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Skype: VoIP Over 3G Coming To iPhone 'Soon'

Apple recently eased the restriction that prevented third-party app makers from enabling VoIP calls over 3G. With that restriction gone, all eyes have turned to Skype. The big question: When is Skype going to revise its iPhone app? The answer: Soon.
Apple recently eased the restriction that prevented third-party app makers from enabling VoIP calls over 3G. With that restriction gone, all eyes have turned to Skype. The big question: When is Skype going to revise its iPhone app? The answer: Soon.To-date, Skype's iPhone application has been limited to placing VoIP calls over Wi-Fi networks. In theory, this isn't so bad, as Wi-Fi provides a more robust network connection that 3G does. But Wi-Fi isn't as pervasive as 3G, and we know that 3G networks are capable of making this type of call. The limitation wasn't Skype's, nor AT&T's, however. The limitation was placed by Apple.

On January 27, Apple announced the iPad, and with it, the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK. This newest version of the iPhone software development kit relaxed the VoIP-over-3G restriction, and now Skype is free to update its app. So, why hasn't it? Surely it was prepared for such an eventuality, right?

Skype's Peter Parkes said in a blog post today, "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."

Skype indicated that it will create a system to let users know how good their VoIP calls are going to be with a color-coded system. Green means go, yellow means so-so, and red means no-no.

Skype has a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, February 17, during Mobile World Congress. I would expect to learn more then.