well over Vodafone's 3G network now.

When I was in Aussie last month I used VoIP extensively over Vodafone Australia's 3G network. I had probably an hour or so of calling and apart from some tests using ulaw which failed miserably at times (not surprising) it worked extremely well even with the high latency back to my Asterisk box in NZ.

There is nothing Vodafone can do to stop VoIP use anyway - they can try port blocking or packet filtering if they really want to but with E series phone's with VPN's it's a 2 second job to bypass this.

Comment by Deckart, on 26-Jun-2008 13:46

Looks like things have changed again - Vodafone's site detailing the plan now says "Voice over Internet Protocol use is prohibited".


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