AfterDawn: Tech news

AT&T wants consumers to use less wireless data

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Dec 2009 14:10 User comments (26)

AT&T wants consumers to use less wireless data AT&T has noted today that they are considering changing the way smartphone users access wireless data, complaining that 3 percent of all their users use about 40 percent of all wireless data, straining the carrier's network.
"What we are seeing in the U.S. today in terms of smartphone penetration, 3G data, nobody else is seeing in the rest of the planet," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive for mobility and consumer markets at AT&T. "The amount of growth and data that we are seeing in wireless data is unprecedented."

Most of the 3G data use comes from users of the Apple iPhone, and the same group are the biggest complainers of AT&T's network, which allegedly has delayed text and voice messages as well as slow downloads for videos and music.

AT&T said they would first try to "encourage" users to cut back on data, despite the fact that they pay good money to have unlimited plans. "We’re going to try to focus on making sure we give incentives to those small percentages to either reduce or modify their usage, so they don’t crowd out the customers on those same cell sites," added de la Vega.

Additionally, the carrier announced it will add 2000 cell sites to improve the infrastructure of its network.

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26 user comments

110.12.2009 14:16

I had to comment here. I am not an AT&T customer nor will I ever be but to ask customers to cut back on data when they pay $35-a-month for unlimited data is disgusting, plain and simple. Fix your infrastructure, fix your network, and stop blaming others for your mistakes.

210.12.2009 14:41

I don't believe for a second that people in the U.S. use more data than in other parts of the world. Somewhere like Japan has way higher population density. They must have more customers per cell site than AT&T.

310.12.2009 14:46

All of the back-end deals to get Apple iPone exclusivity, and they can't even support it. All the money spent on ad campaigns touting iPone exclusivity, enticing users to sign up with them.

That encouragement to cut back usage had better have a cash-back incentive if they don't want to feel more heat than they are feeling now.

410.12.2009 16:53

I am sure if you charge 2$ a meg no one will use it!!

510.12.2009 17:06

Originally posted by DVDBack23:
I had to comment here. I am not an AT&T customer nor will I ever be but to ask customers to cut back on data when they pay $35-a-month for unlimited data is disgusting, plain and simple. Fix your infrastructure, fix your network, and stop blaming others for your mistakes.
I dig editorializing, so please feel free to comment,just say

Consumer hat on
, and rag on them all you want.


This is a huge problem with cell/sat data services they have a ton of infrastructure issues and then blame the people that dare to use it who are not being billed buisness rape's...er...rates....

Its simple IMO 2 year reacreing contract for 30$ a month for a 5GB plan that gives you 5GB more at 30$ at the 10+ GB mark its 20$ more at the 15GB mark its its 10$ at 20GB its 5$ beyond 20 its free. So the msot they can bill you for is 95$ a month but there is a 200$ get out of contract fee if you feel you must get out of it.

Simple cost effective get er done!

Hell even add speed tiers for 5$ more a month you can get 10KBPS bonus for 15$ you get a 50KBPS for 25$ more a month you get 100KBPS.

There are many ways to to make money and make it work but they are to busy protecting their monopoly to do much else...


side rant
The US gov should take over all phone/cable lines triple the tax on what people pay on them, allow anyone to sell service on them as long as the service is not interfering technology wise with another, then for all maintenance and upgrading the gov will cover half of whatever business puts into it. If the big boys don;t want to do it electrical contractors can get together with cities and what not and work on the Gdamn lines themselves without the anal probes of big bis selling crap down to them....

610.12.2009 17:36

It's not that it's unpresidented amount, we are just lacking in our networks. Mostly anywhere else there wouldn't be this kind of problem. I pay 30$ a month for a slow 3g network, I will not cut back -_- and I imagine anyone who knows what they are doing probably accounts for that 3%, so I doubt they will cut back as well.

710.12.2009 17:41

Let me get this right, AT&T is trying to discourage it's customers from getting the service they paid for? I can't wait for day the IPhone contract with this company is done. Because once the phone goes to other carriers, we will never have to hear about this crap company ever again. aka AT&T/Circuit City.

810.12.2009 19:18

Rediculous. Complaining about people using their UNLIMITED data plan. If they dont like it, then they shouldnt have an unlimited plan. Also their prices on tethering are laughable. If your paying $35 a month for data, you should be able to hook it up to your computer and surf also.

910.12.2009 19:23

ATT is completely pathetic!!!
I'm sure that 2k towers you want to add still probably isn't enough.
How about you sell more wifi enabled smartphone?
To me it sounds like the same argument other broadband providers cry about. 10 percent of our customers are using there broadband to the limit and its slowing down our network. And I say back to them well if 10 percent is causing this, then you never had enough bandwidth to begin with to service your customers!!!! F'ing losers

1010.12.2009 21:55
kubapolak
Inactive

I love these articles and the comment that follow. Its just a good time....ATT in the news again trying to encourage their customers to cut back on service they pay for..classic!!! :)

1110.12.2009 23:57

If 3% of their customers can overload the network, then their network needs to grow at least 1500%...I don't know how many towers they have exactly, but I know 2000 new towers will not give them 1500% growth.

I love their new commercials with the postcards, where they compair their edge network to the verizon 3G network, using post cards that cover way more area on the map than their cell towers would...and without mentioning that this is not the 3G that they sell everyone on.

I blame apple for this...if they were not locked to the AT&T network, then no one would be on the AT&T 3G network other than AT&T employees...so it would only be overloaded a little. Thankfully, there are much better phones such as the Droid on other networks now, yet people still buy the iPhone, and still use AT&T...Amazing.

1211.12.2009 9:52

It is ridiculous but i bet if you take any of the carriers and put the iphone exclusively on it you will have similar problems. i personally use wi-fi when ever i can because its a lot faster.

1311.12.2009 9:52

Killerbug, I guess you haven't ever tried to use a Verizon phone in their "coverage" areas. The cell phone my job provides me to use for business is through Verizon, and as soon as I get 10 miles outside of a major city I lose connection to the system. Hell sometimes while I'm in a major city I still lose the connection. I don't have that problem with my personal cell phone that is through AT&T. :P

As for this issue of AT&T asking that 3% to cut back on their usage, this sounds awfully familiar to the action some of the ISPs are taking in trying to limit the bandwidth of their customers. I agree, if a small percentage of your customer base is able to overwhelm your system with their unlimited usage that they are paying hard earned money for, then clearly as a company you didn't consider how badly your system needed to expand with the growth. 2,000 cell sites is laughable, since it'll take at least 100x that just to likely meet the demand of 50% of their customers.

1411.12.2009 10:13

This really sucks. Why offer a service, if you can't anticipate its growth and popularity, and obviously can't support it when it is in full swing?

It's not a case where AT&T id offering the service for free and it is getting abused all over - this is a paid service offered by the company to its legitimate subscribers! Come on! AT&T needs to be realistic, and expnad their network without complaining, or restructure how they offer and package their service.

Can you imagine going to an all-you-can-eat buffet, paying your money and following whatever rules they apply for the buffet, and then be told that because 3% of the customers have eaten 40% of the food, buffet customers should not eat so much? Total rubbish! You need to adjust your buffet, or do away with it if it is so unprofitable to you.

No wonder Verizon can rag on them continuously for their lack of 3G coverage. Please get real, AT&T - how can putting up a mere 2000 sites across the great expanse of the United States - 40 sites average per state - be considered a significant expansion or improvement.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Dec 2009 @ 12:46

Rise up fallen fighters! Rise and take your stance again!
He who fights and runs away, will live to fight another day!
With de heathen back dey pon de wall!
De heathen back yeah pon de wall!

Scotty Ranking© says so!

1511.12.2009 11:29

The people in the few selected areas that are having issues at least have access to 3G and WiFi... I don't have access to either... If AT&T was smart they'd get us 3G access and make a killing due to the lack of high speed internet...

1611.12.2009 11:42
LissenUp
Inactive

Originally posted by snardos:
I don't believe for a second that people in the U.S. use more data than in other parts of the world. Somewhere like Japan has way higher population density. They must have more customers per cell site than AT&T.

If I'm not mistaken..........Japan's infrastructure is Pimped. They did it right from the start where we just normalized broadband internet and ditched dial up like 5 years ago. The US is so far behind the other 'main players' like Japan, Britain, etc technologically that it's disturbing. Coincidentally, we still use a proprietary CDMA technology that no other country uses at all.

We're alone here..................but helping every damn country out with famine, wars, aid, wars, wars, wars, wars.

I'd say our priorities are a little misplaced.

1711.12.2009 11:45
LissenUp
Inactive

Originally posted by DVDBack23:
I had to comment here. I am not an AT&T customer nor will I ever be but to ask customers to cut back on data when they pay $35-a-month for unlimited data is disgusting, plain and simple. Fix your infrastructure, fix your network, and stop blaming others for your mistakes.
Just out of curiosity...........who are you using for a carrier?

Pricing between at&t, Verizon and Sprint are identical and Service it too for the most part. With the advent of free roaming, service is comparable between most but those 3 are genuinely better "service" than US Cell or T-mobile...........technically speaking.

I only feel bad for those with Verizon. Arrogant, pricey and riddled with rogue employees who do customers wrong. Had them for several years......got burned bad........won't ever go back. I am seriously afraid to.

1811.12.2009 12:02

Quote:
Originally posted by DVDBack23:
I had to comment here. I am not an AT&T customer nor will I ever be but to ask customers to cut back on data when they pay $35-a-month for unlimited data is disgusting, plain and simple. Fix your infrastructure, fix your network, and stop blaming others for your mistakes.
Just out of curiosity...........who are you using for a carrier?

Pricing between at&t, Verizon and Sprint are identical and Service it too for the most part. With the advent of free roaming, service is comparable between most but those 3 are genuinely better "service" than US Cell or T-mobile...........technically speaking.

I only feel bad for those with Verizon. Arrogant, pricey and riddled with rogue employees who do customers wrong. Had them for several years......got burned bad........won't ever go back. I am seriously afraid to.
Hey Lissen, I have been on T-Mobile for over 5 years now and live in NYC. I'll readily admit whenever I leave the city, T-Mo's 3G is, erm, lacking, but given my current geography I could not be happier with my 3G and cell service. I also pay $35 a month for unlimited everything plan (texts, data, etc) and have never been "encouraged" to reduce my usage.

1911.12.2009 13:53
LissenUp
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by DVDBack23:
I had to comment here. I am not an AT&T customer nor will I ever be but to ask customers to cut back on data when they pay $35-a-month for unlimited data is disgusting, plain and simple. Fix your infrastructure, fix your network, and stop blaming others for your mistakes.
Just out of curiosity...........who are you using for a carrier?

Pricing between at&t, Verizon and Sprint are identical and Service it too for the most part. With the advent of free roaming, service is comparable between most but those 3 are genuinely better "service" than US Cell or T-mobile...........technically speaking.

I only feel bad for those with Verizon. Arrogant, pricey and riddled with rogue employees who do customers wrong. Had them for several years......got burned bad........won't ever go back. I am seriously afraid to.
Hey Lissen, I have been on T-Mobile for over 5 years now and live in NYC. I'll readily admit whenever I leave the city, T-Mo's 3G is, erm, lacking, but given my current geography I could not be happier with my 3G and cell service. I also pay $35 a month for unlimited everything plan (texts, data, etc) and have never been "encouraged" to reduce my usage.
Hey.............I'm with ya on that one. I've had T-Mobile for 6 years now and can't justify going to anyone else. I went from the 1000 mins for 39.99 to unlimited for 49.99 and no one beats that. T-mo service is fantastic and works in metropolitan and areas outside metro just great. I've heard complaints from ALL providers and they're the same. Verizon sucks, at&t sucks, Sprint sucks, etc. The only constant is that Sprint has the absolute worst customer service out of all of them.

I'll be with T-mo until I die if I have my way.

Whatever at&t does.........Verizon is not far behind. Only US Cell and T-mo stay apart from the rest in all aspects.

2011.12.2009 14:45

Pretty stupid that they offer unlimited but don't mean it. Kinda like my ISP----> go over 15 gb and you get a 20 min call where you have to explain why it's so high.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Dec 2009 @ 14:49

No time for Leap frog!!!

2111.12.2009 15:02

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by DVDBack23:
I had to comment here. I am not an AT&T customer nor will I ever be but to ask customers to cut back on data when they pay $35-a-month for unlimited data is disgusting, plain and simple. Fix your infrastructure, fix your network, and stop blaming others for your mistakes.
Just out of curiosity...........who are you using for a carrier?

Pricing between at&t, Verizon and Sprint are identical and Service it too for the most part. With the advent of free roaming, service is comparable between most but those 3 are genuinely better "service" than US Cell or T-mobile...........technically speaking.

I only feel bad for those with Verizon. Arrogant, pricey and riddled with rogue employees who do customers wrong. Had them for several years......got burned bad........won't ever go back. I am seriously afraid to.
Hey Lissen, I have been on T-Mobile for over 5 years now and live in NYC. I'll readily admit whenever I leave the city, T-Mo's 3G is, erm, lacking, but given my current geography I could not be happier with my 3G and cell service. I also pay $35 a month for unlimited everything plan (texts, data, etc) and have never been "encouraged" to reduce my usage.
Hey.............I'm with ya on that one. I've had T-Mobile for 6 years now and can't justify going to anyone else. I went from the 1000 mins for 39.99 to unlimited for 49.99 and no one beats that. T-mo service is fantastic and works in metropolitan and areas outside metro just great. I've heard complaints from ALL providers and they're the same. Verizon sucks, at&t sucks, Sprint sucks, etc. The only constant is that Sprint has the absolute worst customer service out of all of them.

I'll be with T-mo until I die if I have my way.

Whatever at&t does.........Verizon is not far behind. Only US Cell and T-mo stay apart from the rest in all aspects.
Haha absolutely, not only will I never go to a CDMA based service (wait, the US is the only place in the world that uses CDMA, shocker), there is nothing but complaints about Sprint, always, from everyone who has them. Where I went to school Verizon had pretty good service, but overall I have no complaints about T-Mobile and hope to be with them for the future as well.

2211.12.2009 17:02

You can not control how the consumers use their devices AT&T should just watch how there service is being used and accommodate there consumers with a better product upgrade there services and make new plan in place soo that consumers can use their devices wirelessly and all that.

Its like buying a computer PC and stating to the consumer that you can only run Microsoft products on it.
Come On....

2311.12.2009 17:45

Hmmmm offer unlimited then say don't use it ??? Have been looking for new service and AT&T won't be it. Tmobile has some great deals and hearing good things..

2411.12.2009 19:13

This article is funny, I just got my sprint bill, used around 50,000 kbs. Didn't seem to hear sprint crying to me, guess at&t should stop spending money on their commercials and bulk up on their network.

2513.12.2009 0:25

The solution would be to be able to move your Iphone to whichever network you want.

It's a shame that AT&T is planning that rather than to fix their incredibly weak and slow network.

2616.12.2009 2:45

Quote:
Its like buying a computer PC and stating to the consumer that you can only run Microsoft products on it.
Come On....
or rather buying a mac?

the data is $30 bucks...and 50,000kb is NOT using data on a iphone...I regularly see 3-5gigs in one month for iphone usage...

They do have the largest share of smartphone users (yes most likely due to iphones) and with that comes phones that can actually process the information fast enough to BE high speed...ya know like that OLD 486DX4-100mhz running Windows 95....hook it up to Fiber, the internet is still slow..lol

the tethering plans as far as I can see, are the same with any carrier $60 for 5gig..cept a JB'ed iphone..then it is free..lol

Yeah, I have ATT, would NEVER have Verizon (CDMA REALLY!!)...but then most everyone I talk to has ATT cause they are more worried about coverage than 3g data...so it is free m2m...

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