updated 01:30 am EDT, Wed July 18, 2012
In-development feature stability being worked on
Speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was asked about the report that AT&T might charge customers extra if they want to use FaceTime over 3G. The feature was announced during Tim Cook's Worldwide Developer's Conference keynote speech, to a muted carrier response.
Initially, the company offered a similar statement to the one it issued after the keynote: "we'll share more information with our customers as it becomes available." At the Aspen conference, he slightly amplified his remarks, saying that "I've heard the same rumor," in regards to an additional fee for FaceTime over 3Gm and adding that "it's too early to talk about pricing" as AT&T is working with Apple to get the technology optimized.
AT&T discontinued unlimited data for the iPhone in 2010, with the exception of grandfathered plans, and has moved to tiered data offerings. AT&T has come under fire since the discovery from users, complaining that FaceTime data is no different than other kinds of data and no additional fees should be applied above normal bandwidth fees. Some 70 percent of customers on tiered data plans take on the larger, higher-cost options already. Mobile data alone generates $6.1 billion per quarter for AT&T.