AT&T admits blocking 3G VoIP

September 14, 2009

AT&T has admitted to the Federal Communications Commission in the United States that it struck a deal so that mobile VoIP calling would not be permitted on the company’s 3G network.

At the moment, however, AT&T is not the only guilty party, as none of the cellular carriers across the US allow VoIP calling over mobile networks.

Cellular carriers have long fought against VoIP calling privileges because it costs consumers less than using their own mobile minutes.

AT&T told the FCC that it needs to ensure VoIP phone calls cannot be made due to the fact that its voice plans would not get the expected revenues the pricing is based on, if VoIP was made possible from mobile phones.

Chief Technology Officer of xG Technology, Joseph Bobier, said that the claim by AT&T is valid since the revenues from calls are often how carriers can afford to continue to operate and deploy cellular networks.

Bobier went on to say that since mobile network providers spend billions each year building their networks and acquiring spectrum, there is no way around allowing the companies to deny customers the option to use VoIP.

He said that while VoIP may put some money back in the consumer’s pocket, it will mean fewer revenues for the networks which mean less mobile advancement.

In the same letter to the FCC, AT&T stated that VoIP could be used on any VoIP apps that operate through the use of Wi-FI although they are blocked from the popular Apple iPhone.


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