Go Back   AnandTech Forums > Software > All Things Apple

Forums
· Hardware and Technology
· CPUs and Overclocking
· Motherboards
· Video Cards and Graphics
· Memory and Storage
· Power Supplies
· Cases & Cooling
· SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs
· Networking
· Peripherals
· General Hardware
· Highly Technical
· Computer Help
· Home Theater PCs
· Consumer Electronics
· Digital and Video Cameras
· Mobile Devices & Gadgets
· Audio/Video & Home Theater
· Software
· Software for Windows
· All Things Apple
· *nix Software
· Operating Systems
· Programming
· PC Gaming
· Console Gaming
· Distributed Computing
· Security
· Social
· Off Topic
· Politics and News
· Discussion Club
· Love and Relationships
· The Garage
· Health and Fitness
· Merchandise and Shopping
· For Sale/Trade
· Hot Deals with Free Stuff/Contests
· Black Friday 2014
· Forum Issues
· Technical Forum Issues
· Personal Forum Issues
· Suggestion Box
· Moderator Resources
· Moderator Discussions
   

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
MotionMan
Lifer
 
MotionMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 16,954
Default AT&T Expands FaceTime Support To Those With Tiered Data Plans & LTE-Capable Devices

I have the right kind of iPhone and the right kind of data plan. Unfortunately, I have little desire to use FaceTime much

http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/08/att...pable-devices/

Quote:
Last month, open Internet advocacy groups threatened to file complaint against AT&T with the Federal Communications Commission due to AT&Tís decision to limit the use of Appleís FaceTime video calling application. AT&T said that users wouldnít be able to use FaceTime over its cellular network, unless they were also on the carrierís Mobile Share Plans. Well, good news, folks: AT&T has decided to expand FaceTime access.

No, no, itís still not available to everyone. Sorry. I mean, itís AT&T, right? Instead, todayís announced changes will only affect iPhone 5 and iPad users. On devices which support LTE connections. On tiered data plans. Yes, the new tiered data plans Ė not that unlimited data plan some iPhone early adopters are grandfathered into. You know, AT&Tís most loyal iPhone users? The ones who didnít jump to the Verizon iPhone when it became available? No FaceTime for you! (Except on Wi-Fi, as per usual.)

AT&T announced the expanded options on its Public Policy blog today, including some thoughts penned by Jim Cicconi, AT&Tís head of External and Legislative Affairs. Again, he puts forward the case that because FaceTime is a pre-loaded application on Appleís devices, it canít determine the impact it would have on AT&Tís network:

In this instance, with the FaceTime app already preloaded on tens of millions of AT&T customersí iPhones, there was no way for our engineers to effectively model usage, and thus to assess network impact. It is for this reason that we took a more cautious approach toward the app. To do otherwise might have risked an adverse impact on the services our customers expect Ė voice quality in particular Ė if usage of FaceTime exceeded expectations. And this is important for all our customers regardless of which smartphone they may use.

Itís not an incorrect statement, just a really, really unpopular one. FaceTime would likely eat up network infrastructure and bandwidth, which could degrade service on AT&Tís network. Itís hard to say by how much, but thatís the point that AT&T is making here Ė itís not sure. Hence this so-called ďcautious approach.Ē (Not entirely coincidentally, AT&T announced this week it would invest $14 billion in infrastructure upgrades, $8 billion of which are for wireless upgrades. Part of those efforts are to expand LTE access to 300 million by 2014.)

But while limiting the access on the one hand could be framed as a ďnecessary evil,Ē the decision to restrict it to a particular type of data plan (Mobile Shared), seemed like way to force users into the new, and more expensive, data plans. Concerns were rightfully raised. Todayís announcement improves the situation, but doesnít solve it. Now tiered data plans and Shared plans are allowed to use FaceTime. Unlimited users, not so much. But surely AT&T hopes this is another way to get a few of them to give up and switch.

However, AT&T addressed the other issue about its FaceTime restrictions today, itís worth noting. Before, the restrictions meant limited access for deaf users or hard-of-hearing customers, who use visual calling instead of voice calling in order to sign instead of talk. AT&T says that now, those who qualify for special text and data-only packages will now also have access to FaceTime. These customers had access to new billing plans on October 26.

For the rest of AT&Tís users, the added FaceTime support will roll out over the next 8-10 weeks.

AT&Tís full blog post below:

As most observers are aware, Appleís FaceTime application is currently enabled on AT&Tís popular Mobile Share plan as well as on Wi-Fi, though not at this time on our other billing plans. This approach has raised questions and some concerns. We decided to take this cautious approach for important reasons. AT&T has by far more iPhones on our network than any other carrier. Weíre proud of this fact and the confidence our customers have in us. But it also means that when Apple rolls out new services or changes, as it did in iOS 6, it can have a much greater, and more immediate, impact on AT&Tís network than is the case with carriers who have far fewer iPhone users.

In this instance, with the FaceTime app already preloaded on tens of millions of AT&T customersí iPhones, there was no way for our engineers to effectively model usage, and thus to assess network impact. It is for this reason that we took a more cautious approach toward the app. To do otherwise might have risked an adverse impact on the services our customers expect Ė voice quality in particular Ė if usage of FaceTime exceeded expectations. And this is important for all our customers regardless of which smartphone they may use.

In the meantime, we are announcing today that we will support FaceTime, not only on our Mobile Share plans, but also on all of our tiered data plans with an LTE device. We expect to roll out this functionality over the next 8-10 weeks. In addition, we are informing our deaf and hard of hearing customers that, as of October 26, we began rolling out several new billing plans designed to allow them to make use of FaceTime. This is part of our ongoing commitment to our customers with disabilities, and itís a commitment which is very important to us.

We will continue to gather and assess the network data on this issue over the next few months and anticipate that we will be able to expand the availability of FaceTime to our customers on other billing plans in the near future.
MotionMan
MotionMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
TuxDave
Lifer
 
TuxDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 10,461
Default

iPhone 4S on unlimited. I guess I'm not any step closer than I was before. Lame.
__________________
post count = post count + 0.999.....
(\__/)
(='.'=)This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your
(")_(")signature to help him gain world domination.
TuxDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #3
MotionMan
Lifer
 
MotionMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 16,954
Default

I used it on the ride home for fun. I reversed the camera and showed my daughter what part of my commute looked like.

Thank you, AT&T.

MotionMan
MotionMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
Wonderful Pork
Golden Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,459
Default

FaceTime over cellular would have been awesome for me. I was traveling for a week+ and wanted to see the GF, But the hotel wifi sucked. Had 5 bars of LTE though, still couldn't FaceTime. Ridiculous.
Wonderful Pork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
ponyo
Lifer
 
ponyo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 12,473
Default

What's ridiculous is FaceTime works perfectly on Straight Talk AT&T 3G. So AT&T contract users who pay $100 a month can't use Facetime cellular but Straight Talk AT&T users who pay $45 a month can use it without any restrictions. How messed up is that?
ponyo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.