While iPhone users can make FaceTime connections over Wi-Fi, they can’t do so over the cellular network. But starting with the release of iOS 6, AT&T will open cellular FaceTime access to customers who add on its new Mobile Share data plan.
The announcement of the carrier’s new shared plan, which will be available starting August 23rd, addresses previous concerns that AT&T would charge extra for customers to use the video call app that runs on the iPhone 4, 4S, and the most current iPad. FaceTime video connections can now be made for free between between these devices for no extra charge, but only through a Wi-Fi connection.
With next iOS update, AT&T’s Mobile Share plan will not only allow for video chatting, it will also enable customers on the same plan to share unlimited data packages, including text, photo, and video across devices. This includes gaming devices, USB modems, laptops, and pad devices. The Mobile Share data plan, however, might not be useful for single user customers who are not sharing their plans with family members or colleagues. In effect, these customers will have to pay for a shared data service in order to use FaceTime over cellular network.
The other major iPhone carrier, Sprint, will not charge for FaceTime for its U.S. customers, according to Macrumors.com. Verizon, though, has not yet indicated if its customers will be charged for video conversing. AT&T customers can log into their accounts and select the Mobile Share Planner to get an estimate the current data usage across all their devices per month.