Can the Telcos calling business survive the iPhone now? | FirstRain

Can the Telcos calling business survive the iPhone now?

A warning tremor rippled through the telco business last week – did you notice it? Apple announced that it will now allow iPhone users to use Internet calling services over cellular networks. Up until now you could use VoIP but only through Wi-Fi, i.e. not in most of the places you’d like make a phone call.

Last week “Apple … confirmed the change and said it applies to applications for the iPhone and the new iPad tablet device unveiled this week, some of which will come with 3G capabilities”.

You may remember that not long ago Apple blocked Google Voice which then triggered an FCC inquiry. Now “FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Thursday praised Apple’s latest decision”.

This is just the beginning of a disruption that will eat away at the core calling businesses of AT&T and it’s competitors. iPhone 3G apps from VoIP providers like fring, iCall and a soon to be upgraded Skype will start to eat away at call time and, while there are some technology challenges that are still annoying today, it’s only a matter of time.

Like many other technology trends it’s starting small but the disruption will be long term and profound. If your customers are in this space, or you invest in this space, there is a How To on our support blog you can use to get FirstRain to watch this space for you.