AT&T has been dancing around its FaceTime restrictions for several months now. Before iOS 6 even went public, it was discovered that the carrier would block FaceTime calls over a cellular connection at its own discretion. AT&T later confirmed that users would have to be on one of its new shared data plans.
Public outcry caused AT&T to then backtrack and extend the feature to anyone with a tiered, traditional data plan and a LTE device. That still didn’t cut it. Now AT&T has updated its policy again, and subscribers with grandfathered unlimited data plans are the only ones still left out in the cold.
“When FaceTime over Cellular launched in September 2012, we explained that we wanted to roll it out gradually to ensure the service had minimal impact on the mobile experience for all of our customers,” said Mark Collins of AT&T. “As a result of ongoing testing, we’re announcing AT&T will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for customers with any tiered data plan using a compatible iOS device.”
So you don’t have to own an iPhone 5 or LTE-compatible iPad. Owners of non-LTE iOS devices with tiered plans can also make FaceTime calls over cellular no problem. Calls over WiFi of course work for everyone.
The feature is being rolled back out for AT&T subscribers who fall under the updated policy. AT&T notes that it will take a few weeks for everyone to gain access.
This is good news for a lot of AT&T iPhone owners, but it still means no FaceTime over cellular for those who have been around long enough to still have their unlimited plans—arguably AT&T’s most loyal customers.