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iPhone data use measured, carriers want Apple to pay for network upgrades

post #1 of 136
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As a new study shows the iPhone 4 to be a heavy bandwidth-consuming mobile device, European carriers are attempting to get Apple and other companies to invest in network improvements needed for data-heavy services.

Study finds heavy bandwidth use for iPhone 4, Android users

Arieso, a company that specializes in optimizing mobile networks, released a study on Wednesday that shows iPhone 4 owners use considerably more bandwidth on their handset than the more than two-year-old iPhone 3G.

The study found that iPhone 4 owners make 44 percent more data calls than those with an iPhone 3G. They also download 41 percent more data, and spend 67 percent more time connected to their wireless network.

The study used Apple's iPhone 3G as a baseline benchmark used to compare other, newer handsets in terms of bandwidth consumption. Arieso's tests found that devices running the Google Android mobile operating system used even more bandwidth than the iPhone 4.

In fact, Android handsets used more bandwidth than any other phones tested, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Android users scored highest in terms of data call volumes, time connected to the network, and data volume uploaded and downloaded.

Specifically, Samsung Galaxy users were found to upload 126 percent more data than the average iPhone 3G user. Those running the HTC Desire were also found to use 41 percent more data than the iPhone 3G.

Arieso's study also found that voice calls per subscriber are roughly flat, regardless of what device they own. The company asserted that the findings suggest customers are using their devices first and foremost for data consumption, not phone calls.

The popularity of the iPhone and the large amounts of data its users consume have cased problems for AT&T's network in the U.S. The strains placed on the carrier have cased dropped calls and other issues that contributed to Consumer Reports readers ranking AT&T the worst carrier in a survey revealed this week.

In 2009, the data consumption of the iPhone and its effect on the AT&T network was profiled in The New York Times. That article famously referred to the iPhone as the "Hummer of cellphones," referring to the gas-guzzling vehicle.

Carriers want Apple to pay for network improvements

European wireless operators, including France Telecom SA, Telecom Italia Spa and Vodafone Group Plc, are promoting a new deal that would require content providers like Apple to pay fees linked to bandwidth usage.

According to Bloomberg, Stephane Richard, CEO of France Telecom, believes that companies like Apple, Google and Facebook are "flooding networks," and those companies have "no incentive" to help carriers cut costs. Richard and others believe that a system should be put in place to charge content providers based on usage.

Wireless executives in Europe believe it is unfair that companies like search giant Google, or Apple and its iTunes store, can serve data over their networks for free.

The overseas argument is similar to the "Net neutrality" debate that continues to wage in the U.S., where carriers like Verizon and AT&T, along with Google, have argued that mobile networks are fundamentally different from broadband, and should be free of any federal regulation. American carriers have also taken steps to cap data plans, as AT&T no longer offers unlimited plans to new customers.

The report also classified Apple as a "frenemy" to wireless carriers, as the iPhone maker is believed to be interested in an embedded SIM in its future handsets, allowing customers to choose between competing carriers and activate their device right from the Apple Store. However, it is rumored that Apple abandoned those plans after European carriers threatened to stop offering subsidies for the iPhone.
post #2 of 136
I’m sorry.
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post #3 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As a new study shows the iPhone 4 to be a bandwidth-consuming mobile device,

That is a truly unexpected thing for the study to show...
post #4 of 136
Aren't telecom's already charging customers for some form of capped usage (minutes, bytes, messages, etc.)? How do they justify wanting to be paid twice for the same service?

If their networks can't handle the service, they probably shouldn't be selling it.
post #5 of 136
According to carriers, part of what we pay for service goes to cover network upgrades, that's their defense for charging so much. Now they want handset manufacturers to pay for it too? Sounds like they are trying to accomplish a little double-dipping.

Laptop computers with 3G cards can consume even more bandwidth. Will they start shaking down laptop manufacturers too?

This is why regulators need to step in with a very firm hand and put these companies on a very short leash. They should be regulated just like other public utilities who provide essential services.
post #6 of 136
Hmm, according to this Reuters article, it's Android that's the bandwidth hog AND Android is on more phones from more vendors, with better options and more price points appealing to more people, especially men who are more tech savvy, with women preferring the iPhone more.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B721X20101208


http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...sen_finds.html


Guess it's both, time to build some new infrastructure and people needs jobs, especially in the construction industry.
post #7 of 136
Google should pay because the Android OS allows tethering easily. The cell phone carriers can not disable it.
post #8 of 136
If it really is a hardware generation thing, the next rate plans will have yet lower caps, which is as it should be.

Of course, those of us that may exceed the caps will be more likely to switch to a carrier that has unlimited service...
post #9 of 136
This is asinine. The carriers have no shame.
post #10 of 136
Quote:
Wireless executives in Europe believe it is unfair that companies like search giant Google, or Apple and its iTunes store, can serve data over their networks for free.

'Free', as in 'monthly customer charges'?

I thought the carriers in the U.S. were a bunch of crybabies. Now it appears to be a bit more global.

Just imagine a world where radio frequencies weren't the limiting factor deciding how many carriers can co-exist. In such a world, the existing entities of today would be scorned into bankruptcy while newer upstarts would figure this out.
post #11 of 136
Another load of BS from carriers.

All they have to do is charge customers by the megabyte of usage and consumers will adjust their usage. They can then fiddle around with the price until they get bandwidth supply and demand in equilibrium.

As soon as I switched to AT&T's $15, 200 MB data plan, I made big changes in my usage. Most significantly, I turned off push e-mail, and made sure to do most of my e-mail synching when in wi-fi areas. It turns out that there are a lot of things that I don't absolutely have to do RIGHT NOW that I can postpone until I have wi-fi (like take a picture and then send it later, rather than immediately).

Does nobody understand economics?
post #12 of 136
In a related story, BP is asking federal regulators to require Ford to help pay for new drilling platforms because Ford continues to sell V-6 engines which use more gasoline than four cylinder engines.
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post #13 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Im sorry.

Apology accepted. It's about time someone took responsibility.
Please don't be insane.
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post #14 of 136
When they're comparing it to a Nokia phone running Symbian then, yes, the iPhone 4 consumes a lot of bandwidth. So, shouldn't the iPhone 4's data usage be the new baseline?
post #15 of 136
Pretty much all mobile data tariffs in Europe are metered, only broadband DSL or cable is normally "flat". They try to have the cake and eat it, all while Donna Summer left it out in the rain a long time ago...

They all want the following: charge you for data, plus charge you for content and services (music, video, news, navigation, etc.) offered by them the term "value added" is quite revealing. People at large hate carriers, they want them to be a dumb pipe. We buy from Apple/iTunes, Amazon, etc. and the carriers have to learn that budgeting data tariffs (and bidding idiotic amounts of money for frequencies in a few places) based on imaginary value added sales was an utter failure.

If countries do not like the own history, they find historians to change it. If people can't stand that their believes lack any logic, they will find some creationists with a degree. These things do work, because you can always count on large groups of people being all too willing to buy them. But carriers, pretty close in acceptance with the tax office, hiring shills to "prove" that people should pay twice? Desperate.
post #16 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post

Hmm, according to this Reuters article, it's Android that's the bandwidth hog AND Android is on more phones from more vendors, with better options and more price points appealing to more people, especially men who are more tech savvy, with women preferring the iPhone more.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B721X20101208


Guess it's both, time to build some new infrastructure and people needs jobs, especially in the construction industry.

Perhaps it's just misleading sentence construction and you don't really mean this, but there's nothing in the article beyond the data hog bit. The rest is just breathless fanboy gushing.
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post #17 of 136
This is ridiculous. Wireless providers are getting FAR too greedy.
post #18 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Carriers want Apple to pay for network improvements



"Me? Pay to make YOUR network better? You guys are great; I'm sure you'll get your timeslot on TBS."
post #19 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

Google should pay because the Android OS allows tethering easily. The cell phone carriers can not disable it.

Wrong.

Actually, carriers can disable tethering on Android. Since Android is open, the carriers can change any part of it that they like (and the often do).
post #20 of 136
If that's the case then content providers might as well buy the carriers..
post #21 of 136
If you really want to save on your phone bill and your not a high volume talker.

1: Google Voice

2: MagicJack

3: TracPhone: uses AT&T networks! (look for the special with free double minutes over the life of the phone)


Keep a netbook in your car or purse and a list of nearby wifi locations.

You only pay for what you use on the no contract phone, yearly fee for the MagicJack is $20. With the Magicjack hooked up like a regular phone to a desktop or stationary laptop machine it's rather easy to use than grabbing the cell every time, especially since you know it's a free call.

Slow months on the cell can be as low as $10, high use can be around $40

Some carriers are now offering Android phones with unlimited voice and limited data for only $45 a month. MetroPCS for one according to what I hear.

Google Voice gives you a number that calls all your phones, or customizable depending upon the callers.
post #22 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

Google should pay because the Android OS allows tethering easily. The cell phone carriers can not disable it.

Data caps exist for a reason. If you pay pay 2 GB, you should be able to use 2GB. Tethering should always be allowed and it should always be free on any plan that features a data cap.
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post #23 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Apology accepted. It's about time someone took responsibility.

At 90GB over AT&Ts network last month I think I at least owe an apology to AT&T users. I cant help but think that us few users tethering despite their contract explicitly disallowing it is part of the reason for carriers dropping unlimited data plans.


Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Perhaps it's just misleading sentence construction and you don't really mean this, but there's nothing in the article beyond the data hog bit. The rest is just breathless fanboy gushing.

Based on the posting style I have to think that is yet another alias of a previous banned poster.
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post #24 of 136
We all know how much of a bully Apple can be when it comes to this stuff. It's their way, or the highway.

If the subsidized cost simply isn't covering the bandwidth, then Apple needs to allow carriers to sell the phone at a price that makes sense for their business!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

In a related story, BP is asking federal regulators to require Ford to help pay for new drilling platforms because Ford continues to sell V-6 engines which use more gasoline than four cylinder engines.

umm... no

Your analogy would make sense if Ford told BP what the cost of gas should be, and it wasn't enough to pay for the cost of getting that gas to the people.
post #25 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by hohlecow View Post

Aren't telecom's already charging customers for some form of capped usage (minutes, bytes, messages, etc.)? How do they justify wanting to be paid twice for the same service?

If their networks can't handle the service, they probably shouldn't be selling it.

That's the thing, they want to have their hands in both sides of the communication. It's a pretty crass system much like a lot of commercial media services, they want both sides to pay twice for both ends of a conversation. While I recognize that there are load sharing arrangements, but I'm pretty sure Google and other internet giants pay for their own internet connectivity in some way. The users are requesting services from Google, Apple or any other web site, I simply don't see a legitimate reason for double charging servers, as it is, servers are charged a higher rate than consumers.

I think they see an opportunity and pursuing it even though it makes them look pretty dumb.
post #26 of 136
I'm sure there would be all sorts of wailing and gnashing of teeth but I wish Apple would just buy some bloody mobile networks. Surely this is where it's going? The Google network and the Apple network. I leave you to characterise what those two services will be like.

Oh and thanks for stepping up solipsism
post #27 of 136
Hilarious!!!

Consumers start using their internet connected phones more and the telecoms can't handle it! No big surprise there.



As well, like others have said, don't most of the telecoms have caps to handle this?

Telecoms do have a choice in selling these devices. They sell you the phone and then complain your using it too much. Something about that doesn't seemto make business sense.
post #28 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

Data caps exist for a reason. If you pay pay 2 GB, you should be able to use 2GB. Tethering should always be allowed and it should always be free on any plan that features a data cap.

I agree with this. If a company offers unlimited data on a phone and only for a phone, they have an obligation to disallow tethering as bandwidth does have a real upper limit (at least here in the US) or cancel contracts if one is caught in violation*, but if you cap the data usage then that should become the delineator, so they shouldn’t care where and how you utilize that data because they’ve already set up a cap.

* I’m fully ready take responsibility for my actions should AT&T decide to drop me as a customer.
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post #29 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

We all know how much of a bully Apple can be when it comes to this stuff. It's their way, or the highway.

If the subsidized cost simply isn't covering the bandwidth, then Apple needs to allow carriers to sell the phone at a price that makes sense for their business!



umm... no

Your analogy would make sense if Ford told BP what the cost of gas should be, and it wasn't enough to pay for the cost of getting that gas to the people.

Except that Apple doesn't tell them what subsidy to give or data rate to charge. They tell them what the phone costs; so your analogy doesn't work either.

You must have some personal connection to a network provider since no sane person could possibly defend these douchebags*.




*Americanism used for the purposes of alliteration
post #30 of 136
C'mon carriers, you don't see AT&T doing this.
AT&T: hey Apple, you're killing our network here. We want you to help us pay for our network upgrades.
Apple: You're kidding right? Just be glad you're carrying the iPhone.
AT&T: You're right..
post #31 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree with this. If a company offers unlimited data on a phone and only for a phone, they have an obligation to disallow tethering as bandwidth does have a real upper limit (at least here in the US) or cancel contracts if one is caught in violation*, but if you cap the data usage then that should become the delineator, so they shouldn’t care where and how you utilize that data.

But you're paying for potential data, and from the carrier's standpoint, you WOULDN'T have used that data had you not tethered. So in their eyes, it's better that you only got to 1GB with a phone, rather than get to your cap with tethering. Getting to 2Gb with the phone is fair as it's part of the contract. Spread across millions of users, this way of thinking makes sense also.

Now a TRUE "don't care if you tether" scenario would be if you paid for the bandwidth based on how much you used. like $10 a GB for instance, broken down to pennies on the KB.
post #32 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

If the subsidized cost simply isn't covering the bandwidth, then Apple needs to allow carriers to sell the phone at a price that makes sense for their business!

Isn't it the other way around? I always assumed that carriers had control of how much they chose to underwrite the cost of a phone. Are you saying that Apple tells AT&T that they must pay x dollars toward the cost of each phone? That doesn't seem right. I think carriers decide how much they are willing to front for each phone based on how much they'll get back over the cost of a contract. They could charge as much as they want for the phone and let the marketplace decide.
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post #33 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Isn't it the other way around? I always assumed that carriers had control of how much the chose to underwrite the cost of a phone. Are you saying that Apple tells AT&T that they must pay x dollars toward the cost of each phone? That doesn't seem right. I think carriers decide how much they are willing to front for each phone based on how much they'll get back over the cost of a contract. They could charge as much as they want for the phone and let the marketplace decide.

I could be misinformed on this, but from all I've read about how these things worked, I was sure Apple tells the carriers what the price should be so that the iphone remains competitive.
post #34 of 136
Is it possible for Apple to look into partnering with Harbinger and Clearwire to create a mobile network of their own . Harbinger Capital Partners is building a 4g satellite network, LightSquared, thats going to cover 92% of the us, and Clearwire needs money to keep developing their 4g network. any thoughts on this ?
European options ? Europe's LTE 4g is on the 2.5 band the same as LightSquareds and Clears. One world phone with Apple controlling the whole experience .. maybe?

Am I too off?
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post #35 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Except that Apple doesn't tell them what subsidy to give or data rate to charge. They tell them what the phone costs; so your analogy doesn't work either.

You must have some personal connection to a network provider since no sane person could possibly defend these douchebags*.




*Americanism used for the purposes of alliteration

Your first two sentences was all your comment needed to consist of. The rest is you just trying to be a dick and make this a personal argument.

If all they tell them is that each phone costs $500, then yes, I'm wrong, and a correction is all that's needed.
post #36 of 136
These carriers need to understand that they hold the cards in this one. Without them, Apple can't function. Carriers have a responsiblity to deliver service of course, but manufacturers also have a responsibility to make their platforms as efficient as possible. Apple has its head up its butt because they refuse to work with carriers to make the experience better. It's not fair to make something and say make it work on your network and then refuse to work with the carrier when they try to point things out to help the manufacturer make their products more efficient.

I know AT&T gets slammed for their quality, which I personally don't experience, but when they go back and tell Apple that they can help improve the baseband in this way or that way and Apple says that's not our problem, that IS a problem. Then there's also those clowns who want the best reception possible, but will never allow a tower near them.

Should Apple and Google assist in network upgrade costs? Not really. I think they should at least be more willing to work with carriers in making the network experience better.
post #37 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I think carriers decide how much they are willing to front for each phone based on how much they'll get back over the cost of a contract. They could charge as much as they want for the phone and let the marketplace decide.

I do not know about AT&T, but what you say is definitely correct for most European carriers. E.g. in Germany the price of the iPhone varies depending on the tariff you sign up for (it is something like up to $400 with the cheapest contract and as low as $1.30 with the most expensive one). So, obviously, Apple has no say in handset pricing at all.
post #38 of 136
'Apple, you're making us rich with your revolutionary, insanely popular product. Please pay us.'

Sounds like the top 2% whining to retain their tax cuts over here. We are in our second Gilded Age, but they want more.
post #39 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

But you're paying for potential data, and from the carrier's standpoint, you WOULDN'T have used that data had you not tethered. So in their eyes, it's better than you only got to 1GB with a phone, rather than get to your cap with tethering. Spread across millions of users, this way of thinking makes sense also.

Now a TRUE "don't care if you tether" scenario would be if you paid for the bandwidth based on how much you used. like $10 a GB for instance, broken down to pennies on the KB.

Thats certainly a valid argument, and I bet AT&T and others would quickly say if we did that, wed have to charge you more for that initial 2GB because the average usage would be higher. I think everyone can agree that the average user would be higher, but looking at the cost per additional GB and their additional cost for tethering without even adding any additional GBs it has the appearance of taking advantage of those who wont use much data.

Its their call, but I think it would go a long way ease customer satisfaction if they 1) made the data usage, regardless of how its utilized, the only aspect of data price, and 2) allows for automatic stepping of data, SMS and voice so that users can feel free to use their devices without having excessive overage fees potentially costing them thousands of dollars. For instance, if you go over 2GB, you are charged $10 for another 1GB. Thats pretty sane. But if you go over SMS or voice you are charged an outrageous per text or minute charge that can add up very quickly.
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post #40 of 136
Someone needs to remind the carriers that they are now in the business of serving up data. Put up or shut up.
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