AT&T has announced on its public policy blog that FaceTime over cellular will be available to iPhone and iPad users with several caveats. Users must have LTE versions of iPads and iPhones and must be on a tiered plan. Previously FaceTime on AT&T was only available for customers on mobile shared plans. However, the rollout is not immediate. AT&T expects it to take 8-10 weeks, which is unusually slow. The decision has come after much pressure from customers, public advocacy groups, and the media.
Still, AT&T's policy change is a half-hearted attempt as it doesn't fully cave in to demands. It omits a larger group of customer that are not on LTE from using FaceTime over cellular on 3G and "4G." Also, it continues its hostility toward customers of grandfathered unlimited data plans on any cellular mode. The FCC has warned that discriminatory practices on citizen owned spectrums will not be tolerated in accordance with net neutrality regulations. AT&T is cherry picking customers based on monetary gains and not necessarily reasons of management of network congestion.
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Longtime Verizon smartphone users took comfort in the $30 monthly charge for unlimited data. All of that is set to end on July 7 with the introduction of tiered data packages.
In a statement obtained by droid-life.com, Verizon has overhauled its pricing scheme with three new data tiers - 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB - with monthly rates of $30, $50, and $80 respectively. These prices apply to both 3G and 4G phone owners.
There is a separate tiered pricing scheme for those who want tethering. These packages tack on an extra 2GB and $20 to each basic data package. The options are 4GB, 7GB, and 12GB with monthly rates of $50, $70, and $100 respectively.
The penalty for exceeding the data cap is $10 per 1 GB. It used to be $1.99 per Mbyte. Times have changed.