One of the long-awaited features in iOS 6 is the ability to make FaceTime calls over a cellular connection, and Verizon isn't planning to limit it in the slightest. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that iPhone users on Big Red will be able to use the feature no matter what flavor of data plan they may be using, for no additional charge. The position stands in stark contrast to that of rival AT&T, which sparked a still-ongoing controversy when it announced that its customers would only be able to use FaceTime over cellular if they switched to one of AT&T's new shared data plans. Sprint as well has also said that it has no plans to charge extra for the feature.
FaceTime itself has been limited to Wi-Fi since its introduction, with even the new LTE-capable iPad unable to make FaceTime calls over that device's speedy connection. That all changes with iOS 6 — but of course, the newfound ability is dependent on carrier support.
While Verizon's stance is no doubt great news for its customers, it shouldn't been seen as something the carrier is simply doing out of the kindness of its heart. The 700MHz block of spectrum Verizon uses for its LTE service came with the requirement that the carrier not limit the usability of applications or devices that take advantage of it — a requirement that the FCC feels Verizon has already violated once. Still, the net result is the same for customers, and given Verizon's significant lead in LTE deployment, it may be enough to incentivize more than a few AT&T users to jump ship.