A patent filing from T-Mobile US shows that the nation's third-largest wireless carrier is working to make video calls over its network more efficient. Such an effort by the carrier is not surprising considering video chews up dramatically more bandwidth than most other types of communications.
AT&T Mobility has begun enabling Apple's FaceTime video chatting service over its cellular network for customers who have an LTE-capable iPhone 5 and an unlimited data plan, according to an AT&T spokesman.
AT&T's decision to open up FaceTime for no additional charge to subscribers with older Apple iOS devices on tiered data plans is a sidebar to the real news, which is that innovative over-the-top offers from brands for which consumers hold great affinity are going to quickly populate the mobile environment.
AT&T Mobility announced it will expand access to Apple's FaceTime over cellular to customers on tiered data plans at no additional cost. Previously, the videochatting service was limited to AT&T's iOS users with an AT&T Mobile Share plan or LTE-capable devices.
Interest group Public Knowledge is rallying against AT&T Mobility's femtocell terms of service, arguing the carrier's approach to tallying users' data consumption runs against the FCC's net neutrality provisions.
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously promised in 2010 that the company would make its FaceTime video calling feature an open standard. But it never came to pass. What happened to the FaceTime standard? Special report
These were Steve Jobs' exact words, spoken almost three years ago at Apple's 2010 Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco: "We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard." Although a lot has happened since then--Jobs' passing, a number of new iPads, iPhones and iOS updates--it is a promise that seems unlikely to be fulfilled anytime soon.
AT&T Mobility said it will offer Apple's FaceTime video calling feature over cellular at no extra charge to customers using LTE devices. For example, iPhone 5 customers without Mobile Share data plans will soon be able to use the service without an additional fee.
AT&T's decision to offer Apple's FaceTime video calling feature over cellular at no extra charge only to its Mobile Share data plan customers has led one consumer to file a formal complaint with the FCC.
Now that public interest groups Free Press, Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute intend to file a formal complaint against AT&T because they feel the operator's FaceTime policy violates FCC's net neutrality rules, one has to think AT&T could have played this better and maybe even generated new revenue streams while keeping net neutrality advocates at bay.