If you're a fan of Apple's FaceTime video chat, you're no doubt aware of its restricted wifi-only use on the current iPhone. That's changing with the upcoming release of the iPhone 5 (and iOS 6 specifically), but each wireless carrier is handling how their networks will let you use the chat service. And today, Verizon announced that their customers will be allowed free use of FaceTime over 4G LTE if they're not connected to a wifi network.
Independent estimates put FaceTime's current data usage somewhere in the neighborhood of 3MB per minute. That's not a lot of data if you're a pretty infrequent user of the software, but remember the quality of the front-facing camera is being improved to 720p, and that means more data use. So if you regularly video chat with friends and family, you'll want to keep a close eye on your data plan. After all, those data overage charges can be a killer.
Verizon's competitor Sprint has likewise announced customers will be able to use FaceTime over mobile without additional charge. AT&T customers, meanwhile, will only be able to take advantage of FaceTime over cellular if they've signed up for one of the company's new shared data plans.
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