AT&T will likely charge iPhone users extra to use FaceTime over their 3G and 4G networks. The change will take place once Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 6, launches for iPhones and iPads this fall, says Steve Kovach of Business Insider.
Right now AT&T charges $30 per month for 3 GB of data. That’s data you bought. With your money. AT&T’s 3 GB plan lets you use the data to surf the web, check emails, stream video or music, and use apps that require data. But if you want to use your smartphone as a wi-fi hotspot, you have to shell out an extra $20 per month for that privilege. For many the 3 GB plan would be enough. It’s even more baffling considering AT&T will gladly charge you $10 for an extra GB if you go over your 3 GB allotment. The company is still getting your money.
ArsTechnica notes that when trying to activate FaceTime over cellular in the iOS 6 settings, a pop-up appears, instructing users to either call AT&T or go to its website in order to enable the feature on their accounts. As noted by MacRumors, it’s the same message that pops up when AT&T subscribers try to enable data tethering on their iOS devices—another for-pay service.
Clearly AT&T is not interested in net neutrality.
Their vision of the internet is a walled garden. Like the political leadership of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Egypt or Jordan.
AT&T has a dilemma. They lack 4G spectrum.
They can’t offer LTE over Dish’s 2.1 GHz spectrum for 3-4 years. Clear’s 2.6 GHz spectrum lacks coverage and their own 2.3 GHz proposal lacks a nationwide footprint or timeliness. TV band “incentive auctions” will be stuck in politics all decade.
Even T-Mobile USA has more spectrum for LTE. T-Mobile already has 30 Mhz which can be dedicated to LTE (thanks to the failed AT&T bid), and they are expected to get more AWS spectrum from Verizon in 15 of the top 25 markets in the U.S. AT&T has virtually no AWS spectrum for LTE.
The party’s over for AT&T. Getting rid of Randall Stephenson won’t help. Perhaps radical surgery, like refarming Sirius Satellites into 4G hotspots, blimps, and TV broadcast spectrum deals will save them. Maybe they should merge with Microsoft.
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