By Michael Evans
AT&T's decision to allow VOIP applications such as Skype to operate on the 3G network (as opposed to wifi only, as at present) is a very welcome step. It is potentially very important for travellers since Skype-to-landline or mobile calls are much cheaper than native cellphone calls. Will this precedent be followed in other countries? Europe is often a leader in cellphone innovation and I would be surprised if we don't see VOIP calls allowed over here pretty soon. What is O2's policy on Skype?
While we are waiting for this, I am making full use of the MiFi portable wi-fi hotspot to make Skype calls. Because the SIM card in the MiFi offers full HSUPA bandwidth (through Vodafone) I can Skype at will from my iPhone 3GS provided the MiFi is switched on.
In the course of a year I reckon I'll save enough on international call charges to pay for the cost of the MiFi unit.