AT&T Opens Up – Gives Nod to FaceTime, Hangouts, and Other Apps

AT&T released a statement today stating that by the end of 2013 customers will have the ability to use the mobile video chat app of their choosing, regardless of cellular plan or device.
This is especially good news for AT&T customers who’d like to use FaceTime, Apple’s video chatting app that was introduced in iOS 6, or Google’s Hangouts.
Unlike Verizon, which currently allows all customers with FaceTime supporting devices to use the video chatting program over their cellular network, AT&T has been slow to allow users to enjoy the benefits of FaceTime over their network.
AT&T initially blocked FaceTime from its network. The company recently changed that policy.
In a statement to The Verge AT&T said, “For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans.”
Customers with an LTE device, like the iPhone 5, and the unlimited data plan can expect to use video chat from Blackberry, Samsung and Apple over the AT&T network by July.
AT&T will enable non-LTE devices to use FaceTime over their network by the end of the year.
Apple’s FaceTime was not the only video chatting app AT&T has been slow to warm to. Google’s Hangouts app is another, which the company disallowed unless a user was connected to a Wi-Fi network. This is also expected to change by year’s end.