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Mobile Broadband and VOIP Support

The mobile broadband networks differ in their attitude towards the use of VOIP services such as Skype, with some networks allowing it, some charging extra for it, and some blocking it. Whilst it is possible to use VOIP on mobile broadband, the quality is often poorer than on home broadband, because mobile broadband cannot offer such low ping times or high bandwidth as home broadband. However, this situation is likely to improve with future mobile broadband standards.

Vodafone Mobile Broadband


VOIP usage is possible, as Vodafone do not block the ports associated with VOIP, so services like Skype will work. However, Skype usage is not deducted from your daily or monthly allowance but is instead charged separately. Charging rates are £2 per megabyte, with a 5p minimum charge for each data session.

(Correct as at 13 Apr 2010)

Note that Skype uses quite a lot of bandwidth, even when you aren't talking because when the program is running, it uses your "spare" network connection to re-route calls to other people, i.e. it acts like a peer-to-peer for voice data. So keep in mind if you're planning to use Skype on Mobile Broadband, you're likely to use up your monthly allowance pretty quickly.

Visit Vodafone Mobile Broadband

T-Mobile Broadband

To use Skype or other VOIP services on your T-Mobile contract mobile broadband you need to contact customer services to upgrade from the standard contract.

VOIP is blocked on T-Mobile Pay As You Go mobile broadband and cannot be unblocked.

(Correct as at 28 Jul 2010)

Visit T-Mobile Mobile Broadband

3 Mobile Broadband on a Laptop

VOIP services are supported. The 3 Mobile help section on their website specifically states that you can use Skype, and that any data you use will come out of your internet data allowance.

3 Mobile also state that they expect this to use less than 1MB per minute for a Skype-to-Skype voice call.

(Correct as at 12 Apr 2010)

Visit Three Mobile Broadband

Orange Mobile Broadband

It says in the Orange Mobile Broadband FAQ that you can make video calls over the internet using applications such as Windows Live Messenger.

(Correct as at 12 Apr 2010)

Visit Orange Mobile Broadband

O2 Mobile Broadband

VoIP is not permitted on O2 Mobile Broadband.

Note also that continuous streaming of any audio / video content, P2P or file sharing are against the O2 mobile broadband terms of service.

(Correct as at 30 Aug 2011)

Visit O2 Mobile Broadband

Our current understanding, as at 12 Apr 2010, is that VOIP is not permitted on Virgin Mobile Broadband, but we need to confirm this.

Visit Virgin Mobile Broadband

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