In what’s probably the least surprising rumor of the past twelve months, it looks like the US’ #2 carrier is set to charge extra to users wanting to use FaceTime over 3G/4G when iOS 6 is officially released. The carrier’s network has been subject to much complaining and discussion ever since the iPhone went 3G back in 2008. The network infrastructure has failed on many occasions to deal with the extra traffic, and is only recently beginning to look like a stable, consistent service.
The above screenshot, leaked by 9to5Mac, shows that AT&T is indeed planning to control/charge for FaceTime usage. Sadly – once more – it appears that it’s the carrier thinking about itself instead of its customers. My argument has always been that if the customer is paying for data, they should be allowed to use it for whatever they want: downloading, browsing, video calls etc. None of use use cellular data the same way, and our plans should be flexible enough to cover that. It will be interesting to see how this develops between now and October.