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Nokia and telcos at war over N97 Skype

Nokia phone
Nokia will probably have to backtrack on its Skype plans

When something seems to good to be true, it's usually not long before reality comes crashing home, as has just happened with Nokia's plans to sell phones with Skype pre-installed.

The imminent N97 handset was supposed to come with the popular VoIP client locked and loaded but, predictably, it seems the network operators aren't too happy about the plan.

Revenue hit

Reports say O2 and Orange are on the brink of refusing to carry the N97 unless Nokia removes Skype. The prospect of them losing call revenue to the free internet telephony service clearly isn't an appetising one.

Phone website Mobile Today cites an unnamed source at one of the networks as saying: "This is another example of them trying to build an ecosystem that is all about Nokia and reduces the operator to a dumb pipe.

"Some people like 3 may be in a position where it could make sense to accept that. But if you spend upwards of £40m per year building your brand, you don't want to be just a dumb pipe, do you?"

Obvious solution

Given that Nokia depends on the networks to get its products into customers' hands, it seems clear to us that it has no option but to strip out Skype PDQ.