News by Andrew Kameka on Saturday August 18, 2012.
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Apple's iOS6 update for its iPhone and iPad devices will introduce the ability to make FaceTime videos calls over a cellular network, but not all AT&T customers will be able to access the video calling feature on 3G or 4G. AT&T has confirmed that FaceTime over Cellular will be available only to customers who subscribe to its Mobile Share plans.
After code in the iOS6 beta revealed that FaceTime over Cellular requires carrier permission, AT&T declined to clarify whether it would charge a fee to use the feature. The carrier has finally responded with the following statement:
AT&T will offer FaceTime over Cellular as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans, which were created to meet customers' growing data needs at a great value. With Mobile Share, the more data you use, the more you save. FaceTime will continue to be available over Wi-Fi for all our customers.
AT&T's decision puts a roundabout fee on FaceTime over Cellular. By limiting the feature to only Mobile Share data plans, AT&T forces customers who want more video calling options to give up data plans that may be more valuable. While Mobile Share plans start at $40 for 1GB of data, standard individual plans offer 3GB of data for $30. Switching to Mobile Share doesn't make economic sense for many customers, so a large portion of iPhone and iPad users will continue to only be able to access FaceTime using a WiFi network.source: Engadget
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.