AT&T set to expand availability of FaceTime over cellular

AT&T will expand availability of FaceTime over cellular

AT&T will loosen its restrictions on FaceTime over LTE. Previously, AT&T had limited use of FaceTime over LTE to those customers with a Mobile Share plan. Now, a customer on any of the carrier’s plans will be able to use FaceTime over LTE. AT&T also announced that they would be making special text and data-only packages available to deaf and hard of hearing customers to increase the utility of FaceTime over cellular. In a statment, AT&T said that these initiatives would roll out in eight to ten weeks.

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.

This is good news for many AT&T customers who have not moved to a Mobile Share plan. Unfortunately, for many more of AT&T’s customers, 3G does not seem to be included in this expansion. Customers with an iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 are out of luck, despite the fact that they are perfectly capable of using FaceTime over cellular. Even most of AT&T’s customers that use the iPhone 5 are probably left in the lurch, at least for now. That’s because AT&T’s LTE network does not cover most of AT&T’s service area, and despite the planned expansion of their LTE network, it’s not there yet. So their iPhone 5 customers don’t even have access to LTE to take advantage of the less restrictive FaceTime requirements. So while this is a nice step in the right direction, it's not nearly a big enough step to matter to most of AT&T's customers.

Source: PR Newswire

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

AT&T set to expand availability of FaceTime over cellular

16 Comments

So glad they are doing this. They were just douchebags before, not allowing customers to use data in a specific app. Their reasoning for not allowing it was nonsensical. Obviously this doesn't completely solve the problem for those pre-iPhone 5 owners but at least it's moving in the right direction.

yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This makes me decision so much easier AT&T HERE I COME!!!!!!!!

I know what it says but what it should say is "on any iOS device with FaceTime regardless of the data plan" which is the actual issue.

Don't expect any of the carriers to do us any favors. They got most of us wrapped around their finger. If everybody canceled their texting plans, it would quite possibly be included in with the data plans.

We're too stupid for our own good. Tuesday's election results prove that.

Face Time (and video calling in general) is ok but only if you're prepared for it! If we haven't agreed a time to face time I'm not picking up!! :)

Ha! This isn't a surprise considering they had increased prices on their family share plans that made the mobile share plans more appealing. However, I will say an added benefit of the mobile share plan - specifically the 4GB plan and up - is the use of the hotspot feature at no additional cost. That benefit as well as the Facetime on cellular (at the time I switched) sold me on the mobile share plan.

Wait so is it available on LTE connection or just LTE devices. And the people who have unli date are still SOL right???

yes! now me and my mom can FaceTime without her changing to a mobile share plan from her unlimited data plan. I'm extra happy about this happening because I actually filed an informal complaint to the FCC about AT&T not allowing this so in a way I feel like I made this happen, your welcome everyone lol

I think people need to read this again: "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."

Only on tiered and shared mobile plans not for users with unlimited data plans. So we are still shutout. I refuse to pay more for and get less. AT&T needs to open it up for all the iOS users not just some. It's tactics like this that make me second guess continuing to use and iPhone.

@Wyatt

What do u mean this makes you second guess using an iPhone? You know there are more than one carrier option for the iPhone right? you can go to Verizon or Sprint but if u want fast LTE i would go to Verizon. This only has to do with AT&T obviously, it has nothing to do with the iPhone itself.

With that said, your right in that this only applies to people with tiered data plans and mobile share plans. People with non-LTE devices are still left in the dark with this. I'm not sure if this means unlimited data plan users will not get Face Time over LTE- does unlimited count as tiered data plan? idk. But, at least the rest of us will have Face Time over cellular now, i have one of the older plans with 3 GB of data per month its a business plan shared with my father and step mother we all run the company together, i think they both have unlimited and i have 3 GB i joined after they stopped the unlimited data deal. They got grandfathered in, but they use hardly 1 GB of data per month, so it makes more sense for us to switch to a mobile share plan and we all share 10 GB which means i get 8 GB per month lol, we will save about $200 per month if we do so.

What i want to know is, when they change this or when i switch to mobile share plan, will Face Time work over all my cellular coverage? i have an iPhone 5 if that helps, it says over LTE but apple says "Face Time over cellular" so I'm wondering if its just LTE or if it will work on 3G as well?

Can somebody explain why everybody makes such a big deal about facetime? There is skype, tango, yahoo messenger, and others that already have been allowing video chat over 3g/4g since the begining?