Networks baulk at Skype on Nokia N97


O2 and Orange have reportedly refused to stock Nokia's N97 in protest against the company preinstalling Skype.

Nokia's forthcoming high-end smartphone will come loaded to the brim with the latest technology and if the manufacturer gets its way will also feature the popular Skype client on the handset.

However, according to reports from Mobile Today, this has not gone down well with Orange and O2, which are concerned with Nokia wanting to "own the customer", and being reduced to no more than a "dumb pipe".

"We have made no announcement yet on whether will stock this handset," O2 told IT PRO in a statement. "We are working with Nokia to understand the service and the business model. Our aim is to make people's lives easier and we are embracing all sorts of new applications and services on mobiles."

Meanwhile Orange told us that it "has already embraced VoIP services and is Europe's leading VoIP provider with over six million subscribers... Orange is continually finding ways to bring applications and mobile services to our customers through our own innovation or through partnerships. Because we are closest to the customer, we will only do this when we can promise the best customer experience".

3 remains that only major network to have embraced Skype on its handsets offering up both the Skypephone, which is now on its second iteration, and the INQ1 social networking phone.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.