AT&T to Restrict and Charge for FaceTime Over Cellular?

AT&T to Restrict and Charge for FaceTime Over Cellular?

Among Apple’s exciting announcements made at their WWDC keynote in June was that FaceTime would soon become available over 3G and 4G cellular connections – something that users have wanted for a long time! Unfortunately, that idea may not be as appealing as it seems, as it seems that AT&T is planning on heavily restricting (and probably charging) for the ability.

According to a screenshot posted in a thread at the MacRumors forums, iOS 6 beta 3 pops up a pretty unsettling message for AT&T users trying to enable FaceTime calls over cell networks, as pictured above.

Frankly, I can’t think of any reason to have to call AT&T to “enable” this feature unless they plan to charge for cellular FaceTime access, or plan to restrict it from certain types of data plans (such as their increasingly limited “unlimited” plans).

Of course, nothing is certain at this point. iOS 6 is still in beta, and isn’t expected to be released for a couple of months. It would hardly be surprising, however, if AT&T did in fact plan to screw their customers over this. It wouldn’t be the first time they flipped the bird at their customers (especially their unlimited plan holders) in the name of making a few extra bucks…

AT&T has issued a statement to MacRumors saying that they are “working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS 6”, but did not share any details. The thought of AT&T harassing Apple to make changes in iOS 6 makes my skin crawl…

Meanwhile, as noted by 9to5Mac, the same is not true for Verizon customers, who seem to be able to activate FaceTime over cellular networks without any trouble at all.