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AT&T Expands FaceTime Over Cellular Access to More Customers

NewImageAT&T announced today that it is planning to allow any customer "with an LTE device" on a "tiered data plan" to use iOS 6's FaceTime over Cellular feature. Previously, only customers with a Mobile Share plan could use the feature.
AT&T today announced it will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for iOS 6 customers with an LTE device on any tiered data plan. AT&T will also continue to offer FaceTime over Cellular to customers with any AT&T Mobile Share plan, as well as FaceTime over Wi-Fi, which has always been available for all customers. AT&T expects to roll out this functionality to customers over the next eight to ten weeks.

As part of its commitment to serving customers with disabilities, AT&T is also making FaceTime over Cellular available to deaf and hard of hearing customers who qualify for special text and data-only packages.
In practice, the change only affects iPhone 5 and iPad with LTE customers with tiered, though not unlimited, data plans. The company plans to roll out the functionality over the next 8 to 10 weeks.

Jim Cicconi, AT&T's head of External and Legislative Affairs, wrote a blog post explaining AT&T's thoughts on FaceTime. He notes that there was no way for the company's engineers to model usage and network impact and, as a result, the company was conservative in how it was rolled out.
In this instance, with the FaceTime app already preloaded on tens of millions of AT&T customers’ iPhones, there was no way for our engineers to effectively model usage, and thus to assess network impact. It is for this reason that we took a more cautious approach toward the app. To do otherwise might have risked an adverse impact on the services our customers expect – voice quality in particular – if usage of FaceTime exceeded expectations. And this is important for all our customers regardless of which smartphone they may use.

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
AT&T still doesn't get it. It's our data, and we should get to choose how we use it.
Rating: 38 Votes
24 months ago
Whatever, AT&T. Try as you may to force me out of my unlimited data plan; you can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Rating: 34 Votes
24 months ago
"AT&T will also continue to offer FaceTime ... over Wi-Fi, which has always been available for all customers."

This is how you can tell AT&T are ********s. They have absolutely nothing to do with FaceTime over Wi-Fi.
Rating: 14 Votes
24 months ago
***** you very much AT&T for nothing. Love, 4S user...
Rating: 8 Votes
24 months ago
Doesn't help me on unlimited...
Rating: 7 Votes
24 months ago
8 to 10 weeks? How long does it take to remove a restriction? And why does the LTE device restriction exist? Still, glad to see AT&T showing some sense.
Rating: 6 Votes
24 months ago
Don't give me wireless FaceTime, give me G*d D*mn LTE coverage!!!
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
Wait... what?! AT&T is deciding if I an use Apple's FaceTime app that comes preloaded on the iPhone? Only if on a tiered plan? How's this news?

Am I crazy or this piece of news begs for thrashing?
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
My guess is they want to see who on the Unlimited plan will jump ship and just get a tiered plan instead.
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
I'm not eligible since I have unlimited data, but I don't really give a damn since I hardly use Facetime. I don't understand why only tiered data plan users can use it, since regardless of what I use with my unlimited data plan, I'll end up getting throttled.
Rating: 5 Votes

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