AT&T Considering Incentives to Curb Heavy Data Use

att-logoAt an investor conference in New York on Wednesday, Ralph de la Vega, At&t’s Mobility CEO, said the wiireless operator is considering incentives to get consumers to reduce their data usage.

According to de la Vega, 3% of smartphone users are consuming 40% of network capacity. The revolutionary iPhone, launched more than two years ago,seems to be the “Boss Hog” of usage. The device was primarily designed for accessing the Internet rather than for pure phone-calling. It can access more than 100,000 applications, many of which use the mobile Internet. Although AT&T has been reluctant to admit it, iPhone users on average consume five to seven times more data per month than average wireless subscribers, (according to analyst firm Sanford Bernstein) and this is apparently causing many iPhone users, especially in large cities such as New York and San Francisco, to experience dropped calls, slow 3G service, and even connection to the network in the first place

AT&T recently released an app that allows users to report service problems  and they are working on upgrading the network to a new generation. Asking smartphone users to cut back data usage through incentives, which to me are realy imposing penalties, may be going a bit too far. Ralph de la Vega does not say when or how AT&T plans to activate this plan but he does say:

We need to educate the customer … We’ve got to get them to understand what represents a megabyte of data. We’re improving all our systems to let consumers get real-time information on their data usage.

With all the bad press AT&T has been getting lately I can not see users being overjoyed by having to cut back on using voip or downloading video content. One favorable point  is that CEO, Ralph de la Vega, has ruled out usage caps.

Let us know what you think about all of this.

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