AT&T keeps digging their hole deeper. Ralph de la Vega, CEO at AT&T Mobility, was talking at a UBS conference about how AT&T plans on dealing with their data issues. AT&T is still touting that 3% of it smartphone users (mostly iPhone users) are responsible for 40% of total usage on their network. He says AT&T plans on “educating” consumers about what a megabyte of download is so they realize how much data they are using and cut back. Great idea right!
The problem is that this concept is against the whole point of smartphones, 3G connections, and innovation. Why would you want users to cut back on using your service? Is it better if users do not use their iPhone/BlackBerry to stream video? Most people buy their smartphone just for the always online capabilities of streaming audio and video.
CIO.com got the following quote from de la Vega:
"What’s driving [high] usage are things like video or audio that plays around the clock. We have to get to those customers and get them to recognize they have to change their patterns, or there are things we will do to change those patterns."
That definitely sounds like AT&T is planning on charging for usage to deter users from using their network “too” much. My question is what is the point of rolling out HSPA and LTE if you are trying to educate your users not to use the bandwidth you are trying to make available… Why would you want a 3G phone if not for the higher bandwidth it provides!
AT&T also finally acknowledged their network "performing at levels below [its] standards" (via engadget) in downtown New York City and the financial district in San Francisco. They claim they are working on the issue with increased 850mhz overlay and replacing older towers in San Francisco.
I am just dreading the day that AT&T starts asking me to pay per megabyte for their shoddy service. Maybe if the service worked all the time I would be willing to pay more but not how it currently stands. Or maybe they should pay me every time I try to download a megabyte and cannot…