Skype: Dude, where's my 3G VoIP?

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Chris Rawson
February 2nd, 2010
In this article: App Store, fring, iCall, iPhone, SDK, Skype, VoIP
Skype: Dude, where's my 3G VoIP?
It's been nearly a week now since Apple lifted the restrictions against using VoIP over 3G to place calls on the iPhone. Within hours of the withdrawal of restrictions, iCall [iTunes Link] and fring [iTunes Link] both updated their backend to allow users to place calls over a 3G connection. In neither case was it even necessary to download an updated version of the app from the App Store; both iCall and fring basically just "flipped a switch" behind the scenes that allowed VoIP over 3G. After almost a week, neither app has been pulled from the App Store, so it seems VoIP over 3G is here to stay.

What about Skype? Skype is apparently "awaiting clarification" from Apple. They want to make sure the updated terms of the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK also apply to the 3.12 SDK before they submit an update. This caution from Skype is somewhat puzzling considering at least two other apps have been merrily humming along with VoIP over 3G enabled for almost a week without any punitive measures taken against them; fring even allows users to place VoIP calls over 3G through a Skype account. We contacted Skype three days ago to get some clarification of our own, but they haven't got back to us.

Here's the thing, Skype guys: if the state raises the speed limit on your local highway to 70 mph, changes all the signs, and stops pulling people over when they drive faster than 60, it's a pretty safe bet that you can drive 70 mph now. How much more clarification do you need? In the immortal words of Alan Shepard, "Why don't you fix your little problem and light this candle?"
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