“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.]