Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Aug 22, 2011 4:22 AM by Camping Doc Level 1 Level 1
Will i ever be able to use FaceTime on the 3G network to call other iPhone users? And will iPhone allow video calling to other makes?

iPhone4, iOS 4
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6
    Facetime over 3G would be up to your carrier and this would use up metered data plans pretty quickly.
  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10
    Will i ever be able to use FaceTime on the 3G network to call other iPhone users?

    Completely up to the carriers, as the phone is perfectly capable of such. As of now, the carriers are resisting such.

    And will iPhone allow video calling to other makes?

    I suspect it's not an iPhone limitation, more of a compatibility/carrier issue.
  • jokergsr Level 1 Level 1
    I thought that the latest update(4.2.1) was going to enable facetime on 3G why were most of us feed the wrong information regarding this update!!! Im upset about this..... and it seems that SPRINT is at the top of the game at this moment with cheaper rates and video chat on all bands plus 4G.... This just might make me switch companies oh and I also see that VERIZON is also releasing 4G in December..... Come on apple and AT&T get it together or your going to lose alot of customers.... The plans are already terrible AT&T is screwing over its "Valued Customers" base this is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!
  • mauijiminar Level 4 Level 4
    No one from Apple said the update would allow face time over 3G. Go to sprint if you want that feature.
  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10
    "I thought that the latest update(4.2.1) was going to enable facetime on 3G"

    Why would you think this?

    Apple made no hint at such a thing.
  • jokergsr Level 1 Level 1
    my bad I was told wrong information regarding this I guess it was just a rumor so I retract that paragraph
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    While you are retracting you can also retract your statement that Sprint has a 4G network and Verizon is getting ready to launch theirs (and you left out T-Mobile. According to the 2 week old definition of a 4G network released by the UTC none of these networks qualify as 4G. I hope AT&T is honest enough not to call their LTE network 4G.
  • Feefer Level 1 Level 1
    Having watched bandwidth usage during FT calls, it seems to average about 130 kbps, with peaks up to 200kbps; off the top of my head, I remember topping out around 1mbps, best-case real-world conditions. (Obviously, EDGE cannot support FT calling, since it tops out at 140kbps.)

    Of course, available AT&T 3G data bandwidth will vary greatly, depending on caller's distance from nearest tower, total # of users sharing the same cell, etc. For Sprint, the average connection speed in a 3G area seems to be pretty similar to what you get with AT&T (I use a Sprint 3G/"4G" USB modem with a Cradlepoint mobile router, and it's nice to have access to both, since one will inevitably have faster speeds than the other while travelling). I've had a Verizon card in the past, and it was similar....

    (Those who think Verizon or Sprint are any different, you're fooling yourself. While exceptions obviously exist, you should go with the provider who provides better service where YOU live or work; it doesn't matter how fast a connection is, if it's 60 miles from your house! And if it doesn't work in YOUR house, but on your porch, you might as well be 60 miles away: you'll have to stand on your porch in the Winter to make a call!)

    Anyway, I actually CAN place a FT call while mobile with my mobile wi-fi router, placing it over Sprint's data network (e.g. from my auto). But I've experienced times/locations when a normally snappy connection drops down to 30kbps (or disappears altogether). Obviously the user experience of a FT call would be poor and frustrating, esp if users reasonably tried to place a call over 3G while moving in a car. A user would inevitably encounter a dead zone and drop the call, blaming Apple and AT&T for the poor reception (not realizing the technical difficulties of supporting streaming audio/video while moving at 65 mph)... Even when transitioning from tower to tower, the hand-off of data transfer means you'd be disconnected.

    Bottom line: we're not quite to the point where technology can RELIABLY support video calling from/to a mobile device, without relying on a stable (non-moving) wi-fi connection (and I'm not even sure if 4G will do the trick to provide reliable service: reports are that "so-called 4G" Wimax tends to fluctuate more than 3G, dropping off quickly with distance, poorer penetration into buildings, etc.)
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9
    And I care about this because...? Or di you reply to the wrong person?
  • mcintoshmc Level 1 Level 1
    Good info. But why are phones such as T-Mobile MyTouch 4G working well with video chat over a 3G or 4G network?
  • Feefer Level 1 Level 1
    deggie wrote:
    And I care about this because...? Or di you reply to the wrong person?

    Yeah, I meant to reply to the thread in general ("FT over 3G"), not just to your post.

    BTW, you SHOULD care, as you apparently cared enough about the topic to take the time to join the conversation, i.e. it should be a discussion where all participants come to not just talk, but listen, too...
  • Feefer Level 1 Level 1
    mcintoshmc wrote:
    Good info. But why are phones such as T-Mobile MyTouch 4G working well with video chat over a 3G or 4G network?

    Are they, in fact, "working well"? I know in theory the challenges of MOBILE video calling are significant, but wanted to see real-world reports to confirm the challenge of mobile video calling.

    I found a CNET review (written by Barbara Cha) of the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G which seemed to confirm that T-Mobile's TV commercials may be more advertising braggadocio than real-world fact. She says:

    "Unfortunately, one of its hallmark features, video chat, doesn't work all that well, as we were ran into a number of issues."

    Rather than quoting, you can read the full interview, which suggests the CNET team had significant difficulty with video calls even under ideal NON-MOBILE circumstances, despite the availability of boucoup bandwidth (5 mbps d/l, 1 mbps upload, on average) on T-Mobile's so-called 4G network. That's a clue that the challenge is NOT just an issue of bandwidth, but hand-off between towers, etc (and note the comments about interoperability issues, too). tml?tag=rvwBody

    So T-Mobile seems to be willing to live on technology's razor's edge; we'll see if they're also willing to accept the barbs when buyers realize the claims are more marketing bluster than reality (and note the blurb in the review which says how calls placed via wi-fi are charged against carrier's VOICE minutes: no way to spin that, other than LAME, sacrificing user's ability to use VOIP/SIP programs to side-step the carrier's $$$ voice network. FT works amazingly well with low-latency, conservative data foot-print, great voice quality, etc. But even putting that aside, it's all the more noteworthy, because it's FREE...)
  • Feefer Level 1 Level 1
    BTW, Fring, Yahoo Messenger, Tango (and no doubt others) offer FREE apps that allow you to place video calls from your iPhone, over wi-fi and 3G, so you can try them now if you want.

    For best results, most caution users to place calls over a wi-fi network (otherwise the authors face the retribution of disappointed users giving their app a 1 star rating in the App Store, when they experience limitations of current technology! That rating system keeps the claims honest, at least!).
  • m0s Level 1 Level 1

    It is a preference by customers whether they use the 3rd party apps which require that the other person is logged on...but with normal 3G video calling on Nokia phones I just call my kids and talk to them anytime while not requiring WiFi or to have an account in a 3rd party application and being logged on.


    It is matter of convenience which is not provided by iPhone and I personally think that Apple tried to isolate itself from others and the issues are catching up.


    They ignored the mobile market and just dumped an iPod with some very old Graham Bell day's calling features and called it iPhone.

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