Exactly one month ago, it was rumored that AT&T was planning to charge its users to use FaceTime over its cellular networks. A while after that, Sprint released a statement telling its users not to worry about having to pay extra for FaceTime. Verizon can’t charge for FaceTime access due to net neutrality rules.
Unfortunately, AT&T is taking the opposite route when it comes to Apple’s proprietary video-chatting service.
Today, AT&T announced that only subscribers of its new Mobile Share plans will have access to FaceTime. Here’s the official word, straight from AT&T:
“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.”
Like Verizon’s shared data plans, AT&T’s Mobile Share plans are complete rip-offs for some groups of only a few people who want to be on the same plan. Because of this, AT&T has effectively made accessing cool things like FaceTime on 3G/4G networks incredibly expensive – a disappointing reality of most US carriers.
AT&T’s Mobile Share plans launch next week, and iOS 6 – the first iteration of iOS to allow FaceTime over cellular data – will launch sometime this fall.
What are you going to do about not being able to cheaply use FaceTime through AT&T’s cellular networks? Are you going to unsubscribe, or will you succumb to the ridiculously high prices that AT&T is charging for features that shouldn’t be charged for?