AfterDawn: Tech news

AT&T wishes they had killed unlimited data earlier

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 05 May 2012 12:10 User comments (12)

AT&T wishes they had killed unlimited data earlier AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has made it clear today that he believes AT&T Mobility should have killed off unlimited mobile data earlier than it did.
The company got rid of the $30 unlimited bandwidth plans last year, moving to a tiered structure instead.

When asked about unlimited data and the iPhone, Stephenson says: "You ask, do you ever look back and ask, do we wish we hadn't [launched the iPhone]? No. No, I never reflect on that. Should we have changed the pricing model sooner? Yes. I wish we had moved quicker to change the pricing model to make sure that people that were consuming the bandwidth were paying for the bandwidth. And so we had a model where the high-end users were being subsidized by the low-end users. We got that model straight ? took a while to get that straight. But no, it has revolutionized our industry, and I don't regret it at all."

The CEO is also delusional after the company lost its multi-billion dollar bid for T-Mobile:

"Make no mistake about it, if you don't find solutions like [acquiring T-Mobile USA], there is nothing but upward pricing pressure in this marketplace. And you're experiencing it and you're living through it today. Since the beginning of the year when that deal got killed, our data prices have gone up 30 percent. You want to upgrade to a smartphone? Every carrier in the industry now has put in place an upgrade fee to try to slow this down. Virtually every carrier is now throttling, meaning when you hit a certain threshold of usage in a given month, your speeds get scaled back to try to reduce the utilization of these networks."

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12 user comments

15.5.2012 13:44

Sure more money thats all it takes.......

25.5.2012 20:47

Who's falut is this? The user just wanted to use what they were laying for. Did AT&T fail to provide service, pretty much. Now, instead of blaming themselves for providing bad service, they are blaming the users who are using their service.

Sorry AT&T, but if you don't invest in your network and give your customers what they want, that is your problem.


Scott

36.5.2012 8:31

This is one more case of "you are using it wrong" kinda thing... This tide price is BS I now a lot of people that are not switching just to keep grandfathering older plans... Is as much fault in the customer side too for agreeing with these companies... You have the power and give it to whowever you want to.



46.5.2012 10:51

"Consuming" bandwidth? I didn't realize they have a stockpile of bits somewhere and every time I download something I am using them up.

56.5.2012 12:55

Originally posted by snardos:
"Consuming" bandwidth? I didn't realize they have a stockpile of bits somewhere and every time I download something I am using them up.
No kidding... It's like the electric companies telling people to 'save electricity'... Really? Where are they stock piling it? As far as coal generated plants are concerned, whats getting burnt is getting burned & the turbines turn no matter what, so that energy generated has to go somewhere (that which doesn't get used). Where does the plant put it?

Hydro electric is from potential energy. So, so long as ma nature does her thing, that generator get s turned as well too. So where does that surplus electricity get stored?

Maybe it's not the best example to juxtapose, but the fact is, I 'can' go off the grid if I want. People do it all the time. So people can change their phone service. But services seems to play a wicked corporate-political weave of 'who sucks at what the worst at which' for my dollars. It's like voting for president. Do we 'really' get a choice?

We really do need to get out of the feigned 'need' ideology and stop feeding into the corporate greed machine of consumerism. It's done nothing but destroy the economy over time.

67.5.2012 5:49
Dj j2o
Unverified new user

Are you guys joking? Bandwidth is EXACTLY like electricity, or better yet maybe a waterhose. There is only a certain amount of water, electricity, information that it can deliver without adding more hoses. I'm in no way in favor of huge corps not living up to their end of the bargain but this is just a fact.

77.5.2012 10:25

Originally posted by LordRuss:
Originally posted by snardos:
"Consuming" bandwidth? I didn't realize they have a stockpile of bits somewhere and every time I download something I am using them up.
No kidding... It's like the electric companies telling people to 'save electricity'... Really? Where are they stock piling it? As far as coal generated plants are concerned, whats getting burnt is getting burned & the turbines turn no matter what, so that energy generated has to go somewhere (that which doesn't get used). Where does the plant put it?

Hydro electric is from potential energy. So, so long as ma nature does her thing, that generator get s turned as well too. So where does that surplus electricity get stored?

You are right. Very poor example. But they are both similar in that neither are unlimited. Electricity has to be generated from a resource. It is a fairly easy process, until you start looking at large scale energy needs. Natural ways of producing energy typically produce a very small amount compared coal, nuclear, or otherwise. There is not some huge energy depository storing massive amounts of power either.

Bandwidth is like a highway. Only so many people can drive on it at a time. AT&T was at fault for over promising the usage of their 'highway'. Remember, the iPhone was 600 when it first came out. Smart phones were very expensive and because of this only a small number of people had them.

87.5.2012 13:01

Originally posted by idjk:
You are right. Very poor example. But they are both similar in that neither are unlimited. Electricity has to be generated from a resource. It is a fairly easy process, until you start looking at large scale energy needs. Natural ways of producing energy typically produce a very small amount compared coal, nuclear, or otherwise. There is not some huge energy depository storing massive amounts of power either.

Bandwidth is like a highway. Only so many people can drive on it at a time. AT&T was at fault for over promising the usage of their 'highway'. Remember, the iPhone was 600 when it first came out. Smart phones were very expensive and because of this only a small number of people had them.
Well... I didn't go into any 'grand' detail... I didn't think anyone wanted a theorem of how bandwidth worked, but more of my warped ideology of how/why corporate America sees fit to fleece the public for the pittance of data usage 'they' deem worthy of use.

That exploration, I didn't think merited a 'very poor'... kinda harsh, don't you think? As for your explanation - just fine. But you neglected a couple of facts as well...

AT&T also has made abundant strides (as well as other land based efforts) in making the information highway brutally fast & wider. Hardware manufactures have also tried to step up to the plate, but there seems to be a stagnation on the consumer side of the market.

In keeping with your euphemisms, if the highway has been properly adapted, what's the problem? One is the dire need to control the human condition & feed from its greed to satiate AT&T's own greed (or whomever is supplying said service).

AT&T CAN supply the demand. That's the illusion cast onto the public. They want to maximize the minimum. Like my electrical/water analogy, both take the path of least resistance. AT&T 'is' its own resistor - wrench in the works, if you will.

That's the "real" point I'm trying to make.

98.5.2012 18:43

Originally posted by idjk:
Originally posted by LordRuss:
Originally posted by snardos:
"Consuming" bandwidth? I didn't realize they have a stockpile of bits somewhere and every time I download something I am using them up.
No kidding... It's like the electric companies telling people to 'save electricity'... Really? Where are they stock piling it? As far as coal generated plants are concerned, whats getting burnt is getting burned & the turbines turn no matter what, so that energy generated has to go somewhere (that which doesn't get used). Where does the plant put it?

Hydro electric is from potential energy. So, so long as ma nature does her thing, that generator get s turned as well too. So where does that surplus electricity get stored?

You are right. Very poor example. But they are both similar in that neither are unlimited. Electricity has to be generated from a resource. It is a fairly easy process, until you start looking at large scale energy needs. Natural ways of producing energy typically produce a very small amount compared coal, nuclear, or otherwise. There is not some huge energy depository storing massive amounts of power either.

Bandwidth is like a highway. Only so many people can drive on it at a time. AT&T was at fault for over promising the usage of their 'highway'. Remember, the iPhone was 600 when it first came out. Smart phones were very expensive and because of this only a small number of people had them.
I never said bandwidth was unlimited. Bandwidth is the rate of data transfer, not the amount you can download per month. I know you can only move so many bits over a certain amount of time and that is a very real limitation. What is unlimited are the bits, and that is what they are trying to charge for. What they should be charging for is the cost to move the bits.

Think of it this way, you probably have somewhat of a network at home. Does the cost of running that network increase if you stream 10GB of data over the network compared to 1GB?

This is the way I look at the cost of bandwidth, if someone can explain why I'm wrong I will listen.

109.5.2012 11:37

Originally posted by snardos:
This is the way I look at the cost of bandwidth, if someone can explain why I'm wrong I will listen.
I didn't think you were... I thought I was elaborating on the similar subject, just being flippant. I.e., if I use 1GB over my usage limit, I at least have software stored on my device to show for it.

My electrical company analogy showed that those companies still used resources to develop electricity that never got used. Somehow, there was a failure to communicate.

119.5.2012 12:15

AT&T is in the service business. Their "service" is mobile communications. They get paid based on what consumers pay for. If they can't deliver then they are a poor service to have. OR at least this is the way it should be.

If you hire a plummer and they only do half of what you are paying them for, you wouldn't hire them again. The mobile industry, and many of the tech companies today, are in the service market, but don't feel they are serving customers. So if they offer an unlimited plan, then turn around and say "you're using too much data" then that is their issue, not the consumers. The consumers do what they will with what they have.

Another issue creeping up is, they charge a premium on data, as they should, they need to make money somehow. But the cost of data to them is much, much lower than what they pass on to the customer. They are making a killing on it, yet still complain that it isn't enough...

They also don't like people using data on their infrastructure. They love to over sell their infrastructure prior to investing into it. So they rely on people not using it all the time so they can stretch it as thin as they can before spending a lot of money upgrading it. So who's fault is it? The consumers' for using what they pay for, or the telco for not being able to keep up their end of the bargain?

Just some food for thought.


Scott

129.5.2012 13:16

Originally posted by neronut:
AT&T is in the service business. Their "service" is mobile communications. They get paid based on what consumers pay for. If they can't deliver then they are a poor service to have. OR at least this is the way it should be.

I like your explanation/analogy better. Kind of like AT&T (in this example) owns the data & they want to put the price on it, then dole out how much of it comes/goes & how fast. Then like a fickle Barbie-esque girl friend, who wants her boyfriend to change his persona with the change in tides, whips up another bitch fit when things don't go her way & changes the rules.

Now to get in her pants you need more money & she puts out less. Crude, I know, but probably a closer analogy. I mean we might as well go with a top dollar Vegas hooker. At least we 'know' what we're paying for right up front. But stay away from those Colombian hookers, right security team?;)

Anyway, it's all still leftover greed from the 80s business model I've repeatedly ranted about. Maximize the minimum & screw the consumer at every turn because they bought it, so now they can deal with it. I.e., they had the chance to walk away from the deal; no body twisted their arm.

So long as we maintain this kind of cultural attitude in business, everyone is set up for failure.


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