AT&T customers were shocked, some frustrated, when they discovered that Google’s new Hangout service didn’t support video chat over AT&T’s wireless network. The carrier commented on the situation last week and said that, in some cases, it doesn’t support pre-loaded video applications. This isn’t always a problem, of course, as iOS users can place FaceTime calls over cellular and BBM Video also works.
AT&T recently confirmed that its policies are about to change.
“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,” AT&T said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Apple, Samsung and Blackberry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers.”
“Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by yearend,” AT&T added.
Right now, however, customers without access to BBM Video or FaceTime can opt to use third-party applications, such as Skype, to perform video calls.