Thilo Salmon of sipgate
, makers of a SIP-based client that works on the Apple iPhone, wrote me today regarding sipgate vs. T-Mobile Round II, which was soundly won today by sipgate after a German court issued a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile Germany. (See Round I - T-Mobile VoIP Shenanigans - AGAIN!
Thilo told me, "I thought you might like to learn the we did not go down, but fought back. T-Mobile Germany not only bans VoIP, IM and VPN usage, but also caps data on their iPhone plans. Funny enough, one could say that T-Mobile Germany is blocking T-Mobile USA. Still, we felt T-Mobile is misleading their customers, as they hide this fact in their fine print and found supporters for this claim."
He added, "On our request the regional court of Hamburg (Landgericht Hamburg) has issued a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile Germany, Apple's exclusive German partner. As of today the company is barred from advertising their iPhone plans as "open internet access with unlimited data" ("Freier Internetzugang mit unbegrenzter Datenflatrate") on pain of penalties of approx. $390,000 (250,000 Euro) or six month of imprisonment per incident. T-Mobile does not allow the use of their iPhone data plans for use with VoIP, IM and IP-VPN services and throttles bandwidth beginning at 300 MB per month in their smallest plan." Ouch! So now T-Mobile may not advertise free Internet access with the iPhone. That's gotta sting!
He continued, "While this might look like round #2 of sipgate vs. T-Mobile the issue at hand here is much broader. T-Mobile is spearheading a movement of networks to undermine the generally assumed principle of net neutrality. Such broad restrictions on the accessibility of internet services are frightening - in particular, since T-Mobile chose to specifically ban those services, they are selling at a premium: Voice, Chat and VPN."
Score a huge win for sipgate and net neutrality advocates!