AT&T Mobility likely to charge extra for FaceTime over 3G

“Like it does with the iOS Personal Hotspot feature, U.S. carrier AT&T appears set to control and charge for the iOS 6 FaceTime over Cellular feature [as evidenced by an iOS error message regarding enabling FaceTime over Cellular],” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac. “This iOS 6 enhancement brings the formally WiFi only iOS device video calling feature into a more useful state, letting people use the feature practically anywhere they may be.”

Gurman reports, “AT&T provided us with the following statement: ‘We’re working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS6 and we’ll share more information with our customers as it becomes available.'”

“We attempted to bring up the same same error message when enabling the FaceTime over Cellular feature on a Verizon iPad WiFi + Cellular, but the feature enabled without an issue,” Gurman reports.

Full article, with screenshot of the message, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Apple shows off iOS 6 with all new Maps, Siri features, Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams via iCloud, and more – June 11, 2012


    1. No, since AT&T modified its internal communication protocols and software that would set higher priority for FaceTime data over regular internet packets — so the video would be as responsive and timely as possible.

      This is some serious work they and Apple did in two years, so some additional payment is justified.

      However, AT&T can make it another PR disaster of it if they will overcharge for this service as they like to do it usually.

      Lets see the prices first.

      1. Thanks for explaining that to me. I see your point. Maybe the fee is justified. ….and you are right we will have to wait and see the prices. If they charge too much I will live without it.

        I was 8 years old when my parents took me to the 1964 World’s Fair. At the World’s Fair they promised that the Video phone was right around the corner and I have been waiting for it ever since.

        If the price is too high, I’ll wait a little longer 🙂

        1. There are exceptions of course, such as grandparents chatting with grand kids, but I still say that, for the most part, seeing the other person’s lips move is far less important than hearing the words they are saying.

        2. Our wait for the Jet pack is almost over!

          I am hearing rumors that Apple is working on an Iron Man suit made from Liquid Metal, and Microsoft is working on a Windows powered Wooden suit that will be released about 3 years later!

        3. Yeah I had heard the MS wooden suit was delayed, as they were having a problem finding wood, and were now thinking they would use cardboard coated to look like wood

      2. Nice, so because they’re not going to be net neutral, I may find that alternatives won’t work as well because others on the same cell are using Facetime and have a higher priority?

        What’s next, I can pay 99 cents to download a song from iTunes over AT&T or pay 99 cents + an extra fee above my data fee to AT&T to get priority downloading of the same song?

        I agree though, let’s see the prices (if any) before getting angry.

  1. Of course they will. I keep telling people that there is a division of this company that sits around a $500,000 Conference table and drinks Arabian coffee, freshly imported every night from the Middle East, and asks itself at the beginning of the day, “How can we royally fuck our customers today?”

    1. “Of course they will. I keep telling people that there is a division of this company that sits around a $500,000 Conference table and drinks Arabian coffee, freshly imported every night from the Middle East, and asks itself at the beginning of the day, “How can we royally fuck our customers today?””


      Your World- delivered to the NSA without a FISA Court since 2001.

  2. Ya know… AT&T makes Canadian telco companies like Rogers, Telus, Bell and Fido seem very consumer friendly. Apart from having minimum 3-year plans on all smartphones, they don’t charge for a lot of the extras and try to rip off the consumers at every turn.

    Yes, there’s no unlimited data and yes, the base prices are at times a little bit higher, but in general over the long-term their strategy is more conservative and maintainable without looking for ways to gouge the consumer.

      1. Paying for tethering for data you already paid for. Possibly paying for Facetime chat for data you’ve already paid for. Isn’t it still $0.20 for an SMS text message!

        Sure, you can pay for an ‘unlimited’ plan… which spreads out the cost using a flat rate, making the average sms cost less across the board, but having people who use it more get more benefit out of it. Hmmm… a kind of opt-in socialism.

        Oops! I used the “S” word. Here comes the flames.

        1. “Paying for tethering for data you already paid for. ”


          When I gave up my unlimited data on my iPhone (I was using about 300 MB/month) and bought there $50/month tethering plan, they gave me 5 GB/month. Normal people were paying $25/month for 2GB. So I figure I got 3 GB for just $25 more. That’s not paying for data you already paid for.

          Now I was a special case. I had unlimited on both my iPhone and iPad (which I’ve diligently kept). Since I got my iPad, I’ve stopped used data on the iPhone; I was almost ready to switch to the $15/month plan (just a *tad* too small) when I figured out that I really needed tethered data for my MBP. I think that $50/month is a good deal for that amount.

          Even watching Netflix videos on my iPad, I rarely go above 3 GB/month on my iPad (which is about where throttling kicks in IIRC). The few times I’ve reached that point (in the past couple of months) I just tether my iPad off the iPhone and keep on watching. I’ve never consumed 8 GB in a month.

          I realize some people are exceedingly cheap and want something for nothing; I also realize that some people are more poverty-stricken than I am, but 8GB/month for $80 is a pretty good deal for wireless.

  3. If Verizon doesn’t charge and greedy AT&T does, I’ll be switching when iPhone 5 is out. That’s a cost of business that shouldn’t be chargeable back to the customer. Data plan rates and text MSG rates are painful enough rape already.

    1. @bananamonkey

      I agree. They have the cash to buy a wireless company outright and then they can do it right.

      Another option would be for them to be an OEM and buy bandwidth from all the carriers and let the iPhone keep roaming on whoever has the best signal. I could buy my minutes from Apple, and then they could switch me between Sprint, At&t and Verizon while I’m on the move. Apple would only have to pay each of the carriers their share of the usage and just let me roam.

      Wishful thinking?

  4. I don’t mind paying a reasonable monthly fee if the video content is visually clear, non-hesitating, and stable. If it’s anything other than that (Skype in Face Time clothing), this feature will be a no go for me.

      1. Maybe the morons are those who think the carriers can completely rebuild their networks with advanced technology every few years for free. These are public companies and their books are open for you to see. AT&T is spending $20 billion every year on network infrastructure upgrades.

  5. Ive got FaceTime on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro and could really care less about having it. I have rarely used it so these prices don’t affect me much. Verizon will soon follow suit like always. If you compare AT&T and Verizon two year contract, you will see that Verizon nickels and dimes their customers for everything. They are usually $20 or more a month than AT&T. I’m not siding much just stating the facts. If Apple had their own service I would be gone from AT&T in a heartbeat.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.