Here’s why we think AT&T might begin charging for FaceTime over cellular [Video]

This video showcases the new pop-up dialogue box that interrupts you when trying to enable FaceTime over cellular in iOS 6 beta 3.

Apparently, AT&T has a scheme in the works to pry more dollars from their iPhone customers. As Cody noted via Twitter, perhaps they’re thinking about rebounding after taking a hit on text messaging fees due to iMessage.

Take a look inside as we demonstrate the differences between an AT&T iPhone 4S, and a Verizon iPad 3, when attempting to enable FaceTime over cellular…


The AT&T iPhone 4S, as you may have guessed, did not allow us to enable FaceTime over cellular, and instead prompted us to contact AT&T via their website, or via phone. Interestingly enough, when you navigate to their website via the link provided, it tells you that they are “unable to process your transaction” at this time. I’m guessing that message stems from the fact that the backend to handle FaceTime account charges isn’t fully into place yet. This makes sense considering that iOS 6 is still a ways away from release.

What’s even more interesting is that the iOS 6 beta 3 firmware on my Verizon enabled iPad 3 features no such pop-up window; you can easily enable or disable FaceTime over cellular at your leisure on the new iPad on Big Red’s network. In fact, what’s even more interesting is that FaceTime over cellular was enabled by default in my video, but that’s likely just carryover since I performed an OTA update, and not a clean install.

This isn’t to say that Verizon won’t charge for FaceTime over cellular, but it’s a surefire indication that AT&T is strongly pondering the thought. In my opinion, it’s less likely that Verizon will take this route considering that they gladly provide Personal Hotspot usage on the new iPad free of charge.

Down with free FaceTime!

Personally, I’m sick of carriers like AT&T nickel and diming their customers with every waking chance. But I can’t say I’m surprised. You know that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is licking his chops at the idea of charging more for FaceTime usage over their network.

What do you think? Do you believe that AT&T is well within their jurisdiction to double dip their customers like this? Or do you think that they could be crossing the line?