back to article Vodafone explains N95 crippling

Vodafone has finally provided an explanation for the removal of VoIP features from the Nokia N95, and apparently it's all for our own good. A Vodafone statement says the mobile operator doesn't offer its own VoIP service because it doesn't believe it's a mature technology. It goes on to say it require "in-depth testing, a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh well

    My N95 is going back. If Vodafone want to cover stuff up to me at this early stage, I'm not committing to an 18 month contract to find out what else they like to hide!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vodafone? Or Nannyfone?

    Vodafone? Nannyfone more like it

  3. David Pottage

    So we can have the Nokia firmware if we prefer.

    If the modified Vodaphone firmware, is all to improve the customer experience, then presumably anyone who would prefer the "confusing" Nokia experience can switch to the Nokia firmware on request, and without charge?

    If they refuse, then it just proves they are lying profiteers as we all suspected. In any case, I would always prefer the Nokia firmware, as it is the most tested and the most up to date. Operator firmwares tend to be buggy, and don't have the latest bug fixes.

    Personally I prefer open standards to walled gardens, and that is one thing the mobile operators should have learnt over the past five years with the failure of their WAP systems.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vodafone explains...

    Oh... that's beautiful. As far as I know, Truphone only enables VoIP calls over Wi-Fi, so there'd be no data charges. And they get barred. While Fring can use GPRS and will still work as it's a download. Slick thinking. Not.

  5. Chris

    Fring on the N95

    Fring isnt currently avaliable on the N95.. So how do you know it works fine on it!?

  6. Dan


    "in-depth testing, a solid end-to-end customer experience, billing integration and customer service support which is not currently available"

    You couldn't see your way to doing some of that on your GSM network, could you?

  7. Michael Davis

    They have a point.......

    Although I work for a compititor with far lower 'unlimited' data access rates not every customer has an interest in data use, lots of people just want the new kid on the block phone and unfortunately these users are the ones that inadvertantly activate a data feature on the phone and them wonder why they have a data bill for a few hundred pounds!

    Email clients on phones with the ability to check every x minutes for new mail catch out lots of ppl as just connecting then disconnecting, even although no server details are present, uses a couple of Kb, every 5 minutes, for a month at £7.50 a Mb - £130 if memory serves from refunding it to customers!

    So it could be argued that Vodafone are being responsible as tech savvy users can add a skype client to the handset if they so wish but they are protecting their non tech users from a large suprise bill because uncle john told them that skype calls are 'free'

  8. Daniel Silver badge

    Re: So we can have the Nokia firmware if we prefer....

    Afraid not. The Nokia update service that you can use on the Nokia site to update your phone detects if you have an Operator-customised firmware and if this is the case, won't upgrade your phone. Instead, it refers you to the operator site to get firmware upgrades from there.

    Apparently Nokia are working with the operators to deliver customised firmware through their upgrade service, but presumably as/when this services goes online it will still only offer the same old (crippled) firmware that users are currently getting on locked handsets. It's my understanding (from Nokia technical support) that no way will they undermine their operator relationships by offering users the chance to 'de-customise' their phone and go back to vanilla Nokia firmware.

    For the record I'm using a Nokia e60, bought unlocked with Nokia firmware, and since configuring VoIP to use Truphone it works like a charm. I'd thoroughly recommend it.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't bill for VoIP?????

    This would be the same Vodafone that sent me a text the other day saying how their data prices are changing from the 1st June 2007.... Looks like they can bill for VoIP after all......



    Terms & Conditions

    The £1 per day charge and monthly data subscription cannot be used for Voice Over IP services such as Skype, or Peer-to-Peer communication services such as instant messaging or file sharing. These services are charged separately at £2 per MB, with a 5p minimum charge for each data session. All prices are inclusive of VAT.


    Anyway, why won't my N95 talk to my Netgear DG834GT???? 8-(

  10. Marc

    Vodafone always restrict their phones

    Vodafone have always done this, which is why I avoid them. They used to stop you using MP3s as ringtones so you had to buy the 30 second clip for £3 from their online store. Vodafone thinks we're stupid!

  11. William Donelson

    Jeez, I already get more "included" minutes per month than I use

    Jeez, I already get more "included" minutes per month than I use, so who really cares?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "included" minutes


    Do your included minutes work when you're overseas?

    Or when calling friends and business contacts in the USA? On their cells?

    Do they stop you getting billed for receiving inbound calls when you're overseas?

    And... can you use any gsm minutes at all in rural locations?

    A VoIP service on your mobile phone doesn't take anything away. It adds choices for you


  13. asdf

    When are Euros going to realize telecom monopolies cost them economically

    Europe may be ahead of North America in a lot of things but we were smart enough to break up our telecom monopoly over twenty years ago. It is inexcusable how expensive communication in Europe is and no one seems to realize it hurts their already slow growing economies. Oh well if the Euros want to go along with it and pay yet another tax and gimp their economies in the process so be it.

  14. Giles Jones Gold badge

    What monopoly?

    Asdf, which monopoly are you on about?

    There are numerous operators in the UK, Orange, Vodaphone, T-Mobile, O2 and Virgin.

    That's no monopoly.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There are a few sites out there who will provide a means to flash your phone with the manufacturer's firmware, for a small fee of course (about €10 I think).

    I recently did this with a K800 (the Vodafone firmware on it really was terrible) and it worked fine. I'm pretty sure the same is available for Nokias.

  16. Simn Lovatt

    Firmware - Operator or Generic..

    More tech' savvy users can change the product code of Nokia N-series handsets (sorry, handheld computers!) so you can use generic firmware on an operator branded model.

    This helps as if you change a (for instance) Nokia N73 Vodafone edition to a Nokia N73 vanilla, the Nokia updater service will see it as generic and flash it thusly.

    Careful, as you run the risk of paperweighting your handset though and not having a leg to stand on when you attempt to get it fixed under the warranty!

  17. Lee Chong Yew

    why I avoid operator-provided handsets

    Sad to see that this kind of crippling is still going on. That's one particular reason I tend to prefer paying a slight premium for a phone that is operator-branding free and not locked in any way.

  18. Will Neale

    Go and buy a SIM free handset

    I don't agree with operators 'hobbling' wi-fi on handsets, BUT you do have a choice:

    1) Go and buy a SIM free Nokia N95 for £600 that is not locked down to networks/services and does not contain operator firmware; do what you want with it and spend your money on the networks that you choose (wi-fi, GSM or otherwise).

    2) Accept Vodafone's offer to pay most of the cost of the handset on your behalf (the generous subsidy), and accept that they therefore have to try and make money from you by driving data across their network using their software and services.

    You can't have it both ways - you can't expect Vodafone to subsidise your handset if you are then going to spend all your money with wi-fi/VoIP providers. Your choice.

    Fair enough?

  19. Ian

    Unlocked Vodaphone N95

    Last Thursday I walked into Phones4U in Bristol and walked out with a free N95 on a £40 per month Vodaphone tariff (500 minutes and 100 texts per month) with just a 12 month contract - and I can reduce my price plan after 9 months if I wish. The people in the shop did say the phone was unlocked and they were a little surprised to have got them like that, but I've since downloaded Truphone and it's all working fine. I have no idea how Phones4U expect to make money out of this deal - nor do I care - and no idea why my particular Vodaphone N95 was unlocked, but it seems there are some out there... Might be worth asking.

    By the way, while I think I got a pretty good deal from Phones4U, I won't be going back there for anything else again - can't say I was very impressed with them. VERY impressed with the N95 so far though... although do get a car charger if you're going to use the SatNav for any length of time.

  20. Graham Bartlett

    What planet you on?

    What monopoly are you on about in Europe, ASDF? Here in the UK, we've got 4 actual networks (Vodafone/O2/T-Mobile/Orange), and a cast of thousands reselling them.

    And slow-growing economy? Doing fine over here, thanks.

  21. William Donelson

    Reply to above

    "Do your included minutes work when you're overseas? Or when calling friends and business contacts in the USA? On their cells? Do they stop you getting billed for receiving inbound calls when you're overseas? And... can you use any gsm minutes at all in rural locations?"

    When I am overseas, most of my calls are local to where I am, and I do NOT make them call me in London!

    When calling outside the UK, I use 1899 for a penny per minute.

    "rural locations" - I rarely have any trouble.

    So, perhaps I only represent 99% of the cellphone-carrying public.

  22. Jay

    Get 3rd party to flash the firmware

    I got an N70 from my brother which had 3 branded firmware. As others have mentioned if you have branded firmware and try and update using the online Nokia updater then you just get the latest branded firmware (in my case the same version).

    So I did a quick bit of surfing and I found someone local who quite happily upgraded my N70 to the latest Nokia firmware for £15 whilst I waited. The result being not having nasty branding, being able to use all the options and having a slightly quicker handset. Sorted!

  23. Simn Lovatt

    SIM Free price.

    £600 is a tad expensive. CPW & P4U are doing them for £500 - can be had online for less from places like Expansys!

  24. Robert Grant Silver badge

    And as for North America's mobile phone situation...

    ...the competition in terms of standards has massively crippled cellphone growth there. It's ridiculous to think that helped *anyone*.

  25. Danny Thompson

    Plink! Another Customer Lost

    My contract with Vodafone comes up for renewal later this year and the N95 is definitely the one I want at the moment. But there is no way that I will entertain the notion of an N95 from Vodafone that has had the VoIP client crippled from using the inbuilt WiFi.

    Vodafone have some clear choices - leave the darned handset alone and put up with the vastly relative few who will use VoIP as well as Vodafone's minutes. Or take the risk that these same "few" will walk away and therefore lose not only the potential VoIP minutes but the entire contract.

    Still, others will buy a Vodafone N95 and get it un-crippled by having the handset unbranded back to Nokia original firmware.

    What a ridiculous state to put themselves in. So, come June I'm off to a network who have not crippled the N95 and Vodafone will have lost the business for what?

  26. Tom

    n series phones

    i own an n95 and an n80 and i found with the n80 that if i restored factory settings then all the o2 branding vanished but if i did a hard reset(holding down green call button, * and 3 then pressing the on button) then they came back. i have yet to try it out with my n95 on o2 as i havent needed to. also does anyone know if o2 removes anything from the n95, voip is there tho

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