Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple approved 3G VoIP on iPhone

With the iPad launch today, apple had a change of heart towards VoIP apps, they approved 3G VoIP. Earlier there VoIP apps were restricted to use only WI-FI instead of AT&T wireless data network (aka 3G network). According to the press release , Apple has updated the iPhone developer SDK to allow VoIP over cellular networks. So with the latest update, iCall app, a VoIP app that runs on IPhone and iTouch was approved by Apple to use 3G network for voice. This is the first and only VoIP application that functions on the iPhone and iPod Touch over cellular 3G networks.

I just made a call using iCall app and the call was successful without any glitch. The call quality was good. No Complains.

I guess the timing of this announcement coincides well with the iPad launch. The iPad supports Wi-Fi with an inbuilt speaker and microphone. So it makes perfect sense to allow users to make and receive VoIP calls from iPad.

I know many folks(Here and Here ) in the industry have complained about the voice quality and the issue with Voice over 3G network. . Here is my take on this- VoIP over 3G network should be perfectly ok with respect to voice quality. The voice quality depends on the bandwidth and the type of Codec used by the applications. So depending on the bandwidth available, there are codec’s that require less that 5 Kbit/s,which is way too low compared to the bandwidth available on 3G network. In short, I don’t see this has a big issue. (I will write a detailed technical article on why Voice over 3G is possible with good QOS. Off course it depends on the coverage.).

So this is definitely good news to all the VoIP applications like Skype, Truphone, and Numbuzz etc.

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