Google Hangouts video calling not working over cellular for Android users on AT&T

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: May 16, 2013

Google Hangouts app logo

Last year, AT&T made some waves in the mobile sea when it announced that it would only allow its customers to use FaceTime on iOS if they were on one of its Mobile Share data plans. After some back and forth about whether or not AT&T was violating FCC rules with its policy, the big blue carrier ended up changing its rules, and earlier this year it opened up FaceTime over Cellular use to all of its tiered data plan customers. It looks like that's not the end of the AT&T video chat weirdness, though, as it's been discovered that Android users on AT&T are unable to take part in video chats using Google's new Hangouts app.

Both SlashGear and The Verge have found that they're unable to conduct a video chat using Hangouts over AT&T's cellular network. When trying to connect to a video chat using both the Nexus 4 and Galaxy S 4, the app wouldn't allow the call to go through, popping up a message that says that the user "must be connected to a Wi-Fi network to join a video call." Interestingly, video calls were placed on an AT&T iPhone and Verizon Android phone without issue.

When contacted for a comment on the matter, AT&T told The Verge that any of its customers can use any video chat app over a cellular connection, so long as the app is not pre-loaded on their device. When it comes to pre-loaded apps, AT&T says that it allows all manufacturers the option to enable video chatting over cellular, but that it's up to the OS or device maker to enable their systems to allow preloaded video chat apps to work over cellular. The big blue carrier's full statement is as follows:

"All AT&T Mobility customers can use any video chat app over cellular that is not pre-loaded on their device, but which they download from the Internet. For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we offer all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share, Tiered and soon Unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices. It's up to each OS and device makers to enable their systems to allow pre-loaded video chat apps to work over cellular for our customers on those plans."

AT&T's statement doesn't straight-up mention the new Hangouts app, but the carrier makes it sound as though it would've allowed the app to work over a cellular connection if Google had asked that it do so. It's possible that this is just a simple error that will be addressed soon, but right now the whole situation is still a bit hazy, especially since we haven't heard anything from Google on the matter. We'll keep an ear to the ground for more information and give you a shout if anything comes up. How is Hangouts working for you AT&T folk? Are you having issues while trying to conduct a video call over a cellular connection?

Via SlashGear, The Verge