The big news thus far this week is AT&T’s decision to begin allowing VoIP services to access their 3G network on IPhone’s. It is a huge deal. It not only opens the door to greater choice for those of us who use iPhones but, hopefully, it means the beginning of wireless companies loosening up some of their restrictions and letting our handheld devices begin reaching their potential.
If we, the end-users, are happy about the decision I have to imagine that people behind services such as Skype are jumping for joy. Well, they aren’t exactly jumping for joy but it is clear that they’re quite happy. For example thehas this to say –
Good Move, AT&T
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 (in an FCC filing to be published shortly – update, it’s here in PDF format) 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.
It is exciting, and, hopefully, it marks the beginning of a new era in our relationship with major telcos. At the same time, it does open the question as to whether or not we’ll be keeping our rather inexpensive iPhone data packages or AT&T will begin adding new caps or price structures in the coming months. For now let’s just be happy and hope that, a year from now, we don’t look back and, after reviewing our most recent bill, regret this happening in the first place.