Thursday, December 17, 2009
Posted by Reid Kistler in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 06:00 PM
"AT&T is moving even closer to charging special usage fees to heavy data users, including those with iPhones and other smartphones. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, today came the closest he has so far in warning about some kind of use-based pricing."
The idea of charging for, and/or placing a cap on, "excessive" data usage, always raises a firestorm of protest. Matt Hamblen, of Computerworld, managed to post a straight news story about comments made on this subject, among others, by Ralph de la Vega of AT&T. Having originally come to the "WWW" in the days of CompuServe and Prodigy, where we almost literally paid by the minute, the concept of tiered pricing does not seem out of bounds.
And if, indeed, "3% of smartphone users... are responsible for 40% of total data usage," and wireless bandwidth is truly limited, does AT&T have a point? Is there any method by which they could make data limits or pricing surcharges acceptable? Or, to play devil's advocate, might AT&T - or any carrier, for that matter - actually be better off if they simply dropped the highest data users?