Print 27 comment(s) - last by HrilL.. on Oct 7 at 5:49 PM

AT&T does the unthinkable and ungimps the iPhone

When it comes to VoIP on the iPhone, both Apple and AT&T have been quite restrictive with regards to what is made available to customers. Customers wishing to use VoIP programs like Skype on the iPhone have been relegated to using Wi-Fi instead of streaming data over AT&T's already fragile 3G network.

Perhaps the biggest battle came with the rejection of Google Voice. Apple flatly rejected the application citing that it would cause confusion with the existing phone features on the iPhone. Many people, however, believed that the snub came down directly from AT&T.

The block of cellular VoIP on the iPhone infuriated many considering that Blackberry devices running on AT&T networks have had access to such applications (including Google Voice). AT&T today even acknowledged the artificial iPhone blocks; "For some time, AT&T has offered a variety of other wireless devices that enable VoIP applications on 3G, 2G and Wi-Fi networks."

However, AT&T is looking to right its wrongs and has announced that VoIP traffic over 3G will be opened up for the iPhone. “IPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” said AT&T's Ralph de la Vega. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”

AT&T says that it has informed both Apple and the FCC of the change, so hopefully VoIP apps will begin to flow from the iTunes App Store. And hopefully, Google Voice may soon find it way to iPhone users.

Updated 10/6/2009
The president of Skype has just released a statement regarding AT&T's decision:

Since launching our iPhone application six months ago, people have downloaded and installed Skype on 10% of all iPhone and iPod touch devices sold - making it clear that people are extremely interested in taking Skype conversations with them on the go.

All of us at Skype applaud today's announcement by AT&T that it'll open up its 3G network to Internet calling applications such as Skype. It's the right step for AT&T, Apple, millions of mobile Skype users and the Internet itself.

Nonetheless, the positive actions of one company are no substitute for a government policy that protects openness and benefits consumers. We're all looking forward to further developments that will let people use Skype on any device, on any network.

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RE: Translation:
By invidious on 10/6/2009 6:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
Just be happy they haven't tried to impliment pay by the bit for VOIP protocols yet.

RE: Translation:
By dagamer34 on 10/6/2009 6:25:19 PM , Rating: 3
That would fly straight in the face of net neutrality and the FCC would smack AT&T so hard, even Verizon would feel it!

RE: Translation:
By Drag0nFire on 10/6/2009 7:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, for $70+ per month per iPhone, it's hard to believe they wouldn't just shut up and let users do whatever they want.

RE: Translation:
By quiksilvr on 10/6/2009 7:56:21 PM , Rating: 1
Dear God $70 bucks? No wonder people are jailbreaking their iPhones to run on Tmobile. On Tmobile you can get 300 minutes with Myfaves, unlimited messaging (text, pic, video, IM, email) and 3G wireless for $60 a month.

RE: Translation:
By Myrandex on 10/7/2009 12:02:01 AM , Rating: 3
Sure they can...if they want dial up internet speeds & no visual voicemail. Thanks T-Mobile for using ANOTHER proprietary 3G band that no one else uses in the world (at least common enough for me to know about it). At least somewhere else in the world uses 850 (AT&T's main band), and 1900 and 2100 also also common, and you could've used those to make a nice more open network that I might've enjoyed to switch to.


RE: Translation:
By quiksilvr on 10/7/2009 3:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to know your sources for these claims.

RE: Translation:
By corduroygt on 10/7/2009 12:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's true, no one else uses the 1700 Mhz 3G band that T-mobile uses, what's even funnier is that their hardware is from Nokia, who have the most traditional quad band 850/900/1800/1900 handsets, as well as the new 2100 Mhz band.
Iphones on T-mobile use Edge at most, they don't have 3G.

RE: Translation:
By tayb on 10/7/2009 1:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
$70/month is just the base price and doesn't include messaging or GPS. If you add in unlimited messaging and GPS ,which I do because the data plans from Sprint and Verizon include messaging and GPS, the price of the iPhone per month comes out to $100/month BEFORE taxes.

AT&T - $100/month
Verizon - $80/month
Sprint - $70/month

Is the iPhone $720 better than anything Sprint has to offer? $480 better than anything Verizon has to offer? Probably one of the best phones out on the market but I'd rather go on a vacation and use the Palm Pre than stick with the iPhone for a full two year contract.

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