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AT&T: FaceTime Over 3G/4G in iOS 6? You might have to Pay Extra for it

We should have known they wouldn’t make it easy.

After we all got excited about finally being able to use FaceTime video calling over cellular networks with the advent of iOS 6, it’s now become apparent that AT&T plans to charge users just for the option of using their data in this manner. At least, that’s what we’re assuming based on the popup shown in the screenshot below. The official company statement from AT&T is short on any real details about how the matter will be handled:

“We’re working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS 6 and we’ll share more information with our customers as it becomes available.”

How much do you want to bet that the information they eventually share will basically equate FaceTime over cellular to the Personal Hotspot feature? Instead of putting control of a customer’s data allotment into the user’s hands, AT&T appears ready to continue with their habit of making certain features only accessible when they’re “enabled.”

This won’t go over well; that much is clear. But will other carriers follow suite, or will AT&T standout and face pressure to change position? There’s no question that video calls over 3G or 4G will eat a ton of data, but tacking on additional fees seems like a pretty poor method of limiting the feature’s usage. And what must Apple think about this after years of hearing customers clamor for 3G FaceTime? Let’s hope the screenshot evidence seen above is getting misinterpreted, but at this point it seems unlikely.

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