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AT&T Finally Opens FaceTime Door To All Cellular Customers

November 21, 2012
Image Credit: Apple

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

When AT&T announced earlier this year that they wouldn´t let their customers with grandfathered unlimited data plans take advantage of Apple´s FaceTime over 4G, they opened a giant can of worms.

The company’s  customers were the first to express their disgust, something they had only taken a brief hiatus from. Not much later, consumer advocacy groups began calling out AT&T as well, saying their latest efforts to push customers from unlimited data plans to their new, shared data plans was a violation of net neutrality laws. AT&T responded, saying they weren´t violating any laws, but earlier this month, the company flinched, saying they would begin turning on FaceTime over cellular for iPhone 5 users on any tiered data plan.

AT&T had said in this announcement that they´d be slowly turning on this feature over the next 8 to 10 weeks so as not to overload their networks.

According to MacRumors, AT&T has already begun rolling out FaceTime over cellular to all of their iPhone customers, regardless of data plan. When AT&T announced they´d only turn the feature on for “tiered data plan customers” with an LTE device, they excluded any customer with a grandfathered plan, as well as customers with an iPhone 4S. iOS 6 only supports FaceTime over cellular on iPhone 5, 4S as well as 3rd generation iPads and higher.

One MacRumors forum member noticed last evening that both his iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 could make FaceTime calls over the cellular network. Both phones are on an unlimited data plan.

“In a recent thread we were discussing AT&T members getting FaceTime with LTE devices and tiered plans. However I noticed today that I have FaceTime over cellular and I have an unlimited plan on my 5. I just turned off my other phone, a 4S and turned it back on, only to find the switch flipped to ON for FaceTime over cellular. Both phones work perfectly over cellular,” said forum member kre62, according to MacRumors.

The everything-Apple news and rumors service then began asking its Twitter followers to report with their own findings. Several Twitter users responded, saying their iPhones were now able to make these video calls over AT&T´s LTE network.

While many users were able to get this feature to work, it wasn´t yet available to all customers with the proper hardware, leading some to believe that AT&T truly is in the middle of slowly rolling out this functionality. Some AT&T iPhone users also said they had to perform a soft reset on their phone in order to get this service.

While MacRumors says the majority of iPhone users reporting the ability to make these video calls over LTE had iPhone 5s with unlimited data plans, one Website has said they have had a different experience.

According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), they weren´t able to turn on FaceTime over cellular on an iPhone 5 with a grandfathered data plan.

Any iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 user on AT&T who wants to check if this feature has been rolled out to their handset only needs to reset their phone and turn it on in settings. To do that, go to Settings>General>Cellular and flip the FaceTime toggle switch on. With this switch turned on, try making a FaceTime call over a cellular network.

Perhaps this is just AT&T´s way of saying, “Happy Thanksgiving?”

MacRumors remains cautious, however, suggesting this could be a brief oversight.


Source: Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online



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