Originally published: April 24, 2012
Last updated: April 24, 2012 - 4:03pm
What does a mobile network hosting 41.2 million smartphones look like? A network where growth in data traffic far exceeds data revenue growth. AT&T is selling a lot of smartphones and data plans, but even millions of new iPhones customers don’t fully account for the huge spikes in mobile data traffic that AT&T is experiencing.
AT&T’s first quarter earnings numbers show that new smartphone customers aren’t the ones straining its data networks. Rather AT&T’s chickens have come home to roost. Customers are finally starting to consume the big buckets of data AT&T is selling them, taking their fair share of network capacity while not paying more for the privilege. Consequently AT&T is seeing a massive increase in data traffic without seeing a corresponding jump in data revenues. If carriers from the beginning had set reasonable plan tiers that actually reflected how customers consumed data, operators could have gradually lowered prices as their networks became more efficient. It’s probably a stretch to say they would have come off as heroes, but their mobile data policies probably wouldn’t be vilified the way they are today. Instead, they chose to gouge customers by selling them far more gigabytes than they could possibly use. Now that customers are starting to actually use up those gigs, carriers are claiming they’re running out of capacity. Didn’t you guys see this coming?
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- AT&T Files Public Interest Statement With FCC on T-Mobile Acquisition
- AT&T Admits It Can't Handle The iPhone
- AT&T Left With Few Options After T-Mobile Bid
- The quest for bandwidth
- AT&T: 3.7 Million iPhones Activated Last Quarter
- AT&T’s data traffic is actually doubling annually
- Additional AT&T|T-Mobile Coverage
- AT&T Sweetens Data Plans Before Verizon iPhone
- Why Mobile Data Is Such a Cash Cow for Carriers
- New AT&T smartphone users won't get one-price Net
- What Does AT&T Dropping T-Mobile Deal Mean for Customers?
- So what is a gigabyte for mobile users, anyway?
- AT&T to Introduce Shared Data Plans in August