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Regulators in Algeria have allowed the use of voice over Wi-Fi: Voice over IP and Wi-Fi combined enable a low cost way to deliver voice services in areas that lack basic telecom infrastructure. The technologies are also enabling competition in many countries where there may be just one telecom operator. Overall it appears that governments in Africa are trying to promote the use of voice over IP and Wi-Fi as tools that can lead to greater development in the region.
One Vonage customer says that Clearwire is blocking the voice over IP service: This is clearly a defensive move by Clearwire but surely won’t do much as far as endearing itself to customers. Clearwire recently said that Bell Canada would supply voice services to Clearwire broadband wireless customers. Apparently Clearwire wants to ensure that its customers that want voice services buy the service from Clearwire and no one else. While it’s understandable, it won’t help Clearwire to promote its image as a champion of competitive providers.
The FCC recently ruled that Madison River Communications, a telephone and DSL provider, had to stop blocking Vonage and pay a fine for doing so previously. But Mobile Pipeline reports that it’s not clear if the FCC could make a similar ruling against Clearwire because Clearwire isn’t a local telephone company.