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Summary:

In a recent conversation Skype CEO Josh Silverman we asked: When was Skype going to launch an upgrade to its iPhone app that would allow us to use the service over 3G networks? His answer: “Very soon.” That should be good news for Skype users.

When I spoke to Skype CEO Josh Silverman yesterday regarding his partnership with Verizon , I asked him: When is Skype going to launch an upgrade to its iPhone app that would allow us to use the service over 3G networks? His answer: “Very soon.”

Skype is one of the most popular free apps in the iTunes App Store; it’s currently ranked No. 52. The company has been lobbying the FCC to make sure that mobile phone companies allow Skype usage over their 3G wireless broadband connections. The lack of VoIP support over AT&T’s 3G network has caused major consternation amongst iPhone owners. AT&T and Apple recently allowed VoIP calls over Ma Bell’s 3G wireless network, but Skype has been dragging its feet.

Skype said earlier this month that it was holding back the release of its app for a little while longer because it wanted people to get wideband audio and a good quality audio experience. Silverman said yesterday that Skype was “tuning” its software and the Skype users “will have it very soon.”

What he means by “very soon” is open to debate. If I had to guess, I would say we should expect upgrades in the second quarter of 2010. What is your best guess?

  1. I really hope they upgrade the app so it can work in the background with push notifications. This way, we always stay signed onto the app once it closes & can be notified when someone calls us.

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    1. You bet. I am using it via my old iPhone (without SIM) and it works fine for me to just make Skype calls. I like using it and if they did get a 3G enabled version out, Skype can expect more usage out of its already fanatical iPhone users.

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      1. There is an app called fring which allows you to make skype calls over 3G and they also support skype webcam feature(one-way).

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  2. maybe they have just been told to wait a little for the next SDK before launching it.
    wouldn’t be the first time developers of key apps get a ‘hint’ from apple

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  3. I think the push notification (or true multi-tasking someday) would be the best thing – and I’m waiting for it.
    But I’m not sold on the VoIP over 3G – yet. It will be good in places with good coverage but will be bad in many other places. Also if you use it while moving, you can expect more problems as 3G cellular data networks are not built to enable smooth handoffs between base stations. (Yes, the standards etc. are there, but operators don’t turn it on, or vendors don’t implment it in many cases)
    The problem for ATT is that people will not know the difference in technology btw Verizons’ Skype on mobile (which is not really VoIP over 3G but cellular voice with some Skype info)and ATT’s iPhone Skype. They’ll just say Verizon’s network is more robust even for Skype.
    Do we have the potential for another round of commercials ?
    (http://wkontech.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/verizon-att-skype-is-att-setting-itself-up-for-another-fall/)

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  4. I bet in iPhone 4.0 we get background tasking.

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  5. So, apparently, since Skype’s coming to the iPhone, Verizon’s move of enabling Skype on its phones, plainly, was just all about making a feature that’s available on their competitor, available on its phones, rather than Verizon’s supposed fear of the iPhone. If we follow the Verizon iPhone fear reasoning, then, it’s logical that Apple was so fearful of it’s competitor’s phones’ cut and paste, live video broadcasting, etc. that it finally put those features on the iPhone. But that’s not really how it is, the universe doesn’t revolve around the iToy, no need to overhype the overhyped, Verizon isn’t bothered by the iPhone.

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  6. The strange part is that Fring does a pretty good job of allowing you to make Skype Calls over 3G so Some of Skype’s arguments that they will only do it when call quality is as good as over their Desktop client is misleading or just an excuse.

    While traveling this Month I’ve used Fring to make calls over 3G in London and Egypt (In a Moving car at 80 miles and Hour to boot) and got quiet good result. The best results were obviously when standing in one place, however the call quality was in most cases comparable to what i was getting on a 2Mbps DSL Connection and better then some cell connections I’ve used.

    Fring does have its downsides that it really chews through Battery life, probably due to using the 3G fully (And even Skype over Wifi does Drain the Battery quiet a bit), but it does provide a workable solution. Adding Fring’s support for other IM networks it does look like a more flexible solution the Skype’s own client, so much so that I Hardly ever launch the official client as its pretty much useless outside Wifi Coverage.

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  7. Relating to an article about Verizon’s fear if the iPhone, apparently, since Skype’s coming to the iPhone, Verizon’s move of enabling Skype on its phones, plainly, was just all about making a feature that’s available on their competitor, available on its phones, rather than Verizon’s supposed fear of the iPhone. If we follow the Verizon iPhone fear reasoning, then, it’s logical that Apple was so fearful of it’s competitor’s phones’ cut and paste, live video broadcasting, etc. that it finally put those features on the iPhone. But that’s not really how it is, the universe doesn’t revolve around the iToy, no need to overhype the overhyped, and Verizon isn’t bothered by the iPhone.

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  8. Already works in Android :)

    I use Nimbuzz…fantastic app.

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  9. Fring just flipped a switch and the app was able to make calls thru 3g, why can’t skype do the same? jailbroken iphones can use skype on 3g and it works fine. So if you ask anyone experienced on the issue they will tell you that this is obviously due to the commercial deal with Verizon, they are just holding the iphone version. I’m an avid skype user but after seeing this their credibility just sunk like a Titanic made of lead. Too bad to see all companies insisting in leaving their customers behind.

    Read more: http://www.fiercevoip.com/story/skype-ceo-iphone-voip-over-3g-soon/2010-02-18#ixzz0g08QxPCR

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  10. I don’t buy the Skype explanation that they are not ready to release. They have long been aware of the need and opportunity for future 3g enabling by ATT & Apple. A high tech company (like Skype???) would surely have such an application ready and waiting, what better way to promote your services then to offer the 3g Skype immediately after the AT&T switch was thrown.

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