FaceTime data usage and voice minutes | iLounge Article


FaceTime data usage and voice minutes

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: When using FaceTime on an iPhone 5 is this part of your unlimited Internet data? I know that some numbers aren’t part of your minutes package.

- Dave

A: The short answer is that FaceTime uses your iPhone’s Internet connection and has absolutely nothing at all to do with whatever voice minutes plan you are on with your carrier.

FaceTime calls travel over the Internet in much the same way as e-mail, instant messages, web browsing, or other forms of data. If you’re on a Wi-Fi network, that connection will be used for FaceTime and will not apply against your cellular data plan at all. If you are not on a Wi-Fi network, FaceTime calls will travel over the cellular data network and will count against whatever data plan you have available—unlimited or otherwise.

As mentioned above, FaceTime traffic is treated as any other form of data, although video calls use more bandwidth than traditional e-mail or web surfing; expect about 3-5MB of data usage for every minute of FaceTime video calling.

The number that you are calling with FaceTime has no bearing on this at all. Phone numbers are treated by FaceTime simply as addresses on the FaceTime network, and Apple simply allows you to use your cellular phone number as a FaceTime address for convenience—the number is not otherwise related to your actual cellular account in any way beyond an initial verification process that occurs in the background simply to authenticate it as a valid number.

The only time you will incur any charge against your minutes in relation to FaceTime is if you begin with a traditional cellular telephone call and then switch to FaceTime. In this case, the initial call travels over the cellular network in the same way as any other voice call. Once you switch to FaceTime, however, the cellular call is actually disconnected in favour of the entirely Internet-based FaceTime call. The voice portion of the call will be charged against your minutes, and the FaceTime portion against your cellular data plan (if you’re not using Wi-Fi).


« iOS 7 and supported devices

Using apps from multiple accounts on a single iOS device »

Related Stories

iLounge Weekly

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy