Which US carriers will charge for Facetime?

By: Marawan Alwaraki, July 19, 2012
It seems like Facetime will not be a definite free app to use. When I talk about paying for Facetime I mean extra charges if you would like to use the service over cellular data which is a new feature in iOS 6. It now seems like some carriers will be planning to charge over Wi-Fi starting with AT&T. And once it starts with the US it will probably be expanding to a variety of carriers internationally. So which carriers will be charging and which wouldn't? AT&T CEO says it's too early to talk about this while Sprint confirm they won't be charging extra for Facetime over cellular. Perhaps a move by Sprint to catch up with AT&T and Verizon in iPhone's. On the other hand Verizon gave no confirmation either. The main reason AT&T would be charging for this could be because of what happened to them due to iMessage. Below is what Randall Steven (CEO of AT&T) says about iMessage followed by exactly what other carriers stated.

“You lie awake at night worrying about what is that which will disrupt your business model,” Stephenson said. “Apple iMessage is a classic example. If you’re using iMessage, you’re not using one of our messaging services, right? That’s disruptive to our messaging revenue stream.”
Perhaps this time AT&T don't want their calling revenue stream to be disrupted by Facetime. And so some AT&T customer running iOS 6 beta could have seen this popup:


And what was AT&T's comment about this?
"We’re working closely with Apple on the new developer build of iOS6 and we’ll share more information with our customers as it becomes available."
 Isn't this enough evidence that they are probably going to charge for Facetime? On the other hand though, Sprint promise not to charge for Facetime.
“We are committed to our unlimited data and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application,” a spokeswoman said.
 Verizon was completely different though. The only thing we have heard from them yet was,
"The timing of any pricing conversations related to future versions of iOS is premature."
 So whether or not Verizon will be charging is unclear. It could mean that they have frankly not made up their mind yet. This move could seriously lead more customers switching to Sprint as they seem to be the only one of the major carriers offering free FaceTime.

Unfortunately, if carriers in the US start charging this could be pushed even further with carriers in Europe and other countries. Let's see how it goes. How do you think it will go? Will Verizon charge for FaceTime? Will FaceTime require extra charges internationally same way as BBM? It's even worse to think that the same problem could happen with iMessage.

[Source: 9to5Mac]

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