Fring suspends Skype video call capability and subsequently gets blocked by Skyped as word of words develops online.
Online chat service Fring had updated the iPhone and Android applications to provide video call functionality in a move which gained considerable publicity in light of the fact that Fring is not limited to Wi-Fi connectivity unlike the iPhone 4 bundled FaceTime application.
It seems that Fring was unprepared for the traffic and suspended Skype video calling capability from the application. However when moving to restore service found it had become blocked by Skype from doing so.
Fring then blogged an angry response accusing Skype of being "cowards" and "trying to muzzle competition". Skype for its part issued a press release stating that Fring was mis-using the Skype application and API in violation of terms and had damaged the Skype brand while pointing out that it was Fring that blocked the service in the first place.
Fring appears to then have issued a press release in return which describes the action as an "anti-competitive ambush".
Skype develops its own applications to provide the same functionality but hasn’t made them universally, instead choosing to licence to a single US network operator Verizon.
The block of Skype calling in Fring and the wider lack of video calling applications means there’s no feasible cross platform video calling in the smartphone market. The row casts a light on the licensing practices which are limiting availability of major software applications such as Skype.
PCR comments further on the issues involved in the feature Mobile Roadblock.