AT&T CEO Acknowledges Rumors of Cellular FaceTime Charges, Says 'Too Early' to Discuss

att logoFollowing yesterday's discovery of a dialog box in the latest iOS 6 beta suggesting that AT&T users may be subject to restrictions or additional charges if they wish to use the FaceTime video calling feature over the carrier's cellular network, the company issued a brief statement simply acknowledging that it was working with Apple and that more information would be released in the future.

TechCrunch now reports that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was specifically asked about the issue at Fortune's Brainstorm conference today, with Stephenson saying that it is simply "too early" to discuss how AT&T will handle FaceTime over cellular networks.

“I’ve heard the same rumor,” he said, insisting that for now, AT&T is focused on working with Apple to get the technology stabilized, so “it’s too early to talk about pricing.”

Stephenson's comments certainly do not rule out the idea of additional charges for the feature, and it is even unclear what the carrier's timeline is for supporting it at all. AT&T has on several occasions delayed support of similar features such as tethering and iPad personal hotspot connectivity.

In a separate report today from The Wall Street Journal, Sprint indicated that it will not be charging additional fees for cellular FaceTime usage, considering it part of the customer's existing data package. Verizon, the third major iPhone carrier in the United States, declined to comment on the issue.

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Top Rated Comments

levitynyc Avatar
155 months ago
Thats the problem!

THERE IS NOTHING TO DISCUSS!!!

DATA IS DATA!

Whether I spend my limited 4GB of data using FaceTime or watching porn, how in the name of all that is holy does it affect AT&T?????

Not to mention that I can tether my iPhone to my Macbook Air and use FaceTime for Mac without a problem.

Do they realize how dumb they sound sometimes?
Score: 67 Votes (Like | Disagree)
palmerc2 Avatar
155 months ago
I'm sure you'll figure out a way, prick.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Helixc0de Avatar
155 months ago
If I'm charged for FaceTime

If I'm charged extra for FaceTime I'm going to switch carriers. AT&T Sucks!
:apple:
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hobo.hopkins Avatar
155 months ago
It's simply awful that a carrier can dictate how allotted data is used, and charge extra for certain activities. It makes absolutely no sense!
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
simplemind Avatar
155 months ago
oh shut up Stephenson... it's my data, I will use it how the hell I want to.

One more thing, improve your damn network man!
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenomorph Avatar
155 months ago
AT&T charges a fee when you sign up (even though they have you sign a contract as well).
AT&T charges you for a data package, even if you don't want it.
AT&T sets a very low monthly cap that you are able to use up in just a single day.
AT&T can start charging overage fees within hours of your billing cycle starting.
AT&T charges you again for the SAME DATA when another device connects through your phone.
AT&T charges you again for the SAME DATA when you make a video call.

You can get charged twice, three times, or maybe even four times for the same data they are already over-charging for.

Soon, AT&T will charge an "Entertainment Extra" fee when you load your web browser.

AT&T will charge a "Communications Fee" when you load email.

This is what AT&T wants. Nickel and dimes. It all adds up. BILLIONS of dollars in profits just isn't enough.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)