AT&T told customers on Wednesday that they would soon be able to use Apple's FaceTime video chat service across its cellular network...if they have tiered plans. That means AT&T customers who remain grandfathered in on legacy unlimited data plans will remain limited to Wi-Fi for FaceTime.
Mark Collins, Senior Vice President - Data and Voice Products for AT&T, wrote in a blog post, "When FaceTime over Cellular launched in September 2012, we explained that we wanted to roll it out gradually to ensure the service had minimal impact on the mobile experience for all of our customers."
He added, "As a result of ongoing testing, we’re announcing AT&T will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for customers with any tiered data plan using a compatible iOS device."
Verizon announced almost immediately in September that users could use FaceTime as part of their data plans across that company's cellular network. Sprint users can do the same, but AT&T initially limited the service to shared plan customers.
Wednesday's announcement brings the company up to speed with its competitors, though only Sprint still offers unlimited data for new and existing customers.
AT&T didn't explicitly exclude its legacy unlimited customers, but it did specify that customers "with tiered plans will be able to make FaceTime calls over the AT&T cellular network." By definition, that does leave legacy plans out.
The company said that it will be rolling out the change in rolling updates throughout its network "in the next couple of weeks." Customers won't need to do anything to access the service one those updates hit other than to actually use FaceTime.
Note that data used in FaceTime calls will count towards your data plan.