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All Eyes on AT&T at CTIA; Will Ma Bell Let Skype Onto Its Networks?

Is AT&T about to announce Skype and Google Voice will run on its mobile network via Apple's iPhone? That's the buzz ahead of a wireless industry conference that begins Wednesday in San Diego.

One source close to the thinking of AT&T executives said the company has been deliberating the decision for weeks and that top executives have said they were close to accepting voice over Internet services on all AT&T phones, including the iPhone. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because a decision hadn't been officially announced. Skype currently operates on the iPhone through WiFi access, but not on AT&T's 3G mobile network.

AT&T has declined to comment on the rumors. It says it was Apple's decision to deny or permit applications like Google Voice and other VOIP providers on the iPhone. VOIP applications run on other phones on AT&T's 3G network, but not the iPhone. Apple has said in a letter to the FCC that it hasn't blocked Google Voice or other voice services, saying it is still in the process of evaluating those applications on the iPhone. Google, meanwhile, in its own letters to the FCC says Apple executives flatly informed Google they would block Google Voice. Skype also said its service has been blocked from the iPhone.

As the debate over an FCC proposal for stronger net neutrality rules escalates, some industry sources speculate that the phone giant may make an announcement at the CTIA conference that shows it is moving toward more open policies on its wireless network. The proposed rules would prohibit firms like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner from blocking applications on their telecom, cable and mobile networks. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will give keynote speeches Wednesday.

On Monday, Vonage announced it would offer its voice service on the iPhone and RIM's Blackberry, perhaps a small step toward a loosening of policy at the carrier. It would be the first voice application on the iPhone that would work on WiFi networks and AT&T's cellular networks. A spokesman for Vonage said the service would be a voice service, not a data service, and wouldn't run on AT&T's 3G data network. Instead it would offer cheaper calls internationally.

By Cecilia Kang  |  October 6, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
 | Tags: at&t blocking skype,ctia,skype  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Google CEO To FCC Chair: Thanks for Net Neutrality, Need a Hand With Broadband?
Next: Verizon Teams With Google On Cell Phones, Google Voice

Comments

www.skypeishype.com Skype is facing multiple litigations and will soon be shut down. We are the team of inventors behind US Patent 7,089,319 issued in 2006 titled “Method and system for instantaneous on-demand delivery of multimedia content over a communication network with aid of content capturing component, delivery-on-demand client and dynamically mapped resource locator server”. We introduce “Skype-killer” application, with new innovative “Internet broadcasting” functionality, as well as unmatched web browser centric cross-platform, cross-device reach. We will be able to compete on VoIP signal quality, innovative “Orbing” (P2P live and pre-recorded video broadcasts by individuals), as well as lower cost base. Skype is facing multiple litigations and is about to either be shut down permamently, or enter very expensive settlement arrangements. Plus, Skype is not is control or ownership of Global Index technology, the node forming augmentation of delivery system which they push to each user computer. We are actively pursuing venture capital. Please visit http://www.skypeishype.com for more detail.

Posted by: inventor001 | October 6, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Google Voice is not a VoIP service, I would suggest that you check your facts before misinforming the public. Google Voice still uses the callers own carrier minutes to connect calls. The only thing AT&T loses out on are the high international rates they charge if the caller makes an international call. And who in the their right mind would make an international call using their cellular carrier. Other than that, there is very little reason why AT&T should object to Google Voice.

Posted by: seeknemo | October 6, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Hope Skype over 3G happens on the iPhone, and soon. Killer app. To the "skypeishype" guy, good luck with that -- first I seriously doubt you have the technology, cause if you did you wouldn't be wasting your time posting here -- you'd be offering it to eBay for $$$$. Secondly even if you do have the technology it is totally worthless to end users without Skype's user base. I use Skype because all of my friends/family etc. in Europe are on Skype so I can make free calls to them. They won't be on your service. Sorry, bye, thanks for playing.

Posted by: todorov | October 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

So AT&T makes this big announcement a couple of weeks before the FCC is to announce net neutrality rules? How convenient!

Posted by: artbrodsky | October 6, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

so i did some research and have it summarized here: http://www.researchbinder.com/?page_id=3 VOIP is coming folks and I really believe that SKYPE or Google will buy out Vonage and really instigate apple.

Posted by: osftca | October 6, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

In Canada Apple is opening up the market as of November Bell&Telus will offer the iPhone.Three networks will offer the iPhone.

Posted by: larryharvey | October 6, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

See? The market works.

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Posted by: squirma | October 6, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

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