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AT&T lets 3G VoIP onto iPhone

Skype freed from WiFi

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At long last, AT&T has opened up the American iPhone to VoIP calls over its 3G wireless network.

Previously, the US wireless giant had only allowed iPhone VoIP via WiFi net connections.

Big Phone announced the change on Tuesday, six weeks after telling the US Federal Communications Commission it would "take a fresh look" at iPhone VoIP.

According to an August 21 letter to the FCC, AT&T had not allowed 3G VoIP on the iPhone at least in part because it didn't want to lose revenue to such services as eBay's Skype.

The telco's reversal comes as it faces two FCC investigations related to the iPhone: one over Apple's rejection of Google's Voice app, and another over handset exclusivity deals.

Big Phone said it has informed Apple and the FCC of its decision to allow 3G VoIP on the iPhone, and the Jobsian cult tells CNet it will amend its developer agreements to get VoIP apps into the iPhone App Store "as soon as possible."

The App Store already offers WiFi VoIP tools from the likes of Skype, but they will have to be tweaked and resubmitted to Apple gatekeepers. ®

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