In stark contrast to AT&T, Verizon Wireless has announced that FaceTime, Apple's video calling feature, will be available across all of the carrier's data plans.
"Customers wanting to use FaceTime on their iPhone 5 can do so using any Verizon Wireless data plan allowance."
Of course FaceTime is nothing new, as the feature has been around for years. The only difference is that the feature was previously restricted to Wi-Fi connections. However, the release of iOS 6 is going to change that, allowing users to do video chatting over a cellular network.
Verizon vs. AT&T
While Verizon has stated that it will allow all users with a data plan to take advantage of Apple's FaceTime, not every carrier is as like-minded. AT&T announced last month that it will offer this service, but only as an added benefit on their new Mobile Share plan, meaning that anyone with a pre-existing plan would have to change to AT&T's new plan in order to use the service.
AT&T has justified the new plan by explaining that the carrier has too many users and not enough bandwidth. They explained that, as the iPhone and other smartphones have exploded in popularity over the last few years, it has put considerable strain on the company's servers, as AT&T has struggled to meet their users increasing data demands.
"We are broadening our customers' ability to use the pre-loaded version of FaceTime but limiting it in this manner to our newly developed AT&T Mobile Share data plans out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience."
With Verizon Wireless now offering FaceTime across all data plans, AT&T's previous explanations for its limited availability don't really seem to hold up. It will be interesting to see how consumers react, when iOS 6 becomes available on Sept. 19.