At last, AT&T will be permitting access to pre-loaded video apps, including FaceTime and Google Hangouts, to all of its customers with any data plan whatsoever. AT&T issued a statement this afternoon to address the change, as reported by TechCrunch.
“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 yearend,” AT&T states. “Today, all of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the Internet, such as Skype.”
Last summer, AT&T made a controversial move to restrict FaceTime over cellular usage to customers with its expensive Mobile Share data plans. The decision sparked overwhelmingly negative reaction from AT&T customers and the greater technology community alike, so much so that the carrier was accused of violating net neutrality laws.
Within a few months, after being heavily scrutinized, AT&T expanded FaceTime over cellular access to users with an LTE-capable device running iOS 6 or later. That shortlist included the iPhone 5, iPad mini and third-generation iPad or newer. Then, last January, the network decided to allow unrestricted FaceTime over cellular for customers with any device on a tiered data plan.
AT&T will be rolling out the change to its customers by yearend, and select users are already claiming that their devices have been activated. For those still waiting, AT&T notes that mobile video chat apps downloaded from the web, such as Skype, can be used without issue.