AT&T announced today that it would start allowing iPhone users to make VOIP calls over its 3G network, a move which Engadget believes is “the result of the FCC’s renewed push for net neutrality and AT&T’s argument that it’s doesn’t need new regulations to remain open..”
According to a report earlier today in the Washington Post, today’s announcement was the end result of a long deliberation period that lasted for weeks.
One source close to the thinking of AT&T executives said the company has been deliberating the decision for weeks and that top executives have said they were close to accepting voice over Internet services on all AT&T phones, including the iPhone. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because a decision hadn’t been officially announced. Skype currently operates on the iPhone through WiFi access, but not on AT&T’s 3G mobile network.
You can check out AT&T’s press release on the matter after the break.
AT&T EXTENDS VOIP TO 3G NETWORK FOR IPHONE
DALLAS, October 6, 2009 – AT&T today announced it 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.
In late summer, AT&T said it was taking a fresh look at VoIP capabilities on iPhone for use on AT&T’s 3G network, consistent with its regular review of device features and capabilities to ensure attractive options for consumers.
“iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”
AT&T allows customers to download or launch on their wireless devices a multitude of compatible applications directly from any lawful Internet website. Additionally, because AT&T uses GSM technology, the most pervasive and open wireless technology platform in the world, we support customers using any GSM phone that works on AT&T’s frequencies.