"Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable preloaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device," AT&T said in a statement today.
The second-largest U.S. carrier expects to complete this phase-in approach by the end of 2013, according to The Verge.
A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed that depriving its entire customer base was a "deliberate" approach for preloaded apps that have a high usage, according to the publication.
Goodbye, AT&T unlimited plan ban
AT&T's ban on using video chat apps over its cellular network has been a bone of contention for smartphone owners ever since FaceTime was first announced by Apple in 2010.
Although AT&T enabled FaceTime over cellular for some of its customers with the launch of iOS 6 in 2012, the carrier initially left out anyone who didn't pony up for one of its expensive Mobile Share plan.
This amounted to "extortion" for individual plan holders in the eyes of net neutrality advocates, who argued that it should be up to customers how they use the data they pay for every month.
Finally for grandfathered in plans
AT&T's "deliberate" phase-in still leaves its most loyal iPhone owners, those with grandfathered data plans, out of the video chat revolution when away from WiFi.
However, the promise that the video chat ban will end by the end of 2013 means that AT&T is finally able to match what Verizon and Sprint have been able to offer all of its customers for years.
- With new iPhone 6 rumors swirling, check out what features may be next for Apple's smartphone line.
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