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  • Apple, Skype Respond to AT&T's VoIP Policy Shift

    Image via gizmodo


    On Tuesday, AT&T announced that it will enable voice over IP iPhone apps to run on its wireless network. Previously, as we all know, VoIP apps could only work on a Wi-Fi network. The shift comes as a major change in policy for AT&T. And right after the announcement was made, everyone seemed to have an opinion about it.

    Just hours after AT&T notified both Apple and the FCC of its plans, Apple, Skype and others affected by the announcement began responding to the big news from AT&T. According to Macrumors.com:

    "We are very happy that AT&T is now supporting VOIP applications," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "We will be amending our developer agreements to get VOIP apps on the App Store and in customers' hands as soon as possible."
    Looking to stick their hand in the pot as quickly as possible, Skype also offered instant praise to AT&T as well, obviously hoping to grow their own presence in the iPhone sphere. Skype president Josh Silverman never seemed happier with AT&T than he did last night.

    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.
    While seemingly a small change of plans to the outside world, the ramifications of AT&T's decision to allow iPhone Voice over Internet Protocol services on its mobile network are substantial across the mobile community. Naturally, the sudden move came as a surprise to many, which has both fans and critics of the wireless carrier curious.

    Did AT&T jump on this as a way to get ahead of potentially forthcoming net neutrality legislation? Or does AT&T really see the move as good for business in the long term? The cynic in me sees the former before the latter. But its likely that AT&T and services like Skype will see a renewed interest in the iPhone along with a host of new apps from people who will only now discover a wonderland of possibilities born of this policy shift.

    But does this latest news also suggest reason to believe AT&T is angling to extend its iPhone exclusivity agreement with Apple? Could be.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple, Skype Respond to AT&T's VoIP Policy Shift started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. WaLLy3K's Avatar
      WaLLy3K -
      "We are very happy that AT&T is now supporting VOIP applications," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "We will be amending our developer agreements to get VOIP apps on the App Store and in customers' hands as soon as possible."
      Is it just me or does that scream "Oh now that AT&T allow it, we can put those sorts of programs on the App Store", completely contradicting any argument that AT&T don't have any/little say in the matter beforehand?
    1. ebl4287's Avatar
      ebl4287 -
      let the games begin
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      I'm sorry but I don't see any sort of practical use in allowing VoIP applications, wouldn't it drain your battery at a lot quicker as opposed to the default Phone app? And also, you can only make outgoing calls, not in-coming, unless Apple allows VoIP apps to act exactly like their own voice app, which would be stupid of them.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      It would go some way to justifying the cost of 3G in the USA
      Here in the UK T-Mobile have 3 levels of data:
      1) Free or 7.50/month for 1Gb Data, no streaming, tethering or VOIP and limited to 3G speeds
      2) 12.50/month for 3Gb data including streaming and tethering
      3) 25/month for 5Gb data and including VOIP

      In the USA you are all paying for all the options whether you use them or not and are also paying for 'Unlimited' data even though the vast majority of people will never use more than 3Gb people have to pay for the few that download mega Gb

      I have no use for VOIP so I have the middle of T-Mobile's options which works fine for me on an uncongested network.

      It's nice to know you are all paying for these 'features'
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      This is actually a genius plan for AT&T because they wont lose money since you still have to pay for the internet connection but they will gain more customers. All those Vonage people and Skype people well think to themselves hmm an iPhone sounds cool and impulse buy thus AT&T increases its market and so does Apple.

      AT&T loves to monopolize on phone services and buy allowing VOIP to run over their Internet connection they are kinda gaining control over VOIP services while staying within legal limits.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      This could get VERY interesting
    1. pacmac's Avatar
      pacmac -
      I see a front camera for sure next year on handy Danny iPhone.. 
    1. Amadomon's Avatar
      Amadomon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      I'm sorry but I don't see any sort of practical use in allowing VoIP applications, wouldn't it drain your battery at a lot quicker as opposed to the default Phone app? And also, you can only make outgoing calls, not in-coming, unless Apple allows VoIP apps to act exactly like their own voice app, which would be stupid of them.
      What part of this don't you get?? VOIP on an iPhone is THE killer app. As a Skype user since 2004 and an iPhone owner since 2007, I wanted that app since day one, and now I use it daily. I would think that free telephony to all over the world would sell itself, especially since VOIP is so much more than voice. Imagine talking to many people at the same time all over the world in a conference call, and also sharing your screen, manipulating files in a whiteboard application that everyone can see, giving powerpoint presentations on your phone to these same scattered people...the potential is enormous.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      In the UK if you want VOIP you can get a cheap PAYG phone from Three and have free VOIP for life.

      And still no one uses Three....
    1. corkey20000's Avatar
      corkey20000 -
      With the introduction of VoIP, will we see native UMA calling? Tired of dropped calls and only having 1 bar in my house. This is the one feature I miss on my Blackberry.
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      LOL this all makes me laugh... not that AT&T is allowing these apps and such but every thing we want for the iPhone we (in time) get it. Look back when the iPhone first came out (Apple & AT&T) and look at things now.

      I feel AT&T is a smart company for doing what they do.
    1. ihaveabu's Avatar
      ihaveabu -
      well, guess there's no use for apps like voipover3g. i did buy 3gunrestrictor, and it's ability to make youtube watchable is really really nice.
    1. fkna's Avatar
      fkna -
      would of been greater a couple months ago... no use now that there is the A-list program.
    1. DayumQuitPlayin's Avatar
      DayumQuitPlayin -
      So it appears that AT&T is trying to hold on to Apple and their customers by allowing use of VOIP on their network. This is good news, but it's a little too late. I'm really hoping that Apple ends their exclusivity in 2010 so we can see some real competition in plan pricing. I've had enough of AT&T and their unwillingness to unlock iPhones.. I can't wait for the release of a new iPhone on a new Network. Sprint.. Verizon.. T-Mobile.. who knows? But I'll definitely will follow.
    1. soundengineer's Avatar
      soundengineer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Amadomon View Post
      What part of this don't you get?? VOIP on an iPhone is THE killer app. As a Skype user since 2004 and an iPhone owner since 2007, I wanted that app since day one, and now I use it daily. I would think that free telephony to all over the world would sell itself, especially since VOIP is so much more than voice. Imagine talking to many people at the same time all over the world in a conference call, and also sharing your screen, manipulating files in a whiteboard application that everyone can see, giving powerpoint presentations on your phone to these same scattered people...the potential is enormous.

      I agree...Voip is a great thing for an iphone...
      while people who are locked into AT&T may not have the flexibility of a data plan that works in any country without charging huge fee's... I use T-mobile(jailbrken and unlocked obviously) I have a data plan that allows me to use my internet in other countries...and boy do I use it...
      a skype call is so cheap..and if I used my iphone as a normal phone it would cost me outrageous amounts of cash all the time..
      skype has made it so I can can pay less than $15 a month to call when I am in another country...
      its not a huge bettery drain...and I get e-mails telling me somebody has called my skype # and left a voicemail...
      people know I am out of town...out of the country, and am using my skype for calls...
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Amazing...
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      if you build it, they will come
    1. wiltok's Avatar
      wiltok -
      New member here - so hello!! I also think this is a great thing. However, Skype and Vonage via cell (vs. wifi) has it's limitations. I live in an area that doesn't have 3G - and even Edge can be very spotty. I am using 3G Unrestrictor and Skype and finding that unless I am getting a very strong Edge signal (5 bars) it's pretty much useless. If you live in a big city - great. But get out in a rural area and it's not gonna work. That rules out use near my home - so I am tied to the ATT network regardless. Just another perspective....
    1. Sowhatu's Avatar
      Sowhatu -
      hopefully later next month when TELUS comes out with iphone in Canada... they will allow the same thing...

      btw, u can get a "skype-in" number, which means people can call you on iphone through skype.

      as for minutes plan for iphone all i need is FAV. 5 and 150 daytime, if im about to go over i'll use skype.

      $8.40/3mths skype unlimited Canada/USA
    1. crazybest's Avatar
      crazybest -
      I worked this skype for iphone version 2.1.1, but I dont know updates