FaceTime Over 3G
Video calling over 3G networks has finally become a reality, thanks to jailbreaking. Since a jailbreak is already out for the iPhone 4 and the government has agreed that jailbreaking cellular phones is legal, the adventurous can now do what they have wanted to since they first saw the camera on the front. This might result in AT&T’s network dying, but here is the rundown.
The Cydia app store (it is most likely on your iPhone if you have jailbroken it, and downloadable through Rock and other app stores or repositories) is carrying a $3.99 app called My3G. It convinces your iPhone 4 that it is connected to a Wi-Fi network even when it is connected to the 3G data network and gets it to initiate and receive video calls through FaceTime. I am sure a free alternative will show up shortly, if it has not already. Be warned however, that video calls use around 3 MB of data per minute. For those lucky enough to still have an unlimited data plan through AT&T, this will not be a big deal. For those who do not, it can get expensive if they become addicted to the thrill of video calling.
So how are Apple and AT&T going to respond to this? I am sure Apple really secretly wants to do video calling over 3G networks. Rumor has it the company is working on making its next releases of its iPod touch and iPad FaceTime compatible with front facing cameras of their own. This leaves AT&T. AT&T will probably decide to try to get Apple to do some update magic and make it harder to trick the iPhone 4 into FaceTiming over 3G. Then they will want to start a special data rate for the service. We could end up with cellular plans with 4 components instead of the usual 3: voice calling minutes, texting services, data usage and FaceTime minutes. No idea yet though if this will become a reality or what AT&T would want to charge for FaceTime minutes.
Excited about this? Is My3G enough to get you to jailbreak your iPhone 4 if you were unsure before? Will this be the beginning of the end of AT&T’s network? Sound off!