AT&T Lifts Restriction on VoIP Over 3G ➝

Just a day after Vonage announced the availability of their VoIP application for iPhone and BlackBerry, Ars Technica reports that AT&T has announced that their VoIP over 3G policy has changed.

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega:

iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago. Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.

This is a smart move for AT&T and may show signs that the network wants to win back loyalty of their customers. This announcement may also affect the FCC investigation over Google Voice. Although AT&T was not involved in the decision to not approve Google Voice, this announcement will surely be taken into consideration by the FCC.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris spoke with the Associate Press about the announcement.

We are very happy that AT&T is now supporting VOIP applications. We will be amending our developer agreements to get VOIP apps on the App Store and in customers’ hands as soon as possible.

Josh Silverman of Skype also reacted positively to the news on the companies weblog.

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.

This truly is the right move for AT&T, with this and the recent enabling of MMS, AT&T seems to be on the right track. You can be upset with them for not making these decisions and policy changes earlier but they clearly didn’t understood the impact that the iPhone was going to have on their network. I wish these changes were made sooner, but I’m just glad they’ve finally come.

Google Un-Redacts Its FCC Filing
8/22/09: Apple, AT&T, and Google Respond to the FCC
8/4/09: Apple, AT&T, and Google Voice

Update 8/14/09: FCC May Investigate Google Voice