AT&T May Fine iPhone Users for Using Too Much of Its "Unlimited" Data
December 9, 2009 10:45 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: The Huffington Post)
"Keep in line and don't get a fine" -- may be AT&T's new order of business in order to try to keep its network afloat
It's no secret that AT&T's network leaves something to be desired. AT&T admits that geographic coverage
, but insists that 75 percent of customers have "access" to 3G coverage.
However, in certain cities the situation is reportedly particularly dire, with an Apple store in New York City reporting
30 percent dropped call rates
to be the norm. As
's Shane McGlaun comments in a
about AT&T's initiative to roll out an app to identify regions of poor coverage: "
All I can say is that I hope AT&T has a server with lots of storage space because near as I can tell the service sucks everywhere."
Now AT&T may be resorting to a new plan to try to stretch its struggling 3G network --
fining iPhone users
that use too much data. Wait, isn't part of the iPhone data plan access to unlimited data transfer? Yes, that is the case, but it turns out that AT&T is considering plans to make "unlimited" mean "don't use too much or we'll fine you".
The issue was plans were let slip by
AT&T executive Ralph de la Vega at the UBS conference in New York. He complained that 3 percent of the iPhone users are using 40 percent of the bandwidth. He complains that these bandwidth hogs are feasting on such forbidden fruit as streaming music and video and that his network just can't keep up.
He says that his company plans to force the users to "reduce or modify their usage." He describes, "We've got to get them to understand what represents a megabyte of data."
's Epicenter blog
that AT&T instead stop selling iPhones in San Francisco and New York, or at least stop selling the Major League Baseball app, which streams live baseball games to users’ phones. As the blog points out, the app is quite popular and may be straining the sports-fan-packed networks of NYC and San Fransisco. No need to fine, just cut the app, they suggest.
AT&T took issue to the negative tone of some of the pieces on the topic and pointed out that it will have spent close to $20B USD in 2009 to upgrade its network.
recently had a chance to interview the company about its problems -- you can check that out
In other news, there's renewed hope that the iPhone could land on Verizon's U.S. network in 2010. A Piper Jaffray analyst cited that he was
70 percent sure
of a Verizon iPhone in 2010.
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If AT&T ever pulls that with me
12/10/2009 12:12:19 PM
I'd be tempted to fire up my lightsaber app and chuck my iPhone at the manager at the nearest store, assuming I could find it. Since I'm close to the Canadian border here in Detroit, everything is in kilometers in the Maps app. As a red-blooded American, this is almost as useful to me as measuring the distance in cricket pitches or double-decker buses. If I don't get lost from bad directions, I still have to deal with their system randomly telling me I've teleported from Detroit to Seattle. As much as I would like to think I've mastered the ability to teleport myself at will, I think my phone just contains an Infinite Improbability Drive, and it exists simultaneously in every conceivable and inconceivable point in every conceivable and inconceivable universe, none of which have a signal.
RE: If AT&T ever pulls that with me
12/10/2009 3:38:40 PM
...none of which have a signal.
A very Douglas Adams way to close off your rant. I lol'd.
RE: If AT&T ever pulls that with me
12/10/2009 5:15:46 PM
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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