German mobile operator O2 Germany has announced it has started to allow voice-over-IP (VoIP) use on its wireless network. Previously all four of the country’s mobile network operators have tried to block VoIP applications such as Skype, which allow customers to make cheap long-distance calls via broadband internet connections. ‘We are one of the fastest and most modern mobile data networks in Europe and our customers should be able to experience that without restrictions,’ said O2 Germany’s marketing director, Lutz Schuler, adding, ‘By opening our mobile high speed network for VoIP services, we are setting new benchmarks for mobile internet.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, market leader T-Mobile Deutschland blocked users from accessing VoIP applications designed specifically for the iPhone in early April 2009. In the following June, the company ended its ban, but instead introduced a surcharge of EUR9.95 (USD14.16) a month for use of VoIP services.
In a separate story, O2 Germany will introduce a new SHDSL.bis service to its wholesale broadband portfolio in October. The service enables higher symmetric transmission bandwidths with downloads speeds of up to 5.7Mbps on a two-core access line (TAL). ‘Based on the new bandwidths reached via SHDSL.bis we offer our wholesale partners another attractive product,’ said Johannes Pruchnow, MD of business and wholesale services at Telefonica O2 Germany, adding, ‘The flexible solution adequately meets increased data transmission requirements in the business segment. Next year, we will be able to offer speeds of up to 22.8Mbps.’