Monday, August 31, 2009

AT&T and Apple’s Agreement – As Explained to FCC

AT&T, in a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) clearly acknowledged that the company has made an agreement with Apple to block VoIP applications from using the cellular networks provided by them. However, in the agreement it was also said that the VoIP apps, which use Wi-Fi would be taken under consideration, i.e. these apps would not be blocked. Well, this could mean that iPhone developers will now have limited scope for developing more interactive apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch platform. Here is an overall gist of the agreement between AT&T and Apple.

In the agreement it was clearly stated that Apple would not take any affirmative step to enable an iPhone to use the wireless service of AT&T, which includes 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi for making VoIP calls without the prior consent of the company (AT&T). However, AT&T and Apple also agreed that if any third-party iPhone app developer enables a device in order to make VoIP calls using the wireless service of AT&T, then Apple would have no objection in taking serious action against that third-party developer.

The concurrence of the party on this provision was distinctly important considering the risks they assumed this would bring in marketing the iPhone. The willingness of the party and their ability to assume the risk involved in investing for the iPhone and its pricing strategy were quite predicated in some significant parts based on the assumptions made about the monthly service revenue generated by iPhone users.

Both the parties would require assurance that the revenue that comes from AT&T voice plans available to the customers of iPhone would not be reduced due to the activation of the iPhone’s VoIP calling functionalities. As a result, both AT&T and Apple agreed that Apple would not take any step to enable an iPhone to use the wireless service of AT&T in order to make VoIP calls.

The price that consumers pay for the iPhone (particularly the broadband enabled iPhone 3G) would likely have been much higher than what it is now if this arrangement was not made. While the agreement was being made AT&T clearly indicated Apple that the company wouldn’t object if Apple enables VoIP applications for iPhones using Wi-Fi connectivity instead of the 2G or 3G wireless data service of AT&T.

However, AT&T always remains updated and regularly reviews its policies about the features and capabilities that are available through the iPhone to ensure attractive options for its worldwide customers and also to provide iPhone developer a better platform to explore their abilities.

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  3. Partho

    Thanks to sharing so valuable knowledge about AT&T. After read your blogs i really enhance my knowledge AT&T atreement

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  8. All well reputed organizations runs on joint venture and do agreements to runs ad provide services to their users freely. iphone application development no doubt a big stakeholder in development, when do any agreement its means they are going to boost up his performance.

  9. In Today world there is a need for all popular brand to work together . After all end of the day the Customer who benefited from such agreement. I am an iPhone user and While searching on Internet, I found you blog from one iPhone developer forum.


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