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Still No FaceTime Over 4G on the New iPad



It looks like for those who are looking to do FaceTime video chat on the go, Apple’s new iPad, which supports fast 4G LTE mobile broadband over AT&T’s or Verizon’s network, still does not allow for video chat over mobile broadband. When Apple debuted FaceTime on the iPhone 4 on 3G, there were speculations initially that the quality of chat over 3G networks were not up to Apple’s standards, but subsequent jailbreak hacks to enable FaceTime over 3G shows that quality was often not an issue. This led to speculations that Apple was constrained by carriers who may not want bandwidth-intensive apps like FaceTime to utilize data.

The issue here with 4G is that not only does 4G support faster download and upload speeds when compared to 3G, the latency, or delay in response time over 4G, is also much lower than on 3G networks. This means that as good as FaceTime was hacked to work on 3G networks, it would be a lot better on 4G LTE networks.

It’s unclear if Apple is still in negotiations to deliver FaceTime over 4G so that users don’t have to resort to a jailbreak solution.

At the iPhone 4 announcement, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs alluded to a future where FaceTime would work over mobile broadband network. If FaceTime does work over 4G, it would give iPad owners a way to at least communicate with other iOS owners without having to have a phone on them. Perhaps, this is a bigger threat to mobile carriers, who want users to have multiple devices that are tied into their network. As the iPad with 4G is sold without a contract and does not require any contract to activate or terminate the mobile data plans, carriers may be wary of not having a lock on subscribers.

Via: The Verge



  1. Simi4

    03/15/2012 at 6:46 am

    Is Facetime any different than Skype? Does Skype work on iphone 4G for video calls? Never understood the big deal over Facetime if you have to be in wifi.(which for me is home where I already use skype on a bigger screen than a phone)

    • Uncle Mikey

      03/15/2012 at 7:18 am

      This was going to be my question. I’m pretty sure I can use Skype on my iPhone on the phone network (older phone, tho’, so voice only). At the very least, I would expect the voice portion of a Skype call to continue to work over 4G on an iPad…

  2. Lester Scott

    03/15/2012 at 12:58 pm

    Well, this sucks… Why would people buy a 4G mobile Apple Device if they can only use FaceTime while in WiFi only? 
    The difference is the Wi-Fi.  You NEED a Wi-Fi signal to use FaceTime.  Your iPod Touch is a Wi-Fi only device, so whenever you have the signal you can use FaceTime.
    The point of the article is that, even with 4G LTE which has more than enough bandwidth to accommodate FaceTime, you still must be connected to Wi-Fi to use it.  That is an Apple 
    development problem.  I would not be surprised if they come out with a later O/S update that allows 4G FaceTime, and charge you more $$$ for the upgrade. :SCall it a gripe, but if I spent nearly $1,000 on a mobile device with 4G capability I would expect it to have full functionality.  It’s not clear whether the cellular providers said “nyet” to this capability or if it was Apple’s plan.  Either way, being able to do everything BUT FaceTime over a 4G LTE mobile network is shameful. There will be A LOT of complaints… 

  3. Samsung tablet

    03/20/2012 at 11:37 am

    If the FaceTime only need connection from Wi-Fi, so that it’s not a good application. Apple should allow the user to use FaceTime over mobile broadband.

    About the quality, Apple should upgrade the application so that it can give the best quality even only using mobile broadband.

    Honestly, I don’t know much about Apple product and application (because I’m using Samsung tablet and of course it using Android OS) but for me Apple product should be comparable with other manufacture product. If FaceTime application have this problem, i think user will goes likely to use Skype rather than FaceTime.

    Just my 2 cent. :)

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