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Replying to:  White House Petition for Unlimited Data by Jimmy Guphanti   Mar 5, 2013, 8:55 PM

Re: Unlimited cellular data is unsustainable

by CellStudent    Mar 14, 2013, 4:48 PM

I'll be the first to admit that data prices from the top carriers are too high, which is why I'm so excited about: »

But selling anything on an "unlimited" basis kind of requires the background knowledge that the "middle 99%" of your customers consume about the same amount of product (maybe a 5x or 10x difference).

This is why Chinese Restaurants can get away with buffet pricing. Almost everyone who comes in will eat 2 or 3 plates full. Some will eat only one, but nobody will eat 15 plates of food during a single meal, so the manager can count on the law of averages to make things work out at the end of the month.

If the difference in monthly cellular data consumption between a grandmother using an iPhone to monitor Facebook and a college student using a hotspot app as his primary source for streaming Netflix videos was only a factor of 1,000% then a flat-rate unmetered system might work.

Unfortunately, the heavy users can consume far more GBs of data than they can plates full of chow mein!

The solution isn't unlimited cellular data- it's wider deployment of WiFi hotspots on DSL and cable backbones. Data pumped over WiFi costs about 1/50 as much to deliver as data pumped over LTE does! There's way more bang for the buck in WiFi coverage.

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