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AT&T plans to start opening up mobile video chat to all customers

AT&T currently restricts the use of Google Hangouts video chat over a cellular connect. The good news is that their video chat policy is about to change.
May 20, 2013

There’s a lot to love about the new cross-platform Hangouts app. Unfortunately, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for AT&T users, though.

For whatever reason, AT&T users are greeted with a message that tells them they “must be connected to a Wi-Fi network to join a video call”. AT&T previously laid the blame on Google, stating that the company needed to officially enable Hangouts with AT&T in order for it to work. Luckily, they are preparing to change stance on the way video chat programs work.

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. Today, all of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the Internet, such as Skype.

What does this mean for you? In a nutshell, AT&T currently only lets pre-loaded apps (which Google Hangouts is considered to be) work with Tiered and Mobile Shared plans. In the near future, all video apps will work just fine with any data plan, pre-loaded or otherwise.

While it was arguably a douche move to limit pre-installed apps from working with video chat to begin with, at least AT&T seems ready to make a change.