AT&T has dealt with some backlash in the past regarding its FaceTime policies, but now the company says it's making good on its promise to roll out the feature the right way.
More and more iPhone users on AT&T are reporting they can now make FaceTime video calls over cellular data networks, according to AppleInsider.
The carrier made no formal announcements, but the additional leeway for an increasing number of users appears to be part of its greater road map for video chat.
"Nothing new here - just doing what we said we'd do when it comes to rollout," an AT&T spokesperson told TechRadar.
Fulfilling a promise
"As we promised, we've enabled pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from Apple, Samsung, and BlackBerry," AT&T said in a statement sent our way.
"Customers on Mobile Share and Tiered data plans can already use those apps. Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end. All of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the internet, such as Skype."
The statement echoes one AT&T issued in May.
AppleInsider has verified activation of FaceTime over LTE and HSPA+ cellular networks in New York, Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana, California and Hawaii.
Quality is reportedly high, though TechRadar is unable to verify this as our own devices tell us that we still need a Wi-Fi connection to make FaceTime calls.
Responding to backlash
When FaceTime launched, it was only available over wi-fi, a restriction that lasted due to policies set by Apple and by carriers concerned over data usage on cellular networks.
Backlash peaked last fall, though, when Apple's iOS 6 launched with the FaceTime restriction lifted on the OS side. The ball was in carriers' hands, but they weren't moving fast enough for many users.
But in November, AT&T started loosening things up, and in May the carrier announced that the restrictions would be lifted in 2013.
Customers with unlimited data plans would soon be able to use FaceTime and Google Hangout over cellular connections, the carrier promised, and now that's coming to pass.
- While AT&T looks to appease customers, T-Mobile has scored a mighty fine Sony smartphone.
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