FaceTime video calls won’t eat up carrier minutes – Report

Mon, Jun 21, 2010


With all the bad news surrounding iPhone pre-order fiascos, and more recently, cancelled iPhone pre-orders, it’s nice to finally have something good to report.

Apple’s new mobile video-chat feature, dubbed FaceTime, is one of the key selling points on the new iPhone 4, and now comes word that using the feature won’t count against a users’s voicetime minutes. While this may seem like a no-brainer to some, given that FaceTime for the time being is a WiFi-only feature, you never know when AT&T may try and stick it to ya (ahem, the $20 tethering fee for the iPhone that doesn’t give users increased data caps).

Writing for Yahoo, Dan Frommer reports that he confirmed as much with an Apple representitive.

“The voice call ends as soon as the FaceTime call connects,”  Apple tells us. “The FaceTime call is over Wi-Fi so does not use carrier minutes.”

This wasn’t immediately obvious because FaceTime calls can be initiated from within voice calls, and one possibility would have been for Apple to keep the voice call running in the background (but muted to the participants) in case the video chat dropped or someone’s wi-fi signal went out.

But it appears that Apple isn’t going to keep the voice call going as a backup, and that if your FaceTime video call drops, you’ll need to redial the voice call.

During the keynote a few weeks ago, Jobs said that Apple was working with carriers to eventually roll out the feature over 3G.



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