Today marks an important event in iPhone history: VoIP apps are finally allowed access to AT&T’s wireless network. The days of Internet calls being restricted to Wi-Fi are over, and iPhone users and developers are rejoicing.
AT&T informed the FCC of its decision in a filing today, and issued a press release saying:
“[AT&T] has taken the steps necessary so that Apple can enable VoIP applications on iPhone to run on AT&T’s wireless network. Previously, VoIP applications on iPhone were enabled for Wi-Fi connectivity. For some time, AT&T has offered a variety of other wireless devices that enable VoIP applications on 3G, 2G and Wi-Fi networks. AT&T this afternoon informed Apple Inc. and the FCC of its decision.”
This groundbreaking change of policy comes at the heels of a bitter battle with Google over its Voice App the FCC looking to buckle down on net neutrality, and rumors of a major announcement at the CTIA Wireless IT & E conference.
Josh Silverman, President of Skype, is particularly pleased with AT&T’s decision. Today, in a press release of his own, Silverman said:
“All of us at Skype applaud today’s announcement by AT&T (in an FCC filing to be published shortly) 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.”
AT&T may very well be forced into doing this anyway, and this move might be a preemptive one with tighter FCC regulations looming. Skype insinuated as much in their announcement today:
“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.”
Regardless, this is a big win for iPhone owners.
**Thanks to one of our readers, Alexander Crettenand, for the news tip.**