One of my predictions for 2009 was that mobile VoIP would finally come of age. In the last two weeks there have been significant announcements in this space.
Firstly Google announced a service called Google VoIP that is intended to be a rival to Skype. The service will also do voice to text when someone leaves a voicemail and send it to you via SMS or to your Gmai inbox. Ther service is initially only available in the USA and then only to customers of telephony company Grand Central who Google bought some time ago and have since temporarily stopped accepting new customers.
Secondly Nokia has announced native support for Skype on its new N97 handset available later this year. The Skype service will run over either WiFi or 3G when the former is not available.
However all the mobile networks apart from Vodafone have said they will block VoIP calls over 3G. Whether they do or not it is a fact that VoIP over 3G is not a cheap option. I did a rough calculation last year and the bandwidth costs from handsets are such that the cost would be much the same as if you were making a normal mobile voice call.
Whether the networks block the VoIP traffic or not this is another step toward mainstream mobile VoIP. I will be looking at a similar service myself this year.