Nine months after it was submitted to the iPhone App Store, the iPhone app developed by Rebtel, a Stockholm based mobile VoIP service provider has finally been approved by Apple.
Unlike Skype and most other VoIP applications, Rebtel is not a conventional 'VoIP over 3G' application. Instead, the application generates an alternative local number for your international calling list making it a lot cheaper to call your family and friends.
The approval presumably follows AT&T's recent change in stance with regard to VOIP applications that run over their 3G network. Earlier this month, we had written about this change in policy after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) questioned AT&T's role in the app approval procedure at Apple.
Unlike Skype and most other VoIP applications, Rebtel is however not a conventional 'VoIP over 3G' application. Instead, the application generates an alternative local number for your international calling list. So, while you make a call to this local number, Rebtel routes this local call via Internet to the recipient abroad. Effectively, Rebtel makes use of their own VoIP network rather than AT&T's to connect the call. That makes us wonder why Apple took so long in approving this application.
Now with this growing list of applications that make international calling using the iPhone cheaper, Google Voice is the one app that is noticeably still not available on the iPhone App store. It has been speculated for sometime now that the rejection is more so because of Google Voice app's Voicemail feature that makes iPhone's own voicemail feature redundant. However, with both sides maintaining a stoic silence over the matter, we will have to wait and watch.
Nevertheless, with a basket of options to choose from for international calling, iPhone users have to little to complain about.
You can download Rebtel's free iPhone app from the App Store using this iTunes link.
Please don't forget to give us your feedback about the iPhone app in the comments.