back to article German court bans VoiP on iPhone

A VoiP application for Apple's iPhone has been banned by the Higher Regional Court in Hamburg, Germany at the behest of T-Mobile. The app - available through Apple's iTunes App Store - allows users to make cheap phone calls using T-Mobile's Wi-Fi network and bypass roaming charges. However, that's not why the app called …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It's a funny old world

    In the USA T-MO offer seamless transition from GSM/Edge to WiFI/VOiP (UMA) for Blackberries when no other provider would touch the idea. It's a wonderful thing, as I live on one of those mystical blackholes that eats all cell reception even though 20 ft from my front door they all have 4 bars service.

    I pull up to my house and I'm talking on GSM, I get in range of my wireless access point and it swaps right onto it without skipping a beat. Great technology well executed.

    They are somewhat sketchy about it though. I travelled back home to the UK and figured it would work on the WiFi where I was staying. A great way to save a boatload on international roaming for voice and Data.

    Guess what? It wouldn't work! I suspect that the roaming fees were just to tempting and they were using some form of GeoLocation to prevent the IP link back to them from forming.

    Paris, because it's amazing how something that should be so hot and cool actually is lamer than Little Tim.

  2. max allan

    Not available in app store


    App store is only used for iPhone 2.0 and above and you said that sipgate only works with up to 1.1.4....

    Truphone is the only app I can find for >2.0 in app store.


    So, I wonder if Germany will try and ban Truphone, which is available on current firmware iPhones, (from the app store.)

  3. bertie bassett

    The irony of it all

    Hmm now in the USA there is a great service whereby you connect your mobile via WiFi to your ADSL connection and then make Mobile Originated calls at home at landline rates - called hotspot @ home, and not that different from the VoIP service that sipgate provider.

    The network operator providing hotspot@home?


  4. rhidian


    What about other voip apps on other phones / services?

    I just cannot quite see 'the whole picture' being taken into the courts point of view here ...

  5. Seanie Ryan


    voip apps have been available for many makes of phones for ages.

    How can they say its illegal on just one particular handset?


  6. Aetyr

    Can't make calls on a phone?

    What is the world coming to?

    What did CRT monitor makers do when they saw people switching to superior TFT and LCD screens? They joined the revolution and started making flatscreens themselves.

    Phone operators can't stop VOIP, they can barely even slow it down. Unless they start doing something like Skype does, offer free VOIP calls and cheaper calls over VOIP to real phone numbers, then they'll just end up losing.

    I don't mind, it'll be fun to watch them fumble desperately to stop the advance of internet technology and people's determination to fully utilise it.

    Mine's the one that lets me put anything I want in the pocket...

  7. Philipp Varley

    Not very interesting...

    cuz if you live in this country (I've got stuck here 15 years ago) this news won't surprise you much. They can ban everything, like you shant put salt in sweets. It doesn't make sense at all, but they like it that way. You're free to do everything, as long as it is allowed by law. Laughing isn't, btw...

    Mine's the one that I face everywhere over here

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    German government still owns a noticeable slice of Deutsche Telekom

    ...both directly and through a goverment-owned bank. Maybe vested interests are a good reason to protect a near monopoly.

  9. Chad H.

    So the issue is

    Not that voip is banned, but encitement to break terms and conditions (by jailbreaking/making unaithorised modifications) is.

  10. ratfox

    This is exactly why...

    it shouldn't be possible to have restrictions on modifications.

    This reminds me of when the phone handsets themselves were property of AT&T and it was forbidden to attach a Hush-a-Phone to it.

  11. alex dekker


    "Sipgate only runs on iPhones of the first generation up to firmware 1.1.4"

    Been using Sipgate with Asterisk since 2005, tyvm.

  12. Jeff Deacon

    Sipgate 2

    I too have been a fan of Sipgate since they launched their VoIP service in the UK. Now, I rarely use the switched circuit and if I could get a price reduction from BT would do without the "land" line altogether.

    This exercise looks like Sipgate's attempt to keep up with Truphone.

    I suspect the difference is that Sipgate is a German company (like T-Mobile/Deutsche Telekom), and so maybe should not be upsetting the nice orderly German applecart.

  13. Christian Berger

    In contrast

    If you only get one of those USB-sticks for UMTS, you can also plut them into one of the better german VoIP-Routers and then use any phone you want.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tee hee

    well that is what happens if your platform is not open.

    If the platform is open, then it cannot be stopped, roll your own sound to digital, network aware, streaming encoder, it is not rocket science.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Totally inacurate and crap.

    It is obvious that the author of this doesn't have a clue what he is talking about.

    "The app - available through Apple's iTunes App Store - allows users to make cheap phone calls using T-Mobile's Wi-Fi network and bypass roaming charges."


    "Sipgate only runs on iPhones of the first generation up to firmware 1.1.4 and requires the "BSD Subsystem" for installation."

    Total bullshit.

    First: You dont have Apple's App store available for versions 1.4. Its only available for 2.0.x.

    Second: You dont have Apple distribute software that needs a jailbroken iphone.

    Get your story right.

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