Mobile Video

AT&T Reserves 4G FaceTime for Data Sharers

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) isn't going to charge for FaceTime on iOS 6 as rumored, but it will be limiting Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s video chat service to those customers on shared data plans.

Use of FaceTime will count against consumers' data bucket but will be free from additional charges. Consumers not signed up to one of AT&T's new Mobile Share data plans will be limited to Wi-Fi for FaceTime, the carrier said on Friday afternoon.

AT&T introduced its data-sharing plans last month, but unlike Verizon Wireless , did not make them mandatory for consumers. It's using the lure of FaceTime to help convince its unlimited or standard tier subscribers to upgrade, as well as to alleviate data stress on its network. (See AT&T Joins Verizon in the Shared Data Pool.)

Why this matters
This policy will likely upset those customers who were opting not to switch to one of AT&T's shared plans when they launch next week. And, it may catch the eye of consumer advocacy groups concerned about net neutrality violations, because AT&T is blocking the app for certain customer segments.

For more

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sgan201 12/5/2012 | 5:23:35 PM
re: AT&T Reserves 4G FaceTime for Data Sharers

Pardon my ignorance... Where in the annoncement / press release that say it is free???  Aka, it is not counted as per the 1GB / 3 GB / 5GB quota??


sgan201 12/5/2012 | 5:23:34 PM
re: AT&T Reserves 4G FaceTime for Data Sharers


<< AT&T has cleared the air this afternoon on its policies for FaceTime over cellular, saying that a Mobile Share plan will be required to use it — but it won't incur an extra charge apart from normal data usage. >>

It is not free.  


^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 5:23:33 PM
re: AT&T Reserves 4G FaceTime for Data Sharers

ATT is making a "stoooopid" move.

Likely to aggravate their biggest spenders more than anything.  If they want to drive the subscriber base to only the "low end" users this is not a bad idea.  But seems foolish to me to alienate the big spenders who max out their plans every month.  

like me.

Long time "unlimited" data plan on ATT.  Long long time time subscirber.   If ATT and VZ keep playing these games, it would be pretty easy for me to downgrade my phone service to ONLY voice and really reduce the amount I pay the carrier each month to sub 40$.  I could simply choose to use wifi and other data services and NOT do them over my mobile.  

But then ATT would loose over 240$ per month from me.

I don't really NEED to do any of these services over cellular.  But the convenience lures me.  Keep messing with plans, like cutting off Facetime for "non" group data plan subscribers and making other moves like this and I am likely to cut them off from my revenue.

I do NOT belong to any data sharing plan and NEVER WILL!  I want to do facetime, skype, and any other OTT service to any user with out any other charges except my monthly usage charges.


Why do these carriers think that they can continue to bite the hand(s) that feed them?

Cellular data is a convenience.  Not a necessity.


joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:23:30 PM
re: AT&T Reserves 4G FaceTime for Data Sharers

Also if MetroPCS is doing LTE on AWS spectrum and Verizon has to open up roaming than you could still get unlted data across many cities in the US. I think many people do see data as a necessity these days though.

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