It's been a long, battle with a lot of finger pointing, but AT&T has officially stated that VoIP over their 3G network will be supported, opening the door to Google Voice, Skype and other apps on the iPhone and other 3G phones. While VoIP applications such as Skype were previously available, they relied exclusively on WiFi connectivity. In a statement issued today, AT&T says they have taken the steps necessary to allow Apple to enable VoIP apps for the iPhone to run on their wireless network.
“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.”
The finger-pointing reached a head when the Google Voice app for the iPhone was apparently held up indefinitely for review. AT&T has previously stated that approval of the app was solely in the hands of Apple. Apple appears to have been threatened by the Google app replacing much of their own device's built-in phone functionality, particularly the visual voice mail.
Customers have been clamoring for this for a long time, and at least for, the ball is very clearly in Apple's court.