AT&T (NYSE:T) is changing its tune about Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) FaceTime video calling. The company says it will no longer restrict cellular use of the app that runs on iPads and iPhones to its high-end Mobile Share plans.
The roll-out of FaceTime service to users with tiered data plans will take between eight and ten weeks, the Los Angeles Times notes.
Until recently, FaceTime only worked over WiFi connections. However, with the release of iOS 6, the app can now transmit video over cellular networks.
AT&T justified its earlier position, saying that it had limited use of the app because it could not forecast the amount of additional data traffic its cell network would experience as a result of the apps functionality. Consumer advocates heavily criticized the company’s stance and threatened to complain to the FCC.
While AT&T has abandoned its insistence on premium data service plans for FaceTime use, not all AT&T subscribers can use the app on cellular connections just yet.
Who can use FaceTime on AT&T’s network right now:
- Subscribers with Mobile Shared data plans
Who Will be able to use FaceTime on AT&T’s network soon:
- Subscribers with tiered data plans and 4G Apple devices — the iPhone 5 and the latest iPads
- Hearing impaired subscribers who have special data-only plans
Who will not be able to use FaceTime on AT&T’s networks any time soon:
- Subscribers with 3G devices
- Original iPhone users with grandfathered unlimited data plans
FaceTime calling has not been subject to restrictions by Sprint (NYSE:S) or Verizon (NYSE:VZ).