Om Malik points out how Vodafone has created two tiers of pricing for Internet access: Web browsing costs £7.50 a month for 120MB (plus £1 a day once that limit is reached) while "Voice over IP services such as Skype and Peer to Peer services, including ICQ, Windows Messenger, Yahoo messenger, Hotext and Tex2" are billed at £2 per MB which is more than 30 times the price. This was one the heels of Truphone complaining that wireless operators had disabled the VoIP features on the Nokia N95.
While it’s unfortunate that we will not be able to benefit from the innovations of scrappy, new companies like Truphone while the big, old companies like Vodafone engage in this short-sighted behavior, we really can’t expect governments to intervene after they raked in billions selling 3G licenses. It would be disingenuous to take the money and then dictate how the operators can recoup their investment.
Maybe WiMAX will save the day.