Skype: We're Holding Back 3G Calling for Your Own Good
Article by George Norman
On 04 Feb 2010
Here's a brief introduction to get you up to date on the story so far. In the spring of 2009, Skype released a dedicated app for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices. With the app, you could perform VoIP calls via WiFi and 3G – but AT&T did not allow VoIP apps to perform calls on its 3G network, so you were stuck having to find a WiFi hotspot. Then in the autumn of 2009, AT&T announced to the world that it dropped its “VoIP calls over 3G” restriction.

The catch is that you still couldn't make Skype calls over 3G, this time because Apple would not allow it. This fact was emphasized by Skype when they rolled out Skype for iPhone version 1.3 last month. This is what Skype’s Peter Parkes said at the time: “As soon as Apple removes its current restrictions on calling over 3G, we’ll make a 3G-capable app available. We’ve got one up our sleeves ready for that moment, but for now, we’re being forced to wait.”


No sooner had Skype released version 1.3 of their iPhone app, that Apple dropped the bomb. The Cupertino-based software developer updated its SDK and the big surprise was that Apple dropped the restriction to make VoIP calls over 3G. One app took immediate advantage of this – iCall became the first iPhone app that let users make VoIP calls over 3G.

Skype, after touting the fact that it got an app up their sleeves, did not release one after news broke out that Apple would allow VoIP calls over 3G. And they’re not going to release one now either. According to Skype’s Peter Parkes, calling over 3G functionality will be added sometime in the near future. The holdup is for the benefit of Skype users everywhere.

“Many of you have been asking when we’ll release a version of Skype for iPhone which supports 3G calling. Well, the simple answer is soon. You may have seen other apps offering calls over 3G, but we’re holding ours back for a little bit longer. Why? So that we can give you the very best audio quality we can. When our 3G-capable Skype for iPhone app is released, it’ll let you make calls in wideband audio, giving you greater clarity and fidelity – because that’s what you expect from Skype,” said Peter Parkes.

Tags: Skype, Skype for iPhone, 3G
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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