AT&T Wireless CEO Hints At Rationing to Manage Disproportionate Data Usage by iPhone Users

News | Wednesday October 7 2009 11:01 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , , ,

At a CTIA keynote presented yesterday, De La Vega put forth a few numbers to highlight the gravity of the situation. According to him, 3% of AT&T's smartphone customers (iPhone users) alone contribute to 40% of all smartphone data consumption. While these customers comprise of less than 1% of all of AT&T's postpaid user base, they nevertheless consume 13 times more data than the “average smartphone user”.
So what is his proposal to tackle the situation? If De La Vega has his way, we might be seeing some kind of rationing of data usage soon. In his keynote, De La Vega said:
Without the proper management of these networks, regular data users will be crowded out by the small number of users who use massive amounts of data. We have to manage the network to make sure that the few cannot crowd out the many
“.
AT&T has been voicing its concern about the lack of spectrum to match the terrific growth in wireless broadband that is forecast for the future. With the non availability of new spectrum and with the demand for wireless broadband having grown 5000 times in the last three years, De La Vega could well be implying rationing or throttling the broadband usage among its users when he emphasized the need for “proper management of networks”.
This is not a problem concerning AT&T alone. With competition from Android heating up, all other network carriers could face similar problems with network data usage from their smartphone users sooner or later. The long term solution is clear – to introduce newer chunks of spectrum to ease the congestion. But since that would still take some more time, it is well worth a debate on how the issue has to be tackled in the short term.
wireless data usage? If not, what is the way out? Kindly let us know your opinion in the comments.

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