The PhoneBoy Blog


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Does a Mobile Phone to VoIP bridge break any laws?

TechDirt brings up interesting question about whether or not a Mobile Phone to VoIP “bridge” is against the law. Wasn’t this how alternative long distance carriers flourished in the early days of the Ma-Bell breakup in the US, basically using “local access numbers” to bypass AT&T’s infrastructure? Isn’t this to some extent how 101xxxx codes work?

The theory is: most carriers offer free mobile-to-mobile calling. By calling another mobile phone on the same network and having some sort of gateway device connecting the mobile phone to VoIP (e.g. a SPA-3000), you could use no “real” airtime and make a lot of calls, particular expensive International calls.

The mobile phone carriers may not particularly like it, but it’s not illegal — yet. Remember that the people that control the mobile phone carriers in the US are the same people that control the vast majority of the local phone service, i.e. decendants of Ma-Bell. They may not be so keen on letting their “customers” bypass their network a second go-around, so if this takes off, they may be lobbying the US Congress to outlaw the practice.


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