In an effort to rake in more data fees, AT&T may require iPhone users to access Facetime over mobile data.
Until now, that hasn’t even been possible. The popular mobile video chatting software is only available through a WiFi connection for the very fact that it is data-intensive and requires a strong and solid connection.
Nevertheless, it looks like the new version of iOS, version 6, will axe that restriction and make it possible to send video calls to friends and family over a mobile data network.
And according to those who have access to the most recent beta version of the new OS and are on AT&T, the Facetime service might end up being a new cash cow that can rack up overage charges or force customers into more expensive plans.
The AT&T version of the iOS 6 beta 3 software is giving users the following message when they try to access Facetime:
“To enable Facetime over cellular on this account, contact AT&T at 611 or visit http://www.att.com/mywireless.”
This doesn’t mean users have to place all future Facetime calls through an AT&T mobile network, but it certainly does mean the carrier wants to bring in as much money on it as possible.
There is even some speculation that AT&T might add a completely separate line item to iPhone customer bills for Facetime data, in the same way that carriers bill separately for mobile hotspot data. We’ll know soon enough.