Apple is now allowing VoIP-over-3G apps, after a change to the new beta version 3.2 of its iPhone SDK, released yesterday in concert with the announcement of Cupertino's long-awaited iPad. The news comes by way of a press release from iCall, a second from Fring, and a third from Acrobits, all providers of VoIP services for the …
But will AT&T...
...sell you a data-only connection?
In fact that IS ALL that they will sell you. (29.99/month - unlimited - I think)
Basically this announcement
is not a surprise - as the this 'fixes' one of the biggest slams against the iPad. That it is a big iPhone without the phone. Now it has a phone - and one which uses IP - which seems to work better than voice for AT&T. (The other slam is the name but you can't win them all)
Keep in mind that voice and IP are different technologies and one pays different fees to use the technology. In the next few years there will be a merging of the technology - but exactly what that new tech will be has not been settled on.
Apple.com specs for iPad 3G clearly list "Data only" under 3G version specs, so does it even support voice?
VoIP only over 3G? what about VoIP over 2.5G (GPRS/EDGE) when 3G network is unavailable?
VoIP not Voice
VoIP is treated as data, not voice. Guessing EDGE is too slow.
Wondering why AT&T would agree to a plan that could ultimately eliminate revenues from voice services. Maybe they figure the technology is still too immature to pose a genuine threat? Even over a pretty good DSL connection VoIP is pretty laggy for me here in NYC.
I can already place Skype calls over 3G ...
OK, I'm in the UK so don't have to put up with AT&T, et al, that the US do.
Using my MiFi (Wi-Fi to 3G router) from 3 I connect Skype over the Wifi connection, passing the VoIP packets along through my 3G connection. I have, hey presto, Skype over 3G.
I get 5Gb transfer for £15 a month on a rolling monthly contract, so no nasty lock-ins or expensive contracts.
Or am I missing the point?
This is interesting. In a recent Blog posting at http://blog.truphone.com, Truphone were pointing out that currently they only supported VoIP over 3G on Nokia handsets - all of their other products are WiFi only. They cited call quality as one reason why this was so, in addition to the "not all networks allow it" line.
I wonder if they'll change their mind on their iPhone App.
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