AT&T limiting cellular iOS FaceTime to Mobile Share

AT&T just made a lot of iPhone and cellular iPad customers very unhappy. The wireless provider has confirmed that owners of those Apple products who want to use the FaceTime chat application on AT&T's network must sign up for the company's new Mobile Share plan.

Engadget received the statement from AT&T, which says:

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.

The upcoming iOS 6 update would allow wireless providers to support FaceTime on their networks. However, this may be the first indication that the wireless companies that sell iPhones and iPads may try to force customers into signing up for a specific data plan if they want to use FaceTime on their networks.

AT&T will officially launch its shared data plan, under the Mobile Share umbrella branding, on Thursday, August 23rd. So far, there's no word if Verizon or Sprint will follow in AT&T's footsteps. Verizon has already launched its own shared data plans, Share Everything.

Source: Engadget.com

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26 Comments

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Yet another reason to not use AT&T...

I thought this lesson was learned with AOL. Credits, caps, limits only open up a hole for competitors to fill with no credits, caps, limits, and they always win.

ATT also consider using the BlackBerry Bridge as tethering.. Even though your just using the bluetooth connection to view your data on a larger screen.

I think that the reason why Apple agrees to carrier terms like this (when other apps like Skype don't need to) is because your phone number can be used with FaceTime. Not 100% sure but I think so.

I have gotten two calls from ATT SBR offering to trim my bill by reducing features. I point out I will be getting more features with Sprint for less money (one ATT SBR) said Sprint is kicking our behind right now I don't blaming you for switching to save money.

I have been a ATT customer for the last 10 years, the end of September I am moving my account to Sprint. Today with four lines two iPhones my bill is $224, with Sprint and four iPhones my will be $180

SpyCatcher said,
I have been a ATT customer for the last 10 years, the end of September I am moving my account to Sprint. Today with four lines two iPhones my bill is $224, with Sprint and four iPhones my will be $180

Companies nowadays don't care about keeping customers, so don't bother throwing out the loyalty card. Just switch and be done!

andrewbares said,

Companies nowadays don't care about keeping customers, so don't bother throwing out the loyalty card. Just switch and be done!

I have gotten two calls from ATT SBR offering to trim my bill by reducing features. I point out I will be getting more features with Sprint for less money (one ATT SBR) said Sprint is kicking our behind right now I don't blaming you for switching to save money.

Will be VERY interesting to see hopefully the new Skype app on WP8 and any limitations applied there. They gonna **** a lot of people off with that one.

Steve Jobs was in favor of making all hardware themselves. So perhaps with that 100billion they have, even after the big dividends, they can start a telco company. If they are who they claim they are, which is a company that care more of the joy of its customers using its products, then they should start the telecom company themselves or at least threaten this to make these existing ones do the right thing.

yes it will. Technically they are forcing people to leave their unlimited data plans so they can charge more when you go over the data limit on their new plans. Facetime is an iPhone service not AT&T service. I'll keep jailbreaking my iPhone as long as I can to avoid getting ripped off from these greedy companies.

MrXXIV said,
AT&T sucks, Verizon sucks, T-Mobile sucks. They all suck. I can't stand all these limits.

You know that there are other wireless carriers in the US right? And I agree with you, Verizon, ATT, Sprint, TMobile all sucks since they charge so high for so crappy service. =D

Princess Chica Ami said,

You know that there are other wireless carriers in the US right? And I agree with you, Verizon, ATT, Sprint, TMobile all sucks since they charge so high for so crappy service. =D

Actually no, that's about all the carriers in the US.

You guys realize I never mentioned Sprint. I have em, as far as having an iPhone, they're the best. Unlimited Text and Data. I don't even care about minutes.

MrXXIV said,
You guys realize I never mentioned Sprint. I have em, as far as having an iPhone, they're the best. Unlimited Text and Data. I don't even care about minutes.

People bitch about Sprint's 3g, and I have never used it, but Verizons 3G is hardly setting any speed records on my 4s.

andrewbares said,

Actually no, that's about all the carriers in the US.

They own the networks but there are alternatives like StraightTalk. But even with StraightTalk I would have to JB my iPhone 4 to do FaceTime over 3G. Actually I think that FaceTime over cell data only works on iPhone 4S+carrier plan unless jailbroken.

I don't understand why Apple are continuously gettting into bed with the telco's to force their users to pay more.

First it was the "tethering" debacle, where all phones previously had allowed you to use the phone as a "modem" connected to your PC. No additional fees, no additional services.

Now this?

FFS its just using DATA.
How can anyone try to lump it into some new category that costs extra to use?

Skype is the same, they try to restrict you from using DATA to make calls so you pay their expensive cellular rates.

shinji257 said,
Boo... I just checked and it would cost me more money to do AT&T Mobile Share vs what I got now.

Why would they charge you less??

andrewbares said,
Why would they charge you less??

Why should they charge more?
All you are doing is using YOUR data allowance in a different way!

Competition should actually mean the customers get a better deal as time goes on and technology improves and the costs to carriers decrease, yet all they want to do is jack up prices and find new ways to gouge customers, to increase profits!

dvb2000 said,
I don't understand why Apple are continuously gettting into bed with the telco's to force their users to pay more.

First it was the "tethering" debacle, where all phones previously had allowed you to use the phone as a "modem" connected to your PC. No additional fees, no additional services.

Now this?

FFS its just using DATA.
How can anyone try to lump it into some new category that costs extra to use?

Skype is the same, they try to restrict you from using DATA to make calls so you pay their expensive cellular rates.

Apple wants to do that 'cos they must keep the telcos happy so that they continue to sell subsidized iPhones. After all, Apple must be getting quite a large bit of their revenue from telcos.

Kai Y said,
After all, Apple must be getting quite a large bit of their revenue from telcos.

Don't you just love the way AT&T cut costs and outsource their staff to India, while their technology (equipment) costs are falling at exponential rates, but they continue to hike their prices to local customers?

dvb2000 said,

Don't you just love the way AT&T cut costs and outsource their staff to India, while their technology (equipment) costs are falling at exponential rates, but they continue to hike their prices to local customers?

I have Sprint on my iPhone right now, Worst service provider i've had so far. I was told by the rep whilst purchasing a new contract that 4G/3G was in my area. I get home 1 bar if im lucky on 3G, I get no service at all 4 miles away at my work. I'm stuck with them until next September.