Unlike AT&T, Verizon Will Give You Unrestricted Access To FaceTime Over Cellular

Unlike AT&T, Verizon Will Give You Unrestricted Access To FaceTime Over Cellular

If you’re debating on which carrier to go with when you pre-order the iPhone 5 on Friday, then maybe this news will help you make a decision. Verizon has gone on the record to say that it won’t charge extra or have any specific requirements for using FaceTime over Cellular in iOS 6, while AT&T will.

Verizon will let you use FaceTime over Cellular on your current plan (including grandfathered unlimited data), but AT&T requires that you sign up for one of its new Mobile Share plans.

The flip-side is that customers who still have AT&T’s grandfathered unlimited data plan won’t have to give it up when upgrading to the iPhone 5. Verizon customers with unlimited data will have to buy the iPhone 5 at its hefty, unsubsidized cost to keep their coveted unlimited data privileges. So it’s a tradeoff, you get to keep your unlimited plan on AT&T but you can’t use FaceTime over Cellular without a Mobile Share plan. Verizon customers with grandfathered unlimited data will lose their beloved plans when they upgrade at a subsidized rate, but Verizon won’t be exercising tight control over features like FaceTime.

Sprint has also said that it will not charge extra or require customers to switch plans for FaceTime over Cellular.

We’ll have more on which iPhone 5 you should buy tomorrow.

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  • TMac923

    Wish I could switch to sprint

  • Whodakat

    I choose keeping my unlimited data. I’ll just jailbreak it for LTE/Facetime.

  • FriarNurgle

    No real reason to stay with AT&T… Should make for an interesting conversation when I call to cancel.

  • John Frum

    The flip side of unlimited data plans is that, beyond a certain usage threshold (usually around 2GB), they always involve data throttling. They’re actually quite limited.

  • Logan176

    I’ve had Verizon for over 10 years now and let me tell you, they are no walk in the park. In the 2 1/2 years that I’ve owned a smartphone my data usage has stayed between 1GB and 1.5 GB per month. Then in July I went on vacation and hit 2.5 GB because I was not near a wifi zone. I was throttled, or “optimized,” for the entire month of August because I went over 2 GB. No warning. No notification. They made it very clear that they wouldn’t help me even though they admitted I am not a power user. So what were my download speeds? How about 0.01-0.05 Mbps! At that speed my phone was basically a paper weight for an entire month!

    Verizon claims that it only happens when a tower is congested. BS. I traveled within a three hour radius of my house and I never saw speeds higher than .07.

    Now I know that AT&T is no walk in the park… my buddy has them. But at least AT&T has always treated him with more respect than Verizon has treated me. The people from Verizon I spoke to gave me attitude as if how dare I question Verizon’s “optimization” and that I should be lucky to be allowed in their network.

    Before you jump over to Big Red keep all of this in mind. Also remember that LTE is not in ALL places. If you don’t live in an LTE coverage area then your 3G speeds will only be between .75 and 1.5 Mbps. AT&T’s 3.5G is a lot faster than that.

  • RaptorOO7

    Verizon does come through and given their LTE network they are not afraid of bringing it to its knees unlike AT&T. Although AT&T will try to hold onto iPhone customers by allowing them to keep their unlimited data plans, you know the ones that slow to a crawl at a certain GB of usage.

    Wake up AT&T customers and move to a network that can handle your traffic needs.

  • RaptorOO7

    I’ve had Verizon for over 10 years now and let me tell you, they are no walk in the park. In the 2 1/2 years that I’ve owned a smartphone my data usage has stayed between 1GB and 1.5 GB per month. Then in July I went on vacation and hit 2.5 GB because I was not near a wifi zone. I was throttled, or “optimized,” for the entire month of August because I went over 2 GB. No warning. No notification. They made it very clear that they wouldn’t help me even though they admitted I am not a power user. So what were my download speeds? How about 0.01-0.05 Mbps! At that speed my phone was basically a paper weight for an entire month!

    Verizon claims that it only happens when a tower is congested. BS. I traveled within a three hour radius of my house and I never saw speeds higher than .07.

    Now I know that AT&T is no walk in the park… my buddy has them. But at least AT&T has always treated him with more respect than Verizon has treated me. The people from Verizon I spoke to gave me attitude as if how dare I question Verizon’s “optimization” and that I should be lucky to be allowed in their network.

    Before you jump over to Big Red keep all of this in mind. Also remember that LTE is not in ALL places. If you don’t live in an LTE coverage area then your 3G speeds will only be between .75 and 1.5 Mbps. AT&T’s 3.5G is a lot faster than that.

    That is odd, but then again I had alway been an unlimited data plan users on Verizon and never had an issue and now I have the share everything plan with 12GB of data and still don’t run into issues. I have a SMARTphone, (2) MiFi (LTE) and an iPad3 LTE.

    For me Verizon has been fine for over 15 years. I have tried AT&T with a single line outside of my Verizon account and they sucked. Horrible data speeds, calls dropped all the time (iPhone 4) and other phones too. Sprint, no thanks their coverage sucks too.

  • ddevito

    Welcome to the party. I’ve been making video calls over the Verizon cell network for over 2 years now.

    So sad how Apple says this is groundbreaking

  • ddevito

    Welcome to the party. I’ve been making video calls over the Verizon cell network for over 2 years now.

    So sad how Apple says this is groundbreaking

  • Tallest_Skil

    Welcome to the party. I’ve been making video calls over the Verizon cell network for over 2 years now.

    So sad how Apple says this is groundbreaking

    Hey. Idiot. Here’s the thing: Verizon has been blocking Apple’s implementation. It’s all on them, not Apple. Get over yourself. Get off our website.

  • djkikrome

    Sprints service sucks so bad that it doesn’t matter if they will allow facetime over the network because I’m sure it won’t work anyway. I can’t even use Siri on the network. It’s always so slow and reports that she can’t help me right now. Siri only works when I’m on WiFi. In the year I’ve had my 4S on sprint, I’ve only been able to actually hit 958MB of data on the network with my awesome UNLIMITED PLAN. And it’s definitely not from lack of effort on my part. Wife on her iPhone 4 tried uploading a picture to her facebook to showoff her new phone and it took almost 45 minutes over the Sprint network. We don’t know how long it would have actually taken because we got home before it was still finished so I’m sure it was finishing over the WiFi network. An android user can sit next to me with a sprint service and we can search the web with same request and his phone will download requests much faster than my 4S can. I have always thought that Sprint is actually throttling iPhone users because of the past problems AT&T faced with it’s network usage.

    And I’m sure AT&T looks better with call drops if you compare the number of drops from Sprint. I would be happy to try Verizon if they would come to our area.

  • Logan176

    Raptor007,

    Up until recently Verizon has been good for me as well, as long as I don’t talk about their HORRIBLE customer service. Verizon started their throttling of unlimited data users back in the spring I believe. Being that you are currently on a share plan, Verizon won’t throttle you anymore… they will just charge you extra.

    Just for the record, I don’t have a problem with Verizon’s new data share plans and being charged extra if you go over your data allowance. My HUGE problem is how they treat current customers who are still on unlimited data plans. There is no way that 95% of their customers use less than 2GB a month when approximately half their customers have smartphones. They should honor my contract until the two years are up. Then I wouldn’t blink an eye if they forced me into a tiered plan.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a 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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