AT&T warns of coming clamp-down on iPhone data hogs

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2014
Users who consume more than their fair share of bandwidth on AT&T's wireless network could have a higher monthly bill in the future, one company executive said Wednesday.



Speaking to investors at a UBS conference in New York, Ralph de la Vega, head of consumer services for AT&T, said that the nation's second-largest wireless provider has been working to improve its network as bandwidth-hungry devices like the iPhone 3GS have resulted in poorer quality service. But he also said, according to The Associated Press, that it is inevitable that high-bandwidth users will be charged for what they use.



The report noted that 40 percent of the network capacity for AT&T is used by just 3 percent of smartphone users. Most of the bandwidth goes to activities like streaming audio and video, available through various applications for download on the iPhone.



De la Vega also revealed that the company intends to improve its network coverage in major metropolitan areas like New York and San Francisco, where there is a higher concentration of smartphone users.



Earlier this year, the iPhone was referred to as the "Hummer of cellphones" as AT&T's network struggled with dropped calls and slow data following the launch of the iPhone 3GS. A report said that the average iPhone user consumes 10 times the bandwidth of a typical smartphone user.



AT&T is spending $18 billion this year, part of it to upgrade and expand its 3G network. But at the moment, it does not have a data cap for iPhone users.



De la Vega reportedly said that AT&T will give bandwidth-hogging users incentives to "reduce or modify their usage." He said the company also, in the future, hopes to make it easier for subscribers to determine how much data they use each month.



"We've got to get them to understand what represents a megabyte of data," he said. "We're improving all our systems to let consumers get real-time information on their data usage."



Competitor Verizon, America's largest wireless provider, has recently taken aim at AT&T's 3G network coverage. AT&T has fired back and insists that its 3G network is faster than its competitors' networks.



Multimedia messaging functionality failed to meet its deadline for iPhone users this past summer after AT&T was concerned its introduction could have further impact on its network performance. The wireless provider has also held off on allowing data tethering, stating that more work needs to be done on its 3G network to support the additional bandwidth.
«13456711

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 217
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Hopefully this is a wake up call for Jobs that AT&T doesn't consider themselves to be up to the task of being the sole wireless provider for the iPhone.
  • Reply 2 of 217
    It's certainly what pushed me from Comcast to Clear at home!
  • Reply 3 of 217
    I agree with above....any data cap on the iphone will result in me for one leaving the network...then again...they can't 'force' u to change ur current unlimited plan to one that caps data....they can only grandfather the plan...
  • Reply 4 of 217
    Tiered data pricing NOW! Tiered data pricing NOW! The $30 unlimited data plan is what is keeping me from getting an iPhone...Let ME be in control of how much bandwith I use and give me a fair price to reflect that...
  • Reply 5 of 217
    ....unlimited not mean unlimited? Don't offer an unlimited plan and then cry when people use as much as they can. Fix your network AT&T, don't blame your customers for your own problem. We pay you a premium for our phone service and data use, you should give us a premium service, PERIOD.
  • Reply 6 of 217
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by williado21 View Post


    Tiered data pricing NOW! Tiered data pricing NOW! The $30 unlimited data plan is what is keeping me from getting an iPhone...Let ME be in control of how much bandwith I use and give me a fair price to reflect that...



    The pricing tiers would probably start at $30....
  • Reply 7 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Users who consume more than their fair share of bandwidth on AT&T's wireless network could have a higher monthly bill in the future, one company executive said Wednesday.



    De la Vega reportedly said that AT&T will give bandwidth-hogging users incentives to "reduce or modify their usage." He said the company also, in the future, hopes to make it easier for subscribers to determine how much data they use each month.





    Are you f--king kidding me?



    Don't advertise what YOU CAN'T DELIVER, AT&T. This why you suck, and this is why you will lose 40% or more of your iPhone users the minute they can jump ship to another carrier.



    OMFG.



    "Yes, you can even download this and that, and do things with internets! Just don't do TOO much cool stuff with internets, or we'll lock you down. Everybody only gets a little fun."



    You AT&T morons should have built and should be building a network capable of delivering the content and bandwidth of the 3% to the other 97%, you tools. Sucking down $30 a month just for my f--king bandwidth? Really? REALLY?



    I pay less than that for home internet and can download all f--king day and night, with no restrictions.



    I hate AT&T with every fiber of my being now. This is my back-breaking straw right here.
  • Reply 8 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    Hopefully this is a wake up call for Jobs that AT&T doesn't consider themselves to be up to the task of being the sole wireless provider for the iPhone.



    Gimme a break. It's a wakeup call to the data hogs. They should be paying extra for extra heavy usage.
  • Reply 9 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post


    Gimme a break. It's a wakeup call to the data hogs. They should be paying extra for extra heavy usage.



    You shouldn't have to pay extra for using more of an UNLIMITED service. Period. This is wrong and abusive to consumers.
  • Reply 10 of 217
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bretbenz View Post


    ....unlimited not mean unlimited? Don't offer an unlimited plan and then cry when people use as much as they can. Fix your network AT&T, don't blame your customers for your own problem. We pay you a premium for our phone service and data use, you should give us a premium service, PERIOD.



    Well the iPhone is a data hog, but on other networks like Verizon their data plan is a 5GB cap before they start to investigate you and throttle your speeds.



    AT&T should just have different levels of data for the iPhone.



    $15 - 2.5 GB



    $30 - 5GB



    $50 - True Unlimited



    (emails not included in data usage)



    I think that is fair, if you want all you can eat data then you can pay the full price premium.
  • Reply 11 of 217
    This is really terrible.



    If they actually do this I hope (and believe) that people will make this into a huge PR disaster for AT&T.



    They are obviously the worst network, bar none.



    Instead of blaming their users they should be fixing their piece of sh1t network
  • Reply 12 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    Are you f--king kidding me?



    Don't advertise what YOU CAN'T DELIVER, AT&T. This why you suck, and this is why you will lose 40% or more of your iPhone users the minute they can jump ship to another carrier.



    OMFG.



    "Yes, you can even download this and that, and do things with internets! Just don't do TOO much cool stuff with internets, or we'll lock you down. Everybody only gets a little fun."



    You AT&T morons should have built and should be building a network capable of delivering the content and bandwidth of the 3% to the other 97%, you tools. Sucking down $30 a month just for my f--king bandwidth? Really? REALLY?



    I pay less than that for home internet and can download all f--king day and night, with no restrictions.



    I hate AT&T with every fiber of my being now. This is my back-breaking straw right here.



    Wirelessly?



    And no restrictions?



    Seems like most providers are now beginning to limit monthly home internet usage if not already. Mine went from 0 to 66 GB when it was bought out by a major firm. Couldn't really complain. Everybody else had lower baseline caps.



    Experience has shown that when a second choice becomes available, it is even more restrictive, offers less options or is invariably more expensive.



    Somehow, there doesn't seem to be an understanding that when AT&T priced out their initial data plan, it didn't have any guidelines as to just how much they were giving away. Naturally, most would understand that the limitations on the original iPhone did not or could not give anybody insight into the amount of data usage that would be forthcoming by upgrading its functionality.



    Only those countries that had access to AT&T's absolute data usage in year one had the foresight to limit their data plans on launch and consequently were capable of charging accordingly for any extras.



    It should be remembered that one of the conditions that Jobs insisted on for exclusivity was that the network be improved upon and the price of the existing data plans be significantly reduced. Well, no body else came to the table. And if it weren't for AT&T, not only would the iPhone not succeed or advance as it has, but a lot of the rest of the world would be charging more.



    AT&T has reported that they have spent $18 billion upgrading their network. Obviously, a condition that is easily verified being a public company.



    And has promised more. Yet when they provide a means for users to help identify problem spots, we get a backlash and a call not to participate. Just how can that help improve the system?



    And sure, screaming out that you will move the minute another carrier becomes available is like the little kid who doesn't like having to let certain kids play, is going to take his bat and ball and go to Greenland.
  • Reply 13 of 217
    Here's My Take:



    There should be Tiered Pricing. Start off data plans at 10 bucks a month (you know, something reasonable) and the top should be unlimited at 80 bucks a month. Instead of download amounts per month, perhaps it would work better if each device had their speed capped? the 10 bucks a month would be 80kbps, the unlimited would be as fast as the network could handle, and then varying speeds in between at different price points. If bandwidth is the issue, then cap that!



    As for how it is structured now, ATT should revise their contracts (and hey, if they REALLY wanted to be nice, allow people to opt out of the new contract by breaking it with no fee) to state a certain download limit a month and remove any sort of "unlimited" verbiage. I think Verizon did that with their non-smartphone data plan. Unlimited to them means 5gb of data a month on the non-smartphone plan if I recall correctly. (They need to remove the unlimited verbiage too)



    Regardless though, ATT DESPERATELY needs to increase their network capacity!



    None of this (as much as I'd like it to be) is Apple's fault aside from picking ATT.
  • Reply 14 of 217
    Why should anyone pay more for heavy use? It doesn't cost AT&T any more money to service someone who downloads 20GB of data in a month than someone who only downloads 1GB. The highway still has to be there no matter the amount of usage by a few people. Charging more for usage is just gouging and make the majority fear using their device.
  • Reply 15 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    Are you f--king kidding me?



    Don't advertise what YOU CAN'T DELIVER, AT&T. This why you suck, and this is why you will lose 40% or more of your iPhone users the minute they can jump ship to another carrier.



    OMFG.



    "Yes, you can even download this and that, and do things with internets! Just don't do TOO much cool stuff with internets, or we'll lock you down. Everybody only gets a little fun."



    You AT&T morons should have built and should be building a network capable of delivering the content and bandwidth of the 3% to the other 97%, you tools. Sucking down $30 a month just for my f--king bandwidth? Really? REALLY?



    I pay less than that for home internet and can download all f--king day and night, with no restrictions.



    I hate AT&T with every fiber of my being now. This is my back-breaking straw right here.



    You're the moron--going into you childish tirade over something you clearly don't understand.



    No one could have predicted the astounding success of the iPhone or the impact on AT&T's network. You expect them to magically snap their fingers and the bandwidth is there for all you spoiled brats? No. It takes a huge amount of planning, permitting, construction, equipment logistics, personnel, etc., etc. This all takes time.



    In the mean time the various strains on the bandwidth have to be tempered somehow so that it can be more equitably apportioned.
  • Reply 16 of 217
    deleted, I made a stupid comment.
  • Reply 17 of 217
    See here: Apple iPhone eats up 50% share of all mobile data traffic globally [55% in the U.S., Q3 2009]



    Verizon has yet to deal with this kind of massive load on their 3G network. As Droid takes off, they will start to feel it, and start having the same kinds of problems AT&T is coping with now.



    You're dreaming if you think Verizon is going to react any differently -- indeed, if ifail is right (see above, #11), then Verizon already has caps. This is inevitable. But unlimited means unlimited -- I don't see how AT&T can suddenly change the terms of one's contract. So enjoy it while it lasts, kids, and be sure to thank Steve for the incredible deal you got on data for those first two-to-four years.
  • Reply 18 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post


    Why should anyone pay more for heavy use? It doesn't cost AT&T any more money to service someone who downloads 20GB of data in a month than someone who only downloads 1GB. The highway still has to be there no matter the amount of usage by a few people. Charging more for usage is just gouging and make the majority fear using their device.



    Yes, but if they can scare people into using their devices less, that means they won't need as many "lanes" for the metaphorical highway. Less usage means less money needing to be spent on infrastructure, and AT&T has proven time and time again that they are unwilling, unable, or too incompetent to improve their network at all.
  • Reply 19 of 217
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post


    Why should anyone pay more for heavy use? It doesn't cost AT&T any more money to service someone who downloads 20GB of data in a month than someone who only downloads 1GB. The highway still has to be there no matter the amount of usage by a few people. Charging more for usage is just gouging and make the majority fear using their device.



    Are you high right now? People who soak up a ton of bandwith limit whats available to other users. This is why some cable companies try to throttle P2P connections cause they eat up a ton of bandwith with users constantly downloading stuff. The space is there but when your eating the majority of the pie and keeping other users from having acceptable service who pay the same price for the same service, there needs to be a medium to curb this habit
  • Reply 20 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bretbenz View Post


    You shouldn't have to pay extra for using more of an UNLIMITED service. Period. This is wrong and abusive to consumers.



    You pay for what you get. That's natural law. The only thing abusive here is yours and others' childish whining.
Sign In or Register to comment.