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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: Wait a moment...
By SiliconAddict on 10/6/2009 8:24:42 PM , Rating: 0
Yah and ATT nor Apple own an individual's iPhone and as such should have no damn say what can and can't go on it. Stop suckling the teets of anticonsumer companies for a second and realize ATT, et all are screwing people over. The reality is ATT knows damn well that VOIP would decrease traditional voice and SMS messages. So they could no longer charge something like 30 cents per text message.
These companies have been raping consumers for years with NOTHING to stop them. Where is this market balance that repubs love to screech about. OH that's right there is none. When you have collusion between carriers there is no such thing. Now all of a sudden Google comes roaring into the scene and they go crying to the FCC about it. Fuck all these companies. The free ride is over and they are going to have to remove their....profits...out of the *** of your average customer.


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