FaceTime over 3G Tested thanks to HTC EVO 4G Hotspot

When Apple [AAPL] announced FaceTime early last month it was hit with a snag for this year that it can only be used over Wi-Fi. When trying to make a FaceTime call over 3G it simply won’t let you do it.

Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi works well from what we have seen but it does restrict you to a single location while making a FaceTime call. Laptop Mag decided to test FaceTime using 3G. To achieve this the guys used a HTC EVO 4G with 4G switched off. They then used the smartphones wireless hot spot function to create a mobile 3G network, connected with the iPhone 4 to the wireless network which the signal was then sent over 3G to another iPhone 4. The second iPhone 4 was still connected to Wi-Fi hotspot on the other side (but not a smartphone over a 3G connection).

The results show that it is technically possible to connect up this way but the quality is quite bad in that the video takes a while to load up and the video is also very choppy.

We can now see why Apple decided to limit FaceTime to Wi-Fi only with the choppy video and bad audio. Apple do say that next year 3G FaceTime will be available but looking at the results we believe that AT&T will either have to upgrade or that Apple will need to do something to compress video and audio a little more. Part of the problem will be to do with a slightly higher resolution that the iPhone 4 uses. When testing video calls out here in the UK several years ago (2003/2004 ish) the speed was quite impressive although the resolution on the phones back then was a lot lower than the iPhone 4. Check out Laptop Mag to see the video demonstration.

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