Apple opens gates to VoIP on 3G – Free voice calls for everyone!

iphone-fring-3g-voipFree voice calls, that is, as long as you have an iPhone 3G and a VoIP app that lets you make internet voice calls over the 3G wireless data network. How is that possible, you ask? Well, Apple has apparently done an about face on their policy that prohibited VoIP apps from using a carrier’s wireless network to make free voice calls. Following AT&T’s decision to allow VoIP on its 3G network, Apple has opened the doors to a whole new world of VoIP calling, where iPhone users can make no-cost calls to other VoIP users from anywhere they please (as long as they have a decently strong signal). The implications of the move are huge – AT&T risks losing revenue from its wireless voice business if customers wholesale adopt 3G VoIP calling. For the customer, though, it doesn’t get any better than this.

VoIP iPhone apps, like fring, have been available for a while. But, their usefulness was previously limited to WiFi networks (unless you had a jailbroken iPhone, of course). You could make free phone calls from your iPhone’s fring app, but only if you had a WiFi connection handy. Today, that all changes. fring has announced that it’s iPhone app is now completely functional over a AT&T’s 3G network. That means fring users can make free voice and video calls to other fring users, Skype, GoogleTalk and MSN on both WiFi and 3G networks!

“fring users and our team alike are very excited that Apple Inc. have allowed independent iPhone VoIP applications over 3G networks, letting users make voice and video calls over whichever internet access suits their needs at any given place and time,” said Avi Shechter, Co-Founder & CEO of fring in a statement released today.

Now that VoIP is officially allowed on AT&T’s 3G network, will we see more iPhone users adopting VoIP apps as their voice call method of choice? That could hurt AT&T’s bottom line in the long run, while putting additional stress on their network. With the iPad expected to bring even more pain to AT&T’s data network later this year, things should get interesting for Big Blue.

fring for iPhone (FREE) [iTunes link]

  • Hmmmm

    Great!!!! I can’t wait to see the first person using there iPad as a Phone. Thats $30 amonth for unlimted talk!!!

  • jerry

    “That could hurt AT&T’s bottom line in the *short* run, while putting additional stress on their network *in the short run*”

    If you believe eventually all will be VOIP, then it doesn’t hurt their bottom line, it gets them to that future sooner. Their bottom line was going to be hurt, period.

    On the other hand, it could help them out by allowing them to shuck off dead, inefficient, non-packet-shared circuits — I am assuming a voice call over non-voip is some form of dedicated channel. If it’s not, if non-voip on digital gsm is already a digital circuit, than I suspect moving from gsm voip to voip does nothing to their bandwidth, and in the short run, what suffers most is voice quality since voip presumably doesn’t have all the qos stuff that a gsm-non-voip voice call does.

    That’s my drunken 11pm speculation anyhoo.

    I say what this does is open the opportunity to me becoming an AT&T subscriber, thereby helping their bottom line in the short run.

    I just wish the iPad sim card was the same form factor as the iPhone sim card.

    I am glad the FCC has gotten all inspection friendly lately, but I think what is more important than ETF fees is why:
    A) Nexus One doesn’t have the radio for AT&T data, and iPad doesn’t have the radio for T-Mobile data, and
    B) Sprint won’t allow unlocked Verizonish CDMA Android phones on its network, and
    C) Does Verizon allow Sprintish CDMA Android phones on its network?

    I think that’s where the FCC could create some real consumer protection and value.

    And while I’ve never owned an Apple anything, the iPad is pretty neat, however, the absolutely most innovative and revolutionary aspect of it is the $29.99 unlimited contract free data plan without voice from AT&T.

    What the FCC really needs to do is make sure that data plan without voice is available to any device (and by any device I mean the Nexus One and other GSM androids capable of doing VOIP.)

    Does that make any sense?

    • Lillian Gish

      Seeing as all of these companies are aware that the more options and flexibility they can offer, at the cheapest price possible, equals a larger consumer base. I’m 100% positive all of that will materialize without the need for the govt. to step in and muck things up…

      • jerry

        Hi Lillian, love your movies, and it is exciting to learn that in Heaven where you reside, the free market actually works.

        Down here, not so much, as can be seen that none of these you are certain will exist do exist and nor is there any sign they are coming to be, just the opposite in fact.

  • bobbabe

    Having heard that ATT now allows VOIP calls on their network, I gave it a try using Skype, only to get the old message that I need an internet connection to make a call. Is there another bit of software needed or is Skype slow to update their mobile app for the iPhone?

  • sharko

    This is false and does not work. I tried both a fring test call and a skype test call and got the same old message about being on Wi-Fi to make the call.

  • Romane

    How do u Make a Voip account on Wi-Fi because i Found this Iphone and i jailbroken it with the Android lock and shit 

Back to top ▴