The Skype app for the iPhone is a stellar (and free!) download for anyone looking to connect via VoIP, but its one major flaw was its inability to conduct calls via 3G or EDGE networks. Meanwhile, other VoIP iPhone apps, such as iCall and Fring, have been riding AT&T's 3G wave for quite some time, making Skype look behind the times. The battle escalated to the point where an Internet advocacy group called Free Press filed a complaint with the FCC alleging anticompetitive practices.
But it appears the placard-waving days are over, as Skype spokesperson Peter Parkes confirmed in the company's blog that Skype would soon be able to access 3G networks. So who's the hero of the hour? The iPad.
"What does [the iPad] have to do with calling over 3G? The SDK (Software Development Kit) which Apple provides to developers like Skype has been upgraded for the iPad. The new version, 3.2, removes the restrictions on calling over 3G," Parkes blogged.
Parkes acknowledged that Skype's competition has been on 3G for a spell, and offered an explanation as to why Skype has been pacing backstage. "You may have seen other apps offering calls over 3G, but we're holding ours back for a little bit longer. Why? So that we can give you the very best audio quality we can. When our 3G-capable Skype for iPhone app is released, it'll let you make calls in wideband audio, giving you greater clarity and fidelity -- because that's what you expect from Skype," Parkes wrote.
Now the only remaining concern for Skype users will be actually grabbing a sturdy 3G signal on AT&T's network.