Sprint won’t charge extra for FaceTime over cellular

“Currently, FaceTime only can be used when connected to wi-fi, but it will be available on cellular networks when the new operating system is released in the fall. A development version of the iOS 6 software had previously allowed FaceTime to be used on AT&T’s network, but a recent update prompts users to activate their account,” Thomas Gryta and Ian Sherr report for Dow Jones Newswires. “For its part, AT&T declined to comment on whether customers will have to pay extra to use the service. A spokesman said the message comes from a ‘developer preview that will be updated before our customers see it.'”

“Meanwhile, AT&T rival Sprint Nextel Corp., which still offers unlimited data to new and existing users on its network, said it has no plans to erect pricing barriers to FaceTime,” Gryta and Sherr report. “‘We are committed to our unlimited data and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application,’ a spokeswoman said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Now, if only Sprint’s network was fast enough for live FaceTime video conferencing. 😉

Gryta and Sherr report, “Officials from Verizon Wireless declined to comment immediately… AT&T, once the exclusive carrier of the iPhone, previously blocked users from tethering other devices to the iPhone because of fears about the amount data that would be consumed. The feature was available on the phone in 2009, but AT&T only made it available for an extra fee in 2010 when it stopped offering unlimited data to new customers.”

“FaceTime allows for variable bandwidth so that the quality of the picture can adjust to the available connection speed. The ability to use high-speed connections should allow FaceTime to operate at the maximum rate and thus consume maximum data,” Gryta and Sherr report. “FaceTime’s ability to enable more data consumption is part of the reason why the application wasn’t initially allowed on cellular networks that were once dominated by subscribers with unlimited data, industry sources have said.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

4 Comments

  1. I’ve been using it on my tester 4s and on Sprint. Works very well considering its still beta. Sure the Sprint data is a tad slower. But not so much slower to complain about it. I’ve had better cellular and data then I had with AT&T and the old unlimited plan that was capped off.

    1. Sprint’s data speed is really variable. Considering that Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the country, it’s shocking how crappy their data speeds and coverage are. AT&T on the other hand, has improved their network tremendously since my first iPhone purchase almost three years ago. Mileage varies, I guess.

  2. I hope Sprint gets better soonI. Looking to do a switch to them when the new iPhone comes, I have had it with AT&T, its overcharging propaganda plays are so pathetic it makes me cringe.

    My service coverage has been okay with my iPhone and AT&T up till now, but it’s policies and new pricing structure leave much to be desired.

  3. With it’s agressive pricing I think Sprint will really grow, when the new iPhone is released, if their network performance is also reasonably competitive. I hope they suceed.

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