Just when you thought it was safe to use FaceTime on the new iPad, Apple clamps down. Thanks to this site, we now know that FaceTime is unsupported on LTE networks. Try to initiate an LTE FaceTime call and the iPad notifies the user to “connect to a Wi-Fi network to use FaceTime.”
FaceTime has never worked over 3G networks (officially), but there was hope that it would when the infinitely faster 4G LTE networks launched. Since the iPhone 4, 3G networks have been unable (according to Apple) to provide the bandwidth requirements for a FaceTime call. LTE is another story though and with speeds of up to 100Mbs per second, there should be no issue when it comes to initiating a face-to-face call.
US customers on the Verizon network, are reportedly experiencing no end of network frustrations. Simply put, one of the only ways to circumvent this issue is to turn the Verizon LTE iPad into a personal hotspot. This in turn should allow users to create an LTE network, which should allow the same users on compatible iOS devices to make LTE FaceTime calls. Pretty ridiculous workaround for something that should have a simple solution.
Dearly departed Steve Jobs revealed the marvels of FaceTime with the iPhone 4 back in 2010. One of his promises regarding FaceTime was to “work a little bit with the cellular providers,” in an attempt to deliver 3G/4G FaceTime to the masses.
Let’s dig into the technical details. The average FaceTime call “costs” the user 3Mb per minute. Is 30Mb for a short ten-minute call too much for US and UK mobile phone owners who have unlimited wireless bandwidth options? This issue persists not only on the US’ popular Verizon network, but on AT&T as well.
But thanks to the magic of jailbreaking, iOS users with older models have been able to use FaceTime on 3G networks since as far back as 2010. Undoubtedly the same type of hack will show up on jailbroken iPad’s, soon.