Sprint Promises To Not Charge For FaceTime Over 3G, AT&T And Verizon Keeping Quiet

Sprint Promises To Not Charge For FaceTime Over 3G, AT&T And Verizon Keeping Quiet

It was recently discovered that AT&T will likely charge for FaceTime over 3G when iOS 6 launches for the public this fall. Users could previously only use Apple’s FaceTime when connected to a WiFi network, but iOS 6 (now in its third developer beta) will allow for FaceTime over both WiFi and a cellular connection.

Sprint, the nation’s third largest carrier, now says that it will not charge its customers for FaceTime over 3G in iOS 6. Both AT&T and Verizon still refuse to give any details.

Sprint Promises To Not Charge For FaceTime Over 3G, AT&T And Verizon Keeping Quiet

This dialog box in iOS 6 beta 3 seems to suggest that AT&T won’t let you use FaceTime over 3G without paying extra for it.

A Sprint representative told The Wall Street Journal that the carrier is “committed to our unlimited data and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application.” Sprint is the only U.S. carrier left that offers an unlimited data plan to new and existing customers, and the carrier has promised to keep offering unlimited data when the next iPhone debuts later this year.

The nation’s two largest carriers, AT&T and Verizon, are being more cagey about FaceTime over 3G. AT&T’s CEO gave a generic “something’s going but I can’t say anything” PR statement to stem the tide. Verizon only said that “The timing of any pricing conversations related to future versions of iOS is premature.”

It’s worth noting that the same carrier message for AT&T devices attempting to use FaceTime over 3G on iOS 6 is not present on Verizon devices. However, Verizon’s canned statement does make it sound like something is going on behind closed doors with Apple.

  • zviivz

    What about 4G LTE? If they (ATT, Verizon or even Sprint) start charging customers for using Facetime, that’s a slap in the face for innovation.

  • joewaylo

    @vziivz Nothing new. They’re slapping our faces already. 4G LTE upgrading would more than likely move you from Unlimited to the 3GB plan once you buy the iPhone 5.

  • Luke Lumley

    Thats because sprint 3G wont even be able to handle facetime. It barely is able to handle siri much less video chat. I live in Minneapolis and have yet to see a download speed over 1Mbps!!!

  • MacHead84

    This will end up in court…how SCOTUS will come down is anyones guess. I just cant grasp how FaceTime can be monetized when there are 10 other video chat apps that will be free. Unless ofcourse, the networks are actually going to force all of the video chat apps to comply by requiring your ATT or Verizon credentials to login and use.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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