Hints suggest AT&T preparing to charge for FaceTime over cellular

By on July 17, 2012, 6:30 PM

AT&T may be preparing to charge customers to use the FaceTime over cellular feature found in iOS 6. Preliminary testing with a developer version of Apple’s next major software revision results in a popup message prompting the user to contact AT&T to enable the new feature.

Up until iOS 6, FaceTime has only be available over Wi-Fi networks, presumably because it eats up a lot of data and / or 3G networks simply weren’t able to provide enough bandwidth for video calls. The new iPhone is expected to carry a 4G radio which would eliminate the latter concern for most customers.

AT&T reached out to 9to5Mac, saying they are working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS 6 and that they would share more information with customers as it becomes available. Notice how they didn’t actually deny the idea of charging to use the feature?

Apple also notes on the iOS 6 preview page that carrier data charges may apply and that the service isn’t available in all countries. FaceTime over cellular will require an iPhone 4S (or newer) or third generation iPad.

Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time that AT&T has charged for extra features. The company requires a fee to use Personal Hotspots, a function that allows multiple people to share an Internet connection from a single device. The going rate for that feature on the iPhone is $50.00 for 5GB of data – hardly worth the price by most users’ standards.




User Comments: 9

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p51d007 said:

Another "revenue stream" for the deathstar.

I would assume you could still use the wi-fi version?

ikesmasher said:

Unless ATT wants to get rather large lawsuit, I would assume you could still use wifi.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Eh well, either way I'm ditching AT&T when my contract is up. I have had enough with signing contracts for my cellular service.

tengeta tengeta said:

Its rather hilarious how Bell was broken up and AT&T just bought it back piece by piece.

Scshadow said:

When will we finally see a lawsuit that forces At&t and all cellular to recognize all these "services" as hardware features and that they can only charge for the data and not for the way we use it.This and tethering charges should be illegal.

Camikazi said:

Its rather hilarious how Bell was broken up and AT&T just bought it back piece by piece.

AT&T is just like T-1000, break it into many pieces and it will just reform itself.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

>_> They charge for everything else it seems :P

Emexrulsier said:

Times are hard for companies and what better way to fleece money then to target the retards who actually bought an iphone thinking it was a good phone

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Seems like AT&T and Apple are a match made in heaven.

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