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AT&T Opens Up FaceTime Over 3G to All Subscribers Unofficially

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In a surprising and quiet move, AT&T has unofficially opened up its network to host FaceTime over 3G video calls for Apple iPhone subscribers on its 3G, 4G HSPA+, and LTE network. AT&T had initially limited FaceTime over 3G to customers who had subscribed to a mobile share plan, but the move was met with criticism as AT&T’s iPhone-carrying rivals Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless all allowed FaceTime over 3G to all subscribers regardless of what plan customers subscribed to as long as customers had a data plan on their account.

facetimeSince then, AT&T had tried to explain itself, stating that the initial limit was made to ensure that the network could handle the added traffic with FaceTime over 3G video calls. The network justified its decision stating that it has the most iPhone subscriber of any U.S. network. Prior to announcing that it would limit FaceTime to mobile share plans, it had been speculated that AT&T may charge a separate fee to customers for the privilege of using Apple’s video chat client over its airwaves.

AT&T still hasn’t made an official statement available regarding its decision, but MacRumors is reporting that a number of customers not on the mobile share plans are having success with getting FaceTime over 3G or 4G to work. This includes customers grandfathered in under the old unlimited data plans. FaceTime over cellular appears to be operational for customers with iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, according to a report on Apple Insider. 

Users can enable FaceTime over cellular in their phone settings, and if it doesn’t work on the first try, customers are advised by Internet forums to restart their phones and try again.

Having FaceTime over cellular for all customers would make iOS more competitive with other offerings, including Windows Phone with Skype integration and Android devices with Google Hangouts and Google+.

 

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

9 Comments

  1. Chais

    11/21/2012 at 4:32 am

    Doesn’t work for me here in MA and RI. I own the iPhone 5 grandfathered into the unlimited plan. Says I need to call att to activate.

    • Chais

      11/21/2012 at 4:34 am

      Says I need an eligible data plan.

    • Ext1nct

      11/21/2012 at 6:34 am

      Reboot your device

      • Chais

        11/21/2012 at 7:50 am

        Of course I tried that multiple times.

  2. Chais

    11/21/2012 at 11:46 am

    Can anybody confirm that this even works?

  3. Stacey

    11/21/2012 at 12:34 pm

    Doesn’t work for me either. Restarted several times. Have iPhone 5. :(

    • Chais

      11/21/2012 at 12:59 pm

      Did you update your iPhone five to the 6.0 .1 firmware? Or are you like me and haven’t updated yet waiting for the jailbreak? Maybe That has something to do with it?

      • Stacey

        11/21/2012 at 2:57 pm

        No, I updated mine. Have tried several more times, still nothing!

  4. Timm_dogg

    11/24/2012 at 9:37 am

    I think this is a load of bullshit. Doesn’t work for me either!

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