With the introduction of iOS 6, Apple introduced FaceTime over Cellular, allowing users to use their 3G or 4G LTE data network on their iPhone or iPad to video chat over FaceTime. With Apple doing their part to please customers, the rest is now left in the hands of the carrier which ultimately decide how much to charge for the increase in data usage.
Sprint has already confirmed that they will not charge extra and will continue unlimited data and Verizon is stilll unsure what to charge. However, AT&T announced on Friday that customers will need a new Mobile Share plan in order to enjoy FaceTime over cellular. Although the company did not initially mention anything about the change, they are now publicly addressing the new plans:
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.
With almost every carrier except Sprint introducing tiered data plans, there is no doubt that FaceTime would use up incredible amounts of data, more than some networks can handle. Some iOS developers have noted that when trying to use the service in the beta, they were urged to call and activate it.
AT&T is forcing its customers to purchase the new Mobile Share in order to use the new feature, while Sprint is already laid out. Verizon is now the only carrier yet to introduce any pricing, although it may be waiting to see a response from both Sprint and AT&T customers before introducing anything.