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.

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Top Rated Comments

SandboxGeneral Avatar
151 months ago
AT&T still doesn't get it. It's our data, and we should get to choose how we use it.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmwhitley Avatar
151 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.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jasonsewell Avatar
151 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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
151 months ago
***** you very much AT&T for nothing. Love, 4S user...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
treyjustice Avatar
151 months ago
Doesn't help me on unlimited...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cougarcat Avatar
151 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)