Share this Story

AT&T Blocking Video Calls Through Google Hangouts Over Mobile Data

Google Hangouts

Yesterday, Kellen and myself got back to the hotel and immediately started messing around with Google’s new Hangouts app. While attempting to make a video call over mobile data on AT&T’s network, we got the following message, “You must be connected to a Wi-Fi network to join a video call.” Well, that’s a downer. 

We saw this issue awhile back when AT&T still blocked Apple’s FaceTime feature on iPhones, so there is always the possibility that this block could get lifted. We should note that we attempted this on Verizon’s network as well and it worked with no issues.

With WiFi hotspots almost everywhere you go, this shouldn’t stop too many people from enjoying Hangouts.

  • cazy

  • i like it for me

  • John Karaman

    On, which phone, I am debating whether to get an HTC One on contract at att or unlocked through straight talk. If they do this with the One as well, then thats a big downer.

  • feztheforeigner

    This is a huge deal. Especially for the non-video aspects.

    The entire idea was to allow anything everywhere and ATT is really ruining it. Google said they don’t want people to think about when they can use which service

  • droidrazredge

    AT&T and Verizon are always keeping the “data” man down >.<

  • Adamania

    So I called AT&T and explained to her that I couldn’t use the video calling over cellular data. She had NO idea what I was talking about, put me on hold and then transferred me to Samsung tech support, which of course couldn’t do anything. The incompetence at these cell phone companies is astounding. It’s their job to know their product and their network, but more often than not I answer my own question before they can even figure out what I’ve asked.

  • #rude.

  • frankandsimple

    Absolute Evil !!.. that’s what ATT is.

  • Korushu

    Crap like this really pisses me off. You already cap my data at 2GB, why the HELL do I now need to listen what I can waste the 2GB on!!? Jesus Christ I hate America and every damn Teleco company that’s in it.

    • mickey

      How are you only on a 2gb plan? ATT switched to 3gbs along time ago….

  • Drew

    Such a POS network… And for the love of God, please stop running your insidious commercials because obviously, ‘bigger isn’t better…”.

  • Geekout

    I never thought I would say this but…. Thank You Verizon!!!

  • Luxferro

    Everyone should file a complaint with the FCC. We paid for our data – not that I use AT&T.

  • RaptorOO7

    While I don’t see me using this a lot, its a typical carrier dick move to block the service. They did it with the iPhone until a stink was made then they back tracked. Not everyone can or is willing to root but I commend Mark Dobson for his work around and I bookmarked it so I can do it once my OG Pro is rooted.

    AT&T needs to cut this crap out or else I will simply drop them before we get going in our new relationship.

    • Drew

      But that’s the problem… not a lot people have “..simply dropped them…”. It’s not easy to do I understand but if everyone would speak with their wallets, these asshats wouldn’t pull things like this…

  • They also charge data to use the media link even if your are already connected to your own wifi.

  • Getting the GS4-nexus edition when it comes out but was not sure about which network. Was leaning T-mobile, but now its definitely T-Mo!

  • SpongeBob SquarePants

    I left Verizon for AT&T and despite this situation i’m really happy I did, Verizon fucks their phones up.

    Works on AT&T iPhone 5

    • LionStone

      Enjoy your roll over minutes 🙂

      • SpongeBob SquarePants

        I have Unlimited Minutes and more phones available to me

        • LionStone

          Cool, I have Unlimited data and no contract, therefore, every phone anywhere is available to me 🙂

          • SpongeBob SquarePants

            I have an 11 inch dick Game Over

  • LOL @ all the “F* Verizon” people.

    TBH though you’re pretty much screwed whichever carrier you pick, just in different ways

    • SpongeBob SquarePants

      I agree

  • dumb pipe. Net Neutrality constitutional amendment

  • matti861

    FYI Sprint does this as well. Verizon will follow suit and all you dick riders will be eating your words

    • FknTwizted

      loves the cock!!! lol Riding that bitch right now while yelling I can f’n here you right now!!!! AT&T = Ancient Telephones & Technologies!

      • matti861

        Lol ok well just let me know when you guys decide to finally start selling the s4

  • rodney11ride

    lol…. you guys keep bashing verizon and this is the biggest joke of them all….

  • Josh Shaw

    I did one AT&T(me) to Verizon(Friend) over Mobile data, and had no problems.

  • nobody72

    I don’t think it is legal for verizon to block this due to their agreement with fcc (same little deal that gives us free hotspot). I’m reallysurprise that at&t blocks this on limited plans (I can see a reason for unlimited).

  • mike

    I/O is a huge let down this year.

  • Why am i still seeing Google Talk even though the play store is telling me it has updated to hangouts? hmmm..

    • Nadora

      Quote from the app description: “NOTE: If you aren’t yet able to install Hangouts on your phone or tablet, or the Play Store “Open” button takes you to the old Talk app, hang tight, we are rolling out Hangouts to everyone over the course of several days. Rest assured Hangouts will be available soon for all Android 2.3+ devices, tablets included!” 🙂 soon

    • DeAno Jackson

      Try it now; the update should be there for you.

  • redbar0n11

    Do they block Skype/FB Messenger Video, or the original Hangout too!?! What about other video chat clients?? I SWEAR THEY ALL HAVE THEIR HEADS UP THEIR ASSES!

  • KenBarnum

    *Kellen and I

  • DanSan

    lol they pulled a facetime but now against google

  • beng8686

    Ahaha working great on Verizon’s 4G.

  • Radgatt

    At least it’s not Verizon this time lol

    • Big EZ

      They will probably try to block it for unlimited users when they hear about this.

    • michael arazan

      Verizon wants you using as much of their Data as possible, Tier Data price gouging gives them a woody, they want people going over the limits to pay more and more, and more.

  • +1 for Verizon on this one 😀

  • AT&T f*%king up as always. It’s not like they have good coverage, why would they give you another reason to change carriers. STUPID>

    • rodney11ride

      wrong spot for my post sorry

  • PeteinPA

    That’s because VZ will allow anything to rack up your data past it’s tiered limit = overages.

    Again, we need to push for wireless carriers to be classified as utilities, like water, electricity, and PAY for what we USE each month, no more crap.

    • James

      Communism much?

      What’s next, DirectTV?

    • capecodcarl

      Speak for yourself, I like my unlimited data plan. 🙂

    • rodney11ride

      not when you have unlimited…. sounds like you got suckered into a “awesome” phone for 199 and you had to give them you first born. lol

    • Spider210

      Sounds like someone lost their unlimited and wants everyone to pay for it, unlimited data ftw! they will have to rip it from my 5 lines, and at that point i’d cancel service

    • Sounds like you didn’t sign up for the payment plan by purchasing retail …. OOPS!!!! UNLIMITED FTW!!!

  • moelsen8

    Anybody know if Google Talk was blocked by AT&T in this same way before? I’d be curious to know that.

    • mark dobson

      yes, att also blocked video chat on talk on 3g. there was a simple root app that fixed that called “Enable Video Chat over 3G/4G” even though it is the same “fix” for the new hangouts, that app doesn’t work. anyways I posted a link to the workaround above (requires root)

  • Erik Cho

    I think this just goes to show that no matter how good phones and apps can get, we’re ultimately caught in the whims of cell carriers and what they will “allow”.

  • Y8

    Your article unbroken American state absorbed. i could not take my eyes off your material as a results of it is so riveting.

    • Roshan John

      what the what?

    • Mark2134


    • AxemRed

      That looks like a sentence that was constructed by tapping the suggested words on SwiftKey over and over again.

    • Dude, lay off the acid. You’re tripping out.

    • i believe regarding your
      manner of thinking. thanks for sharing.

    • KleenDroid

      I’m hip, I’m hip

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    i think its a good move, dont even allow people to burn through the data.

  • Adamania

    AT&T claims they block Facetime on accounts with unlimited data because it eats up too much of their network. I really don’t plan on staying with them once our contract is up. I’ve been debating even selling my phone to pay the ETF.

    • capecodcarl

      What part of “unlimited data” don’t they understand? It’s not the “unlimited data, except for things that use a lot of data” plan.

  • Hahahaha OMG AT&T’s new motto: We’ll sell you the data, but you can’t use it!!! =P

    • Jared

      But you can have all the rollover minutes you want! Mwah-ha-ha!

  • jbdan

    Worked wonderfully last night (Tmo) to my see my little boy before bedtime. LoL @ Joshua

  • mark dobson
    • jbdan

      Oh that dev community… what a wonderful world!

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Crazy enough, this isn’t the case with my iPhone (don’t flame plz) as I was able to do a hangout last night with a friend while on their HSPA+ connection. My wife on the other hand cannot with her S4. So stupid.

  • Ed Harrisburg

    I have been complaining to AT&T about this for a while becasue they have always blocked talk video chats while they lifted the facetime restriction, so now the hangout will replace talk and still have video chats blocked.

  • thomwithah

    Why can’t we get what we pay for (Internet) from our wireless carriers in the US?

  • moelsen8

    wow at&t sucks balls

    • EvanTheGamer

      You’re just now realizing this? I’ve been saying that for years.

      • moelsen8

        no, i just like saying it: [carrier name here] sucks balls. it works for verizon too!!

  • flosserelli

    Verizon allows this but AT&T doesn’t?! It must be freezing in hell.

    • Roshan John

      I’m sure Big Red will pull that soon.

      • zepfloyd

        yay open access 700Mhz C block.

        • Kevin

          Exactly… I’m sure they’d LOVE to, but they’re legally bound to allow it.

        • Roshan John

          Wait can you elaborate please?

          • EraserXIV

            As part of the FCC allowing Verizon to buy the 700mhz spectrum for LTE, Verizon had to agree to have open access on all devices using it. Read: no restrictions on what you can install, you can bring your own device as long as you have a SIM card, etc

            The reason Verizon is still pretty locked down as of right now is because all phones being sold today still use CDMA and that spectrum is not subject to the same open access policy. The hope is once Verizon switches over to voLTE and phases out CDMA, we will be able to get the benefits of open access.

            At least that’s my understanding of it.. someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  • FAL_Fan

    Wow…just like crapple with face time…freaking dumb.

    • Fred

      The FaceTime thing wasn’t Apple’s fault. It was AT&T’s… just like this. OK, at first Apple limited it to wifi-only, but in a revision allowed it over cellular. But as soon as they did that, AT&T blocked it. AT&T has since unblocked it only for those on limited data plans.

  • Pissedoff

    God Damn It!!! Why can’t we get what we pay for from our wireless carriers in the US.

    • capecodcarl

      I’m pretty sure if AT&T could just find a way to extract money from you on a monthly basis without actually providing any service they would do so.

      • Pedro

        I believe that’s the VZW mission statement.

  • T4rd

    Tim, were you on an AT&T line that has the legacy unlimited data plan? I thought AT&T only restricted users from using Facetime-esque apps on their network when they were still on the old unlimited data plan (which seems totally backwards, lol). It’s lame if it’s blocked on unlimited plans, but if it’s blocked even on their new craptastic tiered plans, then it’s super-lame.

    • moelsen8

      i could be wrong, but i believe it reached a point where they just dropped the restriction completely for ios users.

  • I just posted this also on Google+.

    So, I am confused by this news. I was able to use Hangouts on my wife’s AT&T iPhone 5 this morning on the cellular network.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      riiight, “your wifes iphone 5” …. you know its yours.

    • ShadrachCA

      The Verge had a story yesterday on this and confirmed that it works fine on the iPhone. Has something to do with Hangouts replacing Talk, and AT&T making a distinction between apps installed at the time of phone purchase (Talk) and apps downloaded afterward (Hangouts on iPhone). Apparently, Google needs to specifically request for the feature to work on AT&T, which they have not done yet. They were out to Google for comment as of the time I read the article.

  • Armel Tenkiang

    that’s funny , a company as greedy as Att blocking video calls. you’d think they’d promote it so they can charge you those outrageous data overage fees.

  • “Yesterday, Kellen and myself got back to the hotel and immediately started messing around…”

    I/O brings out the intimacy lol jk

    • Warwick

    • EraserXIV

      What happens at I/O stays in I/O.

      • zepfloyd

        Yeah…never mind I/O means Input Output on it’s own…oh boy.

        I’ll show myself out.

        • michael arazan

          We know why you guys want google glass so bad now

      • LiterofCola


    • EvanTheGamer

      Get your mind out of the gutter.” so says everyone.

    • mechapathy

      Just make sure you’ve got plenty of K/Y

    • Hungry Hamburger

      I guess Tim is taking advantage of the Bang With Friends app. :p

    • Especially since Tim sounds like a phone sex operator in these videos. I can imagine him saying “Hey Kellen, how’s it going?”


    • droidrazredge

      hmmm this reminds me of a song…. Google’s like, my I/O stream-shake brings all the boys to the yard… and they’re like, damn right apple it’s better than yours….