AT&T has ended a controversial ban on wireless VoIP applications for the iPhone. The decision was reached just months after the carrier pledged to “take a fresh look” at the iPhone’s VoIP capabilites for use over its 3G network.
“[The] iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” explained AT&T spokesperson Ralph de la Vega. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”
Unsurprisingly, AT&T’s removal of the VoIP ban was immediately applauded by Skype president Josh Silverman.
“Since launching our iPhone application six months ago, people have downloaded and installed Skype on 10% of all iPhone and iPod touch devices sold – making it clear that people are extremely interested in taking Skype conversations with them on the go,” Silverman wrote in an official blog post.
“All of us at Skype applaud today’s announcement by AT&T that it’ll open up its 3G network to Internet calling applications such as Skype. It’s the right step for AT&T, Apple, millions of mobile Skype users and the Internet itself.”
However, Silverman noted that the positive actions of one company was “no substitute” for a government policy that protects openness and benefits consumers.
“We’re all looking forward to further developments that will let people use Skype on any device, on any network,” added Silverman.