The idea of using FaceTime over 3G is a very exciting one for many of us who use the app regularly. It is a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends and family and in many ways serves as a method of getting long distance calling without any additional charges –but that may soon change.
With the addition of FaceTime over 3G capabilities, so comes the method for data providers to find a way to make money because of it. Code in iOS 6 suggests that AT&T is planning to charge users for their FaceTime sessions, requiring you to dial 611 prior to placing a call in that manner.
It would appear that users can expect to see a dialogue box appear when they initiate FaceTime that indicates they will need to enable the service over cellular for their account. The message then directs the individual to call AT&T or visit their website in order to subscribe.
The move makes sense from a corporate standpoint: AT&T wants to make money. They’ve already expressed regret for offering unlimited data plans and discontinued that option, but with so many plan members grandfathered into unlimited data and using features like iMessage instead of text messaging, the provider is looking for other ways to increase their revenue streams.
Of course, the thing I want to know is whether you will still be charged for the data usage when using FaceTime or if the subscription fee will exempt your video calls from counting against your data calculations. Chances may be good that they are hoping you won’t think of that.
It isn’t known yet whether other providers will also charge for FaceTime, but this kind of subscription fee virtually guarantees that users will continue to look toward other third-party video calling options instead of turning to FaceTime when they are away from WiFi connections.