In addition to a number of new features, iOS 6 will also enable iPhone users for the first time to Facetime chat over 3G networks. Naturally, actually enabling this feature also requires the participation of mobile carriers and it goes without saying that some mobile carriers are more hesitant than others.
Over the past few days, it’s been reported that the nation’s largest iPhone carrier – AT&T – may charge users extra for the ability to Facetime chat over 3G. And while such a decision, if it comes to fruition, is of course easy to criticize, AT&T may have learned a thing or two about the perils of unlimited data from the early iPhone days. And as an iPhone user, the last thing I want is for my data speeds to slow to a crawl because everyone and their mother is video chatting up the wazoo.
Now on the other hand, there’s Sprint. Coming late to the iPhone game, Sprint has a lot of ground to cover, as evidenced by their allegiance to unlimited data plans for iPhone users. And, whadya know, Sprint will keep their unlimited data plan in effect even for iPhone users wishing to Facetime over 3G.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
Meanwhile, AT&T rival Sprint Nextel Corp, which still offers unlimited data to new and existing users on its network, said it has no plans to erect pricing barriers to FaceTime.
“We are committed to our unlimited data and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application,” a spokeswoman said.
Of course you have to take the good with the bad. While Sprint does offer unlimited data, the speed of its network is noticeably slower than both AT&T’s and Verizon’s.