From AT&T’s policy blog:
Although the rules don’t require it, some preloaded apps are available without charge on phones sold by AT&T, including FaceTime, but subject to some reasonable restrictions. To date, all of the preloaded video chat applications on the phones we sell, including FaceTime, have been limited to Wi-Fi. With the introduction of iOS6, we will extend the availability of the preloaded FaceTime to our mobile broadband network for our Mobile Share data plans which were designed to make more data available to consumers.
Pretty amazing that AT&T is trying to spin their decision about FaceTime as an “expansion” move. The company has decided to limit 3G access to FaceTime to the new shared data plans, leaving out everyone else. This is ridiculous for a couple of reasons:
AT&T is even talking about FaceTime like it’s something they created and own, specifically this bit:
To be clear, customers will continue to be able to use FaceTime over Wi-Fi irrespective of the data plan they choose. We are broadening our customers’ ability to use the preloaded version of FaceTime but limiting it in this manner to our newly developed AT&T Mobile Share data plans out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience.
Oh so we can still use FaceTime on Wi-Fi? Thanks AT&T! Give me a break. I’m actually surprised that Apple is letting this happen, although I guess it’s not really their decision. But considering the leverage they have over carriers, it’s odd that they haven’t had anything to say on the matter.
I can’t say I really care about this since I haven’t made any good use of FaceTime (I’m a reguar Skype user), but AT&T’s reaction to the backlash they get time and time again never ceases to amaze me.