Correct only because AT&T wants to charge for it. Also caution: If you are "grandfathered" into an unlimited data plan and switch to a new "termed" data plan just to get face time available without wifi your unlimited data plan is no longer valid. Also note that AT&T no longer offers an unlimited data plan at this time so you cannot get it back
I downloaded IOS6 and turned my wifi off and tried facetime. It advised that I need to contact AT&T to make sure I had the applicable data plan.
I had an interesting conversation with AT&T today. They told me that I had to sign up for a new plan.
They fully admit that Facetime is interent based and goes over the internet when connected to wifi. I responded that when wifi is turned off, it goes thru the internet on the phone which is data. Since I have unlimited data they are now restricting my unlimited data. They won't deny that. They only state that AT&T offers a new plan which allows you to use facetime without wifi. I believe it was called "mobile sharing"
I escalated to three different supervisors until there wasn't a higher one present. They commited to have someone call me back tomorrow. I asked that take this as a formal complaint. I also advised that I would be contacting the BBB as they have stepped over the bounds of ethichal behavior.
Filing a BBB complaint is the solution to this problem. I was contacted by a rep from AT&T corporate who explained to me that this is an issue they are receiving many complaints for. He appreciated the fact that I had contacted him, and they are tallying all customer complaints and sending them directly to senior management.
The representative likened this issue to wireless carriers' decisions to not charge for long distance calls. It used to be that you needed to pay long distance charges from the area code of your phone number. After many complaints, long distance calling is now free.
If filing a complaint is the solution to long distance calling, then filing a complaint is the solution to getting FaceTime services to work on your Unlimited Data plan.
Your Unlimited Data plan is now limited.
File a complaint here: https://www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/nature-of-complaint/
I also wnt through the resolutions department. They did not tell me they would be limiting a hardware feature of the phone arbitrarily, trying to force me an exra $60 a month to use it (that is what it would cost me based on my current plan and their offer for my phone and two others).
They also were not willing to take back my phone and give me a full refund and allow me to switch carriers without paying the early termination fee of the cost of the phone. They made some rule not allowing me to use a feature of the phone (I have 3GB monthly data and good LTE service here in Washington DC) and, in my opinion, THEY are in breach of contract.
That is like Honda saying you have to increase your monthly car payment if you want to be able to use the Air Conditioner. It will work as is with everything you have paid for, but you are not paying the "with Air Conditioner" costs to use it. Absolutely Ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What you can do to stop AT&T from blocking FaceTime...
1. Sign the petition - http://act.freepress.net/sign/facetime/
2. File an informal complaint through the FCC - http://www.fcc.gov/complaints
I've done both of these and encourage everyone else to as well. The complaint is an "Open Internet (Net Neutrality)" complaint, so select that option when filing an FCC informal complaint.