USA: AT&T to support Apple’s Facetime without extra charges.

WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.

USA: AT&T to support Apple’s Facetime  without extra charges.

AT&T announced plans to support Apple’s Facetime video calling service over its mobile network without extra charges for more of its subscribers, after criticism about the additional fees it was levying on users.

However, the latest change only applies to high-end customers – users with an LTE-capable iPhone or iPad and tiered data plan.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the operator was facing complaints from US consumer groups, who had argued that charging more for specific over-the-top services goes against the principles of net neutrality.

AT&T argued that the rules did not apply to apps which are preloaded on handsets, noting that similar, alternative products are available for download.

In a blog post yesterday, Jim Cicconi, senior EVP of External and Legislative Affairs for the company, said that due to the number of iPhones it has on its network, “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&T’s network than is the case with carriers who have far fewer iPhone users”.

The operator is already supporting Facetime over Cellular for customers with its high-end Media Share plans, while any customer can use the service over Wi-Fi.

Cicconi said that “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”.

Heading-off another criticism, AT&T said that it will also support the service for deaf and hard of hearing customers who qualify for special text and data-only packages.

Facetime has been available for some time, but Apple only added support for the service over mobile networks with its recent iOS6 release.
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