Skype brings video over 3G to iPhone users

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Skype has added video call support to its iPhone app, allowing users to make video calls over Wifi - and over 3G, which Apple's own Facetime currently doesn't alllow.

Users of the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch can now make and receive free video calls to other Skype users on any device using Skype for Windows 4.2 and above, Skype for Mac 2.8 and above, Skype for Linux and the ASUS videophone.

The company claims it delivers near-CD-quality sound.

It's compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch fourth generation with i0S 4.0 or above. Users of the iPod touch 3rd generation and iPad can receive calls but not make them, thanks to the devices' lack of a camera.

It's available now free from the App store.

This year, Skype for the iPhone has been one of the five top-selling apps in the App Store, with over 30 million downloads so far. Overall, video calls amount to around 40 percent of Skype-to-Skype calls.

But the company's reputation was bruised a little last week, when an outage affected millions of users worldwide. It was particularly bad timing, given that the company is preparing for an IPO some time in the near future.

With video calling using more than five times as much bandwidth as a voice call, the service, if it takes off, could put even more strain on networks. But Skype reckons its own servers will be able to handle the extra traffic, saying it's now addressed the issues that led to last week's outage.