AT&T released a statement on Friday saying they “technically” will not be charging more to use FaceTime over 3G, or EDGE for that matter. Although, to be able to start video calling with other system users, like Mac or iOS, the company wants you to pay for a different “Mobile Share” data plan. Therefore, the catch is that it would require a shared data plan.
The statement, which came out on Friday afternoon, said that FaceTime will be offered by AT&T under the new Mobile Share data plans, for meeting customers data needs. However, customers will continue to receive the FaceTime over Wi-Fi connections.
What does AT&T mean by this “Mobile Share” Data Plan?
Well, it is nothing but AT&T’s way of having a shared data network that can be used to access different gadgets on the same account. However, a solo tablet or smart phone user, who do not have another significant device in the family or with whom he would share data with, will not necessarily require subscribing to this Mobile Share Data Plan. Inadvertently, you will not be able to use FaceTime after all, except if you just change up your plan.
Could this Mobile Share Data Plan conflict with FCC RULES?
There are some concerns emerging that this feature of AT&T to provide share data plan users to access FaceTime over cellular networks can possibly conflict with FCC’s specific net neutrality rules. Preventing some customers from using FaceTime over 3G can be seen as “unreasonable discrimination,” says John Bergmayer, a Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge.
Basically, the argument is that by limiting the use of FaceTime only for customers who are willing to pay more for it by using this shared data plan, AT&T’s policy seems to be falling outside the “reasonable network management”.
However, AT&T insists that the necessity of shared data plan does not violate any FCC rule.
Category: Gadget Applications