Interesting concept here, now that the Facetime client on iPhone 4s and 5 support both wifi and 3g / 4g (with IOS6) it must take a lot more server/stream resources (memory) to keep track of the conversation that might have started on wifi, got allocated 20 or so connection streams, according to Aruba's wifi controller notes on Facetime connections, then moved to a 3g network if the device changes location again, another 20 or so connection streams and maybe back to wifi again, the nature of mobile devices, the demands on the server involved could have increased dramatically since the iphone 4s and 5 can now do this transition.
Could this be another example of becoming a victim of it's own success?
If so, I wonder if some more servers and load balancing would help that?
Yes, probably the load on their servers has exploded since iPhone users are now able to use 3g/4g, and perhaps that is why I read of some service providers blocking Facetime?
Also, I wonder if this has been causing Apple to focus their attention elsewhere and leave us poor users to suffer in the meantime ..
So now I'm thinking that my Facetime issues are due to a problem with my home wifi network. I use an Apple Time Capsule (the original that only broadcasts at 2.4 OR 5GHz, not both at the same time) and I've always had issues using Facetime. With my iphone 5, I'm constantly getting the "Reconnecting" message followed by the "Poor Connection" message, and it's making Facetime virtually unusable.
Yesterday, I tried Facetime at work and it was absolutely flawless - crystal clear picture, no freezing, no "Reconnecting" message, etc. Is it possible that I just happen to catch it at the perfect time when Apple's servers weren't overloaded? Maybe. I find that to be a pretty strange coincidence though.
I facetimed at home again this morning and it was horrible. I even tried changing my router to 5GHz and still had the same issue. This leads me to believe that there may some interference at home that is causing my Facetime issues.
I do have a cordless phone system but that runs on 6GHz so that can't be the issue. There are multiple wifi networks around me at home so I'm guessing that could be the problem. I've tried changing to a channel that nobody else is on but that doesn't seem to help either. I wish there was a way to somehow shield my wifi network from interference but that's not possible.
What's really odd too is that there are other wifi networks around my office as well so I'm not sure why Facetime works so well there.
I was very pleased with FaceTime before the update but two weeks ago was connected to my sons iPhone in New Zealand from my iPad and had a very poor session with poor vision and many drops. However,yesterday I found it did not drop during a 10 minute session but the picture quality was not good. My set up has not changed so may be about the servers,my first session was at 4am UK time so that may have some bearing.
I am talking to my mother's ISP to ask they they replace her old Thompson DSL router for the latest model. I am hopeful that it will make a difference.
At the moment she is using a Thompson TG585, she is connectng her iPad using Wireless-G. She too has cordless phones, but hers are DECT (6ghz?) also, so should not interfere. She has a microwave oven but hardly uses it and her neighbors are mostly seniors and and so I don't expect the wireless bands to be all used up.
Next time my brother-in-law visits her I will ask him to run a sweep on his iPad to see if there is any overlap with the channel which she is using.
Wireless G to your router or the DSL box from the ISP?
It would probably benefit you to put your own router in for better throughput at Wireless N levels. I think the iPad only support a max of Wireless N 150 but as N is basically multiple streams of Wirelwss G, it has to be better in my book.
That all said, if the Facetime issues are beyond the router coming into your home, i.e. equipment overloads in Apple's network, it won't make much difference anyway.
I managed to get my mothers ISP to send out a new DSL router, it is a Technicolour 582. My brother in the UK went round to help set it up.
It is supposed to support Wireless-N, but my brother said my mothers iPad2 only offered them one SSID to select from and he couldn't find out in the router setup page where to enable Wireless-N. Perhaps her ISP pre-configired it for Wireless-G only, or maybe Wireless-N only?
Interestingly the ISP had preconfigured the wifi to manual, channel 1. I think this may be because they knew we had issues with using an iPad and they had helped other customers before by manually setting the channel. I have no idea what channel her neighbours are using but as mostly seniors live around here, hopefully the airwaves are not very congested.
Anyway, the good news is that (at the moment at least!) her ping and upload times are much improved. My brother ran SpeedtestX HD, connecting to a server in London and it reported these numbers:
Download: 5.02 mbps
Upload: 0.25 mbps
Ping is much improved (got numbers like 473ms before)
Upload although poor is still almost twice what it was before
We had a short Facetime session and did not get the black screen/poor connection message, so fingers crossed that the connection is good enough for now.
Clearly, Apple still have some room to improve the wifi peformance, as evidenced by the fact my brother-in-law's got 0.350mbps on his laptop before), but hopefully this will enable my mother and I to Facetime again.
While my brother was helping, I got him to run traceroute to google.co.uk and also to the Facetime/ichat server. I can post those results if anyone is interested. I dont know if it tells me much, except that one of the nodes within my mothers ISP looked a little slow at the time.