August 21st, 2009 | Published in Google Public Policy
I wanted to briefly set the record straight about an inaccurate claim in Friday's USA Today. The article stated:
"Consumers who use Android, the Google-developed operating system for wireless devices, can't use Skype, a leading Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. A pioneer in free Internet calling, Skype allows you to talk as long as you want without draining cellphone minutes."
Here are the facts, clear and simple: While the first generation of our Android software did not support full-featured VoIP applications due to technology limitations, we have worked through those limitations in subsequent versions of Android, and developers are now able to build and upload VoIP services.
While individual operators can request that certain applications be filtered if they violate their terms of service, USA Today is wrong to say that:
"Google's explanation would seem to suggest that T-Mobile requested the block on Skype, but the carrier says that's not the case. "T-Mobile has not asked Google to block that service," says spokesman Joe Farren, referring to original Skype."
As we told USA Today earlier in the week Google did not reject an application from Skype or from any other company that provides VoIP services. To suggest otherwise is false. At this point no software developer -- including Skype -- has implemented a complete VoIP application for Android. But we're excited to see -- and use -- these applications when they're submitted, because they often provide more choice and options for users. We also look forward to the day when consumers can access any application, including VoIP apps, from any device, on any network.