AT&T allows VoIP apps to run over 3G on iPhone

AT&T Mobility has decided to change its stance on banning VoIP over 3G applications on Apple's iPhone.

The carrier said that it had informed both Apple and the FCC of its decision. The change in policy means users of VoIP applications on the iPhone, such as Skype, will no longer be relegated to using the device's WiFi connection for VoIP calling. It is also a significant turnaround for AT&T, which said earlier this year that allowing VoIP apps on the iPhone to run over its 3G network could cripple the network. AT&T has openly discussed the strain iPhone usage, in general, has placed on its network. VoIP already runs on other AT&T devices.

The move is seen as a peremptory move as the FCC determines how net neutrality guidelines will apply to the wireless industry.

Skype President Josh Silverman lauded AT&T's decision in a blog post. "It's the right step for AT&T, Apple, millions of mobile Skype users and the Internet itself," he said. "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."

For more:
- see this release
- see Skype's statement
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

Related articles:
Skype launching app for iPhone, BlackBerry users
Advocacy group cries foul over iPhone Skype app
Google: Apple rejected Google Voice app
Apple to FCC: We're still evaluating Google Voice app
FCC to scrutinize wireless industry competition