AT&T to Allow Skype Programs on iPhones - TheStreet

(Updated from Oct. 6 with commentary from Skype.)

WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) --

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

announced Tuesday that it will begin allowing Voice over Internet Protocol programs on

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

iPhones connected to its 3G network.

VoIP services, like

eBay's

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Skype, will be available with the service.

Previously, in order to use these programs, users had to be hooked up to a WiFi network.

The change came after the Federal Communications Commission began investigating why

Google's

(GOOG) - Get Report

Voice program was rejected by Apple for inclusion in its App Store. The FCC also questioned why AT&T wasn't allowing these programs to be used on its network.

"iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago," Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets, said in a statement. "Today's decision was made after evaluating our customers' expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer."

Since Skype launched its application for the iPhone six months ago, consumers have downloaded and installed it on 10% of all iPhone and iPod touch devices sold, Josh Silverman, president of Skype, said in a statement.

Silverman praised AT&T's move, but said, "The positive actions of one company are no substitute for a government policy that protects openness and benefits consumers, and we look forward to further innovations that will enable even more mobile Skype calling."

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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