Skype for the iPhone Works – But Not For Free

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It always seemed like a no-brainer.  My phone can connect to the internet.  Skype simply requires an internet connection to make free calls.  I can make free Skype calls with my phone.

Of course, an application that would allow smart phone users to use their phone network to make free phone calls is something that most cellphone carriers are uncomfortable with, to say the least.  The Skype app for the iPhone has, up until now, been restricted to Wifi only.  I.e., you can make free calls, but only when you are in range of a traditional Wifi network.  You can’t do it from anywhere by using AT&T‘s 3G network.

Well, Skype has finally updated with the ability to use 3G networks to make calls, but get this: you have to pay for it.

From the App’s page:

Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G are free until the end of 2010, after which there will be a small monthly fee (operator charges for data will still apply).

Speculation is running fairly wild on whether this is a mandate imposed by Skype, AT&T, Apple, or some unholy combination of the three.  There are also questions about whether this is strictly legal, since it effectively discriminates against the content of the data being sent over the network, not the volume.  Just another reason why net neutrality needs to get a bit more attention.

Needless to say, if you’ve got an iPhone, get on this now, while the gettin’ is good.

(via Techmeme.)

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.