There is good news for all AT&T subscribers. By the end of this year, you will be able to use any video chatting app such as Hangouts and FaceTime on your AT&T network. AT&T has never allowed users to use any video chatting app on their network. Android users were annoyed when AT&T disallowed them to use the new Hangouts app. It only allowed users to use Hangouts only through Wi-Fi and not through their cellular network.
For some time, iPhone users were able to use FaceTime but even that was blocked by AT&T. Recently, AT&T again allowed users to use FaceTime on a tiered data plan. AT&T has finally decided to make changes in its controversial policy later this year. So, very soon AT&T will be allowing users to access any video chatting app on its network irrespective of their data plan or the device they are using. In fact, by the month of June, AT&T will be offering preloaded video chatting app on all the smartphone that supports 4G LTE connectivity.
AT&T’s announcement on supporting any video chat app comes after the last week’s reports when AT&T had blocked Android users from using Hangouts video chatting app. The problem with this app was that it replaces the existing Google talk app that came preloaded on Android devices. And according to AT&T policy, in order to run preloaded apps on its network, the operating system or the manufacturer of the device should first talk with AT&T on the issue.
As far as FaceTime is concerned, AT&T allowed only iPhone 5 users to use the video chat app. Earlier versions of iPhone were not allowed to support FaceTime. It is only this year that AT&T allowed iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users to use FaceTime and that also on a non-unlimited plant.
AT&T had purposely disallowed users from using video chatting apps on its network. It was mainly because video chatting consumes plenty of bandwidth. If AT&T allows all the user to use video chatting on their network, the performance can be hampered considerably. According to a spokesperson from AT&T, preloaded video chat apps tend to consume lot of bandwidth as compared to the downloaded apps. That is the reason why AT&T deliberately disallowed users from using video chat apps.
Other leading cellular network providers in US such as Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have never restricted from using video chat apps. Currently, in order to access video chat apps AT&T customers have to opt for paid services like Mobile Share or Tiered plans.