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  • AT&T Exec Suggests Penalties for High-Bandwidth Users


    The head of AT&T's wireless services division told investors today that smartphone users who consume more bandwidth than the carrier considers reasonable may end up paying more for it. Ralph de la Vega, the CEO of AT&T Mobility, also said in his speech to attendees of a UBS investors conference that his company intends to address the problems users have complained about in New York and San Francisco. "This is going to get fixed," de la Vega said. "In both of those markets, I am very confident that you're going to see significant progress."

    In his speech, de la Vega also promised that any changes in the carrier's pricing structure would respect net neutrality. He said future plans would depend on how well AT&T would be able to track real-time usage, and that pricing will be affected not just by regulation but by pressure from outside competitors and how customers react to changes.

    De la Vega again made the case that some level of control would be necessary because of the higher amounts of bandwidth used by smartphones such as the iPhone. He indicated that despite infrastructure improvements like the 850MHz 3G upgrades in San Francisco, the most demanding AT&T subscribers might have to make changes to their usage patterns or opay a penalty. He discussed incentives for customers to "reduce or modify their usage" like making it easier 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."

    AT&T's has admitted in the past that it blocked specific iPhone apps because it considered them bandwidth hogs. As a result of such a heavy-handed approach, the FCC has been considering regulating cellphone traffic as it begins to set up net neutrality rules to ensure fair treatment for video, VoIP and other high-bandwidth data traffic.

    image via TechShout.com
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Exec Suggests Penalties for High-Bandwidth Users started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 96 Comments
    1. hoooodini's Avatar
      hoooodini -
      This sounds more like a rate increase for the $30 monthly fee for iPhone data.
    1. marko911's Avatar
      marko911 -
      WTF ........... Seriously this ******** ........ i miss T-Mobile i really do . T-mobile i'am comign back to you and i'am bringing my iPhone.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      this cant be good
    1. 0Milk0's Avatar
      0Milk0 -
      Just another way to screw customer's and make more money for AT&T. So he gets a bigger bonus and higher salary what a stupid bastard.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      So AT&T are finally realising what data providers in more mature markets realised years ago.
      Most people will get a better service if they stop the very few data hogs.
      But it won't stop everyone complaining....
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      Considering AT&T has noted several times in the past that the iphone is the biggest bandwidth hog that they carry, they should be working with their vendors (read: Apple) on finding a way to decrease the bandwidth needs while still retaining the user experience that people currently have.

      Instead, as usual, AT&T is putting that burden on the shoulders of their customers. Bravo AT&T.


      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      So AT&T are finally realising what data providers in more mature markets realised years ago.
      Most people will get a better service if they stop the very few data hogs.
      But it won't stop everyone complaining....
      Considering the statement included no real definition of what type of ceiling they were planning to implement, this could prove very bad.

      I have to admit I haven't bothered keeping track of what type of bandwidth is used by my wife's phone, it's still somewhat disconcerting. I've been wary of any company that caps users such as this. As I'm also not a user who abuses the bandwidth that I have available, I just believe in receiving the service that has been advertised.
    1. bunnywhi7e's Avatar
      bunnywhi7e -
      And that's why I'm saying BYE BYE to AT&T this Friday and going with good ol' T-Mo. I'm paying $120 a month for the service but with T-Mo I'll be paying about $55 so AT&T go and F YOURSELF

      Don't worry folks, sooner than later AT&T will find itself in a hole after people start to leave them. And once again, they will find themselves in a hole that they already been in before.
    1. jsehlms's Avatar
      jsehlms -
      Quote Originally Posted by bunnywhi7e View Post
      And that's why I'm saying BYE BYE to AT&T this Friday and going with good ol' T-Mo. I'm paying $120 a month for the service but with T-Mo I'll be paying about $55 so AT&T go and F YOURSELF

      Don't worry folks, sooner than later AT&T will find itself in a hole after people start to leave them. And once again, they will find themselves in a hole that they already been in before.
      There's a map for this one too: Unsupported Browser

      And it's quite ugly. Let us know how that wonderful 3g works on Tmobile.
    1. crazy4dss's Avatar
      crazy4dss -
      This is b.s. does that mean if i use less that month will i then get a credit. that crap is nonsense. until Apple subs. the Iphone to other companies we have to deal withh AT&T's b.s. once that happen you will then see thier choke hold on us released. If i pay to use my phone to get on the internet do not tell me how much time or data rate you will give me. Please Apple if you are reading this please make the next gen iphone be compatible with other 3g network so you then do not have to have two seperate iphones on the market. we love the iphone it's At&t we are not to crazy about.......
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Do they WANT to continue to be the lowest-rated cell carrier? Honestly, if I signed a contract for an "UNLIMITED DATA" plan and they decided to tell me I was using "too much" data, I would file a ******* lawsuit.
    1. DarkoNova's Avatar
      DarkoNova -
      Does visual voicemail work on T-Mobile? I remember reading a while back that it only worked on AT&T. This is the last straw. My bill is always over $100 a month when it's supposed to be $80 and I'm sick of it. I clicked the link that someone posted for T-Mobile's coverage and they still have coverage everywhere I usually go in California so that's good enough for me.

      If visual voicemail will still work I'm canceling my AT&T subscription.

      Matt
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      For those of us that use 3G Unrestrictor, this is gonna hurt.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Visual Voicemail doesn't work DIRECTLY in the Phone applications, but there is a program called YouMail. It is an alternate voicemail service that's FREE and has even more features than AT&T's Visual Voicemail. It even supports push notifications to let you know when you have a new voicemail. I HIGHLY recommend it, send me a PM for more info.
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      We all know there are people out there tethering their iPhones to their laptops and using bittorrent. Those people ruin the network for the rest of us. Cell networks just weren't built to accommodate that kind of bandwidth. It's just that simple. This has nothing to do with Verizon vs AT&T. You have the same issue on both networks (all networks for that matter). I think they need to fix this issue, BUT (and that's a big butt ) AT&T is going to have to change their marketing to specify that their Data plans are NOT really unlimited. That's just false advertising if they don't specify the limitations clearly, they WILL get sued. And they'll deserve it.
    1. theman12321's Avatar
      theman12321 -
      haha verizon does the same thing thats what u get from the top 2 cellphone carriers lol
    1. EPzJamin's Avatar
      EPzJamin -
      like seriously? i dont give a **** if someone is using there iphone to torrent. saying its unlimited and then saying watch your bandwith or else your going to get charged is ********. boost mobile needs to change there sim software so i can just use them in my iphone

      why cant tmobile change the frequency of there 3g to work with ihpones =(
    1. DisownedPenny's Avatar
      DisownedPenny -
      i just checked my usage... 2.2 Gb so far this month haha. Thank you xbox live.... This will not be pretty for my bill...
    1. bunnywhi7e's Avatar
      bunnywhi7e -
      Quote Originally Posted by jsehlms View Post
      There's a map for this one too: Unsupported Browser

      And it's quite ugly. Let us know how that wonderful 3g works on Tmobile.
      Dude, STFU seriously. Go back and crawl under some rock or something. Almost everyone is pissed of at AT&T. There is a reason why AT&T is the worst rated company right now. I have about 20-30 dropped calls daily. Is this garbage worth $120 a month ? Is data plan worth $30 ??? worth my ***.

      I just got 12mbit with Comcast for 30 bucks a month. Laughable.

      And FYI. I won't be needing any 3G with T-Mo. Just a regular service. Could care less if I have 3G or not.

      So go and do your homework junior.
    1. triphop718's Avatar
      triphop718 -
      This is why I left ATT. I couldn't deal with the monthly cost anymore. The iPhone was the only reason I stayed with them, but recently changing my business I couldn't deal with the dropped calls and losing business.
    1. moto_noob's Avatar
      moto_noob -
      AT&T is whacked. We already have to pay the increased price for 3g from $20 to $30. now they want to charge more for their "unlimited" data plan? Man, a winmo phone can get "unlimited" plan for $10 with family data plan. So we already paying $20 extra just to have the same service. Its not right to make us pay even more.