AT&T Allows VoIP Apps over 3G on iPhone

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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