A few posts back I wrote that Google Voice won’t “Kill Skype” because unlike Skype, Google Voice isn’t what we all know and love as a VOIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, system. My argument really centered around the customer experience of the tool.
Well, TUAW and Apple apparently agree:
Apple goes on to agree with AT&T that the carrier did not engage on any level regarding the GV apps.
Question 4. Please explain any differences between the Google Voice iPhone application and any Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications that Apple has approved for the iPhone. Are any of the approved VoIP applications allowed to operate on AT&T’s 3G network?
Apple does not know if there is a VoIP element in the way the Google Voice application routes calls and messages, and whether VoIP technology is used over the 3G network by the application. Apple has approved numerous standard VoIP applications (such as Skype, Nimbuzz and iCall) for use over WiFi, but not over AT&T’s 3G network.
As we noted in some of our original coverage of the GV controversy, Google Voice is not a VoIP service in the same way that Skype or Gizmo are, since it continues to use the cell network for voice connectivity to the device. Apple’s response to the FCC inquiry shows that they are on the same page.
So there you have it.