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Summary:

It what might be a counter-punch to the Google and Verizon partnership today, AT&T has finally relented on it’s VoIP stance for iPhone users. Om shares this latest development and offers up a valid concern: how will AT&T’s network — already under fire for buckling under […]

iphone-3gs-activationIt what might be a counter-punch to the Google and Verizon partnership today, AT&T has finally relented on it’s VoIP stance for iPhone users. Om shares this latest development and offers up a valid concern: how will AT&T’s network — already under fire for buckling under heavy data demand — handle a flood of VoIP traffic? If you don’t think there’s going to be much of this traffic, you might be overlooking the fact that Skype for iPhone has been downloaded to 10% of the device base. I suspect that some folks didn’t install it because it was previously limited to Wi-Fi, so that install percentage is likely to rise on this news.

This development changes one of my earlier thoughts today. I had a guest video appearance on the TechVi show where we discussed the partnership between Google and Verizon Wireless. At that time, I said that Verizon may concede the iPhone to AT&T for good and just go with a very open approach on Android — an approach that will include Google Voice. With AT&T’s countermove, all bets are off for Verizon to use Android as a total hedge.

Regardless of future plans, I’m hoping that AT&T goes whole hog and allows streaming media service apps like Slingbox Mobile as well as VoIP. That may be asking for too much because the bandwidth for audio and video is surely more than audio alone.

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  1. 3G is all digital packets but it treats certain packets specially for voice communications to reduce jitter and keep the voice stream as crystal clear as possible. (In LTE everything is just packets)

    A compressed VoIP data stream over a VoIP carrier such as Vonage can be done using 90,000 bits per second of packets.

    Even for at&t’s 3G network this shouldn’t be a big deal. The big deal for VoIP has always been at&t losing out on the voice service (minutes). My guess is we’re about to see at&t get very aggressive in the VoIP over 3G space in terms of going after Vonage et al.

    Perhaps they’ll have a bundle deal of VoIP service and their Femto Cell (which is inherently a VoIP gateway device).

    Perhaps we’ll even get a VoIP (via a SIP client) capability native in the iPhone OS in 3.2?

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