After complaints from users and consumer advocacy groups, AT&T has announced that anyone with any kind of tiered data plan can use Apple's FaceTime feature over data services with a compatible iPhone.* Since the last iPhone announcement in the fall, the wireless company required users to sign up for the new data-share plans to access Apple's native face-to-face video calling, a move perceived as a way to force people away from cheaper and unlimited data options.
There never appeared to be no technological reason why some iPhone users could FaceTime without wireless and other couldn't. About two months ago, however, me AT&T users noticed that tiered data plans suddently got access to FaceTime. AT&T today confirmed in a corporate blog post that the new FaceTime options will arrive by way of a slow roll-out. Soon everyone with either an iPhone 4S or 5 can FaceTime all over the place. "[We] expect to start rolling the update out to customers on an ongoing basis beginning in the next couple of weeks," wrote AT&T Vice President Mark Collins.
*Update: Initially this post indicated that AT&T would allow people with unlimited data plans to access this feature. With that exclusion, the consumer group Free Press still doesn't approve and "remains ready to file an a Net Neutrality complaint with the FCC, according to a press release it sent out today.