AT&T won't charge for FaceTime calls over cellular...or will it?
This entry was posted on Monday, August 20, 2012.
Wireless carriers in the US tend to have an awful tendency to squeeze every last penny out of their customers, and AT&T has added to its infamous limitations on cellular customers with its latest announcement - Facetime calling in iOS 6 over AT&T's network will be chargeable (in a way). The fact of the matter is that the critical iOS feature will only be enabled with the help of a new shared data plan called Mobile Share.
AT&T's latest move comes hot on the heels of their increasingly severe crackdowns on tethering (without a dedicated tethering plan, of course). The impending limitations on Facetime are in fact an attempt at limiting a wholly integrated part of the iOS experience. Video calling has never been easier or better, but that is precisely what makes AT&T target this particular feature to turn in to a cash cow.
According to the official statement 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."
BGR founder Jonathan Geller already had choice words for AT&T's announcement, calling it 'a d*** move' on their part. He said:
"Let’s look at this another way… you lease or buy a car. Could you imagine the leasing company or bank saying that you can’t park your car in certain locations, can’t listen to certain radio stations, and can’t drive it faster than 50 MPH unless you pay more? That’s what AT&T is doing — it is telling you exactly what you can and can’t do with your data that you pay for every month down to the specific applications and uses. I’m tired of this.."
Geller's opinions reflect the sad truth about the crux of the entire issue - if a customer has paid for a certain amount of data usage in his/ her data plan, why should the likes of AT&T have any right to dictate how it can be used?