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AT&T May Charge App Makers for Consumer Data Use

Article Comments  55  

Feb 27, 2012, 10:56 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

AT&T is working on a new service offering for application developers that, in effect, would charge the developer for the network data consumed by AT&T's wireless customers. The idea is to help application developers (specifically those that require heavy use of data networks) convince more users to sign up for their services. AT&T's Mark Donovan likened the system to an 800 number service for apps/data. "A feature that we're hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage," said Donovan to the Wall Street Journal. Donovan said that the service isn't a tax on data-heavy apps, but is instead a potential new revenue stream for the wireless network operators. Donovan said that the idea has garnered interest from its developer customers.

more info at Wall Street Journal »

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Comments

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This forum is closed.

keithfrombm

Feb 29, 2012, 12:34 PM

It's a better idea than screwing customers

If AT&T isn't violating an existing agreement with developers, I say go for it. The difference with us unlimited customers is: its a violation of our agreement with AT&T. Unlimited is unlimited.
Massively

Feb 27, 2012, 6:17 PM

please enlighten me

"..AT&T is working on a new service offering for application developers that, in effect, would charge the developer for the network data consumed by AT&T's wireless customers. The idea is to help application developers (specifically those that require heavy use of data networks) convince more users to sign up for their services."

seriously, can someone explain to me, HOW IS CHARGING THE DEVELOPER FOR NETWORK DATA CONSUMED BY CUST going to convince more users to sign-up for their service?

when your'e going to start charging app makers, the end-result is they might pass the charge to the consumers who use these apps.. so this might result in free apps getting chargers.AND might limit the signing-up too.

the way it was worded, it seem...
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It probably won't work, and if it does, it will be some kind of niche idea for certain content providers like Pandora (and not saying they will) then developers. In all honesty I think its going to fail.
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The idea is that people on tiered data plans might be more willing to sign up for services, like Netflix, Pandora One or Slacker Radio if they knew they could use them without being charged overages....the result of that would probably be higher month...
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mycool

Feb 27, 2012, 11:25 AM

This is just a terrible idea

Basically AT&T wants developers to pay for data usages so that customers will buy their apps.

And, to push this AT&T is pointing to the fact that data usage is too much for them to handle, which is why they don't offer unlimited usage plans. Yet, they sit on soooo much spectrum.

How about using your spectrum to expand and support your network and stop overselling it. They are attempting to use the same model gyms do when they oversell membership when clearly it isn't working. Don't shift the burden onto developers, invest in your own networks and provide the service you promised your customers.
The FCC really needs to step in!
...
"Basically AT&T wants developers to pay for data usages so that customers will buy their apps."

Of course ATT wants customers to pay for data use.
Don't all the carriers?

What they are saying, which I think you missed, is, apps will come withou...
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BigRed75

Feb 27, 2012, 11:53 AM

Wow and people think Verizon is bad???

Really
I was with Cingular/ATT for 8yrs, Verizon 1 month shy of 2yrs, I really don't think the 2 companies are all that different, with the exception that Verizon is much, much more forward moving of a company when it comes to LTE/LTE-Advanced.
How so, this is voluntary, while, I don't think it will work, if the developer wants to charge me a few more bux and include the data draw in the operation of their program, so what?
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CellStudent

Feb 27, 2012, 10:18 PM

Cap & Throttle

Why can't they all just get on the same page and offer only cap & throttle packages?

Excessive users get charged for excessive use, and no one ever gets Data Charge Bill Shock, so the customers are lower maintenance.

What's so complicated about that?
CellStudent said:
Why can't they all just get on the same page and offer only cap & throttle packages?

Excessive users get charged for excessive use, and no one ever gets Data Charge Bill Shock, so the customers are lower
...
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Andy Anonymous

Feb 27, 2012, 3:15 PM

Put away the pitchforks.

This is just an option they may offer that allows app developers to pay the way for their customers. Key word: option. It's a way to allow someone like Netflix, for example, to get more people to use their app by assuming the data costs. But they don't have to if they don't want to. People are really going to act like having this choice is worse than not having this choice, when the absolute worst case scenario for consumers is that no developers use it and everything stays the way it is?

You can crow about how AT&T (and Verizon and T-Mobile for that matter) should just bring back unlimited data, but you would be served just as well by spending that time bashing your head against a brick. It's not happening.
Agreed.

I've always wondered how carriers would satisfy customer desire to use apps that utilize massive data for streaming and downloading. With things like cloud storage, streaming is more ideal for lots of people and watching movies or other vid...
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roachman

Feb 27, 2012, 4:21 PM

And then What?

What will happen to us if they do that? How much would an app like Pandora radio cost? Probably a lot and I love Pandora it makes me get about 4 GB data a month and thats just using on weekends at night while I enjoy some beer and smokes out in the garage.
There probably be two versions of the program for just that reason. But, lets be quite honest, if TMO and/or Sprint thought of this, people would be jumping up and down, not quite unlike some special needs individual at a moron festival. Saying what...
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Rich Brome

Feb 28, 2012, 3:54 AM

Data traffic growth

Keep in mind the problem AT&T is trying to solve. AT&T claims that their wireless data traffic has grown 20,000 percent over the past five years. Great new apps on fast new smartphones are really exploding data usage, and of course more people switch to smartphones every day.

So even though they offered unlimited data a few years ago and it seemed to work, it's a different world now, and the growth doesn't seem to be slowing down. There isn't any new spectrum becoming available soon, so they need creative ways to manage continued data traffic growth.
 
 
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