AT&T might charge customers extra for using iOS’s FaceTime over 3G/4G

For the longest time FaceTime was WiFi-only — you could only use FaceTime on your iPhone if you were connected to a WiFi network. Starting in iOS 6, Apple has officially enabled FaceTime over 3G/4G. Now, however, AT&T may be a roadblock.

As reported by MacRumors, any AT&T customer trying to activate FaceTime over cellular data (3G/4G) will be prompted with a message saying the customer should contact AT&T to enable FaceTime over cellular. This is the same type of message users are prompted with trying to enable tethering in iOS, leading to speculation that AT&T will charge customers extra for using FaceTime over 3G/4G or somehow restrict FaceTime usage over 3G/4G.

Interestingly enough, Verizon customers are not prompted with the same message when trying to activate FaceTime over Verizon’s 3G.

AT&T has come out and issued a coy statement stating they are working with Apple on iOS 6 and will let customers know as more information is available:

“We’re working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS 6 and we’ll share more information with our customers as it becomes available.”

I don’t know about anyone else, but to me this is a bunch of bullocks. The pay-extra-for-tethering pill is hard enough to swallow; now this? Looks like more reason to either jailbreak your iDevice, use a FaceTime alternative, or ditch iOS/AT&T altogether. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

[via MacRumors]

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  • Coyote

    I fail to see how AT&T can justify charging fees to use programs they have no right to. Data is data, A person could set up a Http refresh loop and suck up just much bandwidth as this would use. Could they charge me for the right to do this? Of course not… that would be ridiculous, they only control the data rate not the application that’s using it. Tethering is the same way, it’s data and provided by the phone itself not the carrier. There’s no reason AT&T should have access to restrict any part of it. It would be akin to them listening to all your phone conversations and charging for certain topics you discuss. The app is yours to control and use however you like, no extra effort or work was done by AT&T to put these apps out. Any work they put into their network to allow the higher data usage should be reflected in their usual upgrade/sustainability budget. Not the screw your customers for every penny you can budget.

    Phone carriers, cable providers and every other company that want’s to charge for specific data usage should be sued for infringing on the rights of their customers, the makers of these apps, and the companies that produce the phones themselves. Freedom of speech and all that.