AT&T to require new Mobile Share data plans for FaceTime calls over cellular

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
AT&T on Friday announced it will be limiting FaceTime over 3G and 4G networks to iPhone users who sign up for the carrier's upcoming Mobile Share plans, which are slated to launch later this month.

While the wireless carrier will be providing FaceTime for free over its network, the catch is that subscribers will have to add sign up for the new Mobile Share data plans announced earlier in August.

Oddly, AT&T said iPhone owners can still use FaceTime for free on Wi-Fi networks, though that particular feature is not under the control of wireless providers.

From the 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 CEO Randall Stephenson in July said it was "too early" to talk about FaceTime over the company's network. The statement was made in response to a error message discovered in Apple's iOS 6 beta, prompting speculation the service would be fee-based.

FaceTime


In a subsequent report, Sprint noted it would be offering the feature for free when the next-gen iOS 6 launches this fall.

Speculation that FaceTime would be offered over cellular networks first began when a warning message in iOS 5.5.1 regarding 3G network data settings appeared to hint at the unannounced service.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    *shrug* Bring it on.


     


    The more they try to do stuff like this, the faster they're speeding themselves to their legal demise. Eventually everything they're doing here is going to come crashing down, people fired/jailed, monopolies torn apart, and they'll have only themselves to blame.

  • Reply 2 of 105
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    *shrug* Bring it on.


     


    The more they try to do stuff like this, the faster they're speeding themselves to their legal demise. Eventually everything they're doing here is going to come crashing down, people fired/jailed, monopolies torn apart, and they'll have only themselves to blame.



    How so?


     


    They havent removed any features.  If you want to add new ones you have to be in their new plan.

  • Reply 3 of 105


    [email protected]*% AT&T. Talk about actively trying to drive away customers! Charge for something that should be included as part of the data package...makes perfect sense. Are they going to charge other video apps/providers as well??

  • Reply 4 of 105


    I honestly don't see how this is legal. Apple introduces a new feature and AT&T is deciding *for us* how we can use OUR data that we paid for. There is absolutely no difference on AT&T's end whether I'm pulling from two 2GB plans instead of a 4GB bucket. This is nothing more than a move to try and get people off unlimited plans.


     


    Would it be OK if U-Verse or Charter (or whatever internet carriers are out there) told you that you can only view certain webpages or use certain programs if you sign up for their new internet plans?

  • Reply 5 of 105
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post

    How so?


     


    Pretending that data isn't data isn't data isn't data is a slope covered in axle grease, banana peels, marbles, and anti-friction spray.

  • Reply 6 of 105
    jason98jason98 Posts: 764member


    [email protected]#$ers! If I upgrade to a new iPhone this year, it is going to be Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile whoever will give me FaceTime over cellular data service I already paid for.

  • Reply 7 of 105
    jason98jason98 Posts: 764member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BrianCPA View Post


    This is nothing more than a move to try and get people off unlimited plans.


     



     


    The point is that I have a limited 2GB plan. And I still can't use FaceTime even within 2GB I paid. Same for tethering.

  • Reply 8 of 105


    How can AT&T get away with this?


     


    I should be able to run Facetime over 3G using any plan.  What does it matter what software is using my plan's bandwidth allocation?


     


    This is the same thinking that led them to charge more for tethering even though it shouldn't matter since AT&T is only providing the bandwidth for me to run 3G apps on my smartphone and TCP/IP traffic is the same whether it is from a tethered device or from the smartphone (as far as the 3G link is concerned).

  • Reply 9 of 105


    One word.


     


    Jailbreak.

     

  • Reply 10 of 105
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    This helps me feel even better about ditching AT&T when I get my next iPhone!


     


    The problems of AT&T vs. the problems of Verizon (such as lack of simultaneous voice and data on 3G!) have been closely in balance for me, but the balance is tipping...

  • Reply 11 of 105
    focherfocher Posts: 645member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post


    They havent removed any features.  If you want to add new ones you have to be in their new plan.



     


    The issue is when a data service provider tries to distinguish traffic. It makes no sense that I pay for a 4 GB data plan, and if I use the Skype mobile client I can get video calls within that quota but FaceTime is not permitted.

  • Reply 12 of 105
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

    One word.


     


    Jailbreak.



     


    Incoming text sound: "AT&T billing; your account ([xxx-xxx-xxxx]) has been terminated without refund due to unauthorized data access. Thank you for shopping with AT&T. Also, as this text is 242 characters, you have been charged for two of them, as that's over 160."

  • Reply 13 of 105
    focherfocher Posts: 645member


    This is why I use Straight Talk. I get the "benefit" of AT&T (the benefit being that it's network is GSM based) without the hassle. I never buy a subsidized, locked phone because the payback is only 8 months (plus a phone with a higher resale value). Plus, I get a lower monthly cost.

  • Reply 14 of 105
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    *shrug* Bring it on.


     


    The more they try to do stuff like this, the faster they're speeding themselves to their legal demise. Eventually everything they're doing here is going to come crashing down, people fired/jailed, monopolies torn apart, and they'll have only themselves to blame.



     


    I'm not so sure.  We've had five years of the iPhone and so far absolutely nothing has changed in regards the monopolistic situation of the carriers and the shitty deals and contracts they offer their customers.  All those hopes of the iPhone "changing everything" seem to have been misplaced.  They are making more money than ever before, and are in general more powerful than they were before. 


     


    This is one of those situations where the government should step in and force competition and/or reasonable prices.  The market isn't going to do it. 

  • Reply 15 of 105
    jason98jason98 Posts: 764member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by focher View Post


    This is why I use Straight Talk. I get the "benefit" of AT&T (the benefit being that it's network is GSM based) without the hassle. I never buy a subsidized, locked phone because the payback is only 8 months (plus a phone with a higher resale value). Plus, I get a lower monthly cost.



     


    Will it support LTE iPhone?

  • Reply 16 of 105
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    focher wrote: »
    This is why I use Straight Talk. I get the "benefit" of AT&T (the benefit being that it's network is GSM based) without the hassle. I never buy a subsidized, locked phone because the payback is only 8 months (plus a phone with a higher resale value). Plus, I get a lower monthly cost.
    That's because you know how to do math.

    Most Americans are too lazy to pick up a calculator to figure out Total Cost of Ownership when they get a cellphone. Heck, I've posted cost analyses here and at MacRumors and there are people who say, "well I don't need unlimited talk" or better yet "I get a 10% corporate discount" and still don't do the math.

    Their loss.

    To be perfectly honest, as a share holder of both AT&T and America Movil (the parent company of Straight Talk), I'm quite happy that AT&T retains so many customers. After all, AT&T yields a 4.7% dividend payout, whereas America Movil yields 0.6%.

    :)
  • Reply 17 of 105
    macosxpmacosxp Posts: 152member


    Ok, this confirms that I will not be renewing my contract with AT&T. If they have the gall to say I can't use my  2GB of data the way I want with the apps I want, they don't deserve me.

  • Reply 18 of 105
    focherfocher Posts: 645member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


     


    Will it support LTE iPhone?



     


    We'll see. So far, none of the operators are letting MVNOs onto the LTE networks. But honestly, HSPA+ is pretty good and I don't noticed much of a performance difference in practice versus my LTE iPad.

  • Reply 19 of 105
    jason98jason98 Posts: 764member

    Quote:


    This is one of those situations where the government should step in and force competition and/or reasonable prices.  The market isn't going to do it. 



     


    Nevertheless we have exactly the same situation with Cable and Internet monopolies for many years and the government is not willing to do anything, and perhaps never will as long as lobbying money keep coming.

  • Reply 20 of 105
    ryukryuk Posts: 29member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


    [email protected]#$ers! If I upgrade to a new iPhone this year, it is going to be Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile whoever will give me FaceTime over cellular data service I already paid for.



    Hear, hear . but i think verizon will adopt this also T-Mobile i have no hope they will get the Iphone 5 the only hope is sprint ( whats next iMessage with share data plans) when are these restrictions going to stop

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