Several years ago when phone providers were coming out with their data plans, they could offer unlimited data plans for a flat rate because basically no one was using large amounts of data; there was another applications that were really showing a huge draw on the services of the phone providers networks.
But as everyone knows, smartphones and data plans started to become a very big topic one smart phones were well established and then the number of applications that were being created; using larger and larger amounts of bandwidth.
I still laugh at the article where AT&T claims that they have 4G service; when in actuality they don’t. this was documented by the chief technology officer for AT&T earlier this year. Basically, his comments said that there weren’t enough applications that would show the customers aren’t getting 4G service; so there’s no reason to say that we don’t already have it.
Over the past couple weeks there’s been a few articles that caught my eye in regards to bandwidth that the smartphones are using. One article indicated that smart phone data usage was up 89%, and the other article indicated that in the past 12 months the amount of data usage for smartphones has doubled, and another article indicated that more data was transmitted over the Internet in 2010 then all previous years combined.
And with ISPs bandwidth caps and data plans being established in tiers; the Internet service providers have customers in the perfect place.
So, at this point, whether or not your an Internet service provider or a cell phone/smartphone provided with a data plan you have yourself perfectly established to control the amount of information that customers can consume. And if the customer decides they want to consume more content, they’ll have to pay for the extra bandwidth. And the providers love that…
Taking for instance services like Netflix. Netflix is one of the most wanted services on a smart phone, because it gives the customer the opportunity to consume entertainment [movies] just about anywhere there smartphone has a data connection.
I still find it interesting the relationship behind that arrangement. Internet service providers/data plans are staggered in a way that users have to purchase the tier of service that they would like to have with their smartphone, but they have no idea how much there smartphones, as far as data goes, are going to consume. Taking into account things like Google maps, Facebook, other applications or using voice-recognition [Siri].
One of the lowest tiered services that I’ve seen for smartphones has been 25 MB. That whole concept is ridiculous.
A couple of years ago when I had a different phone, I was checking the weather on a daily basis. The webpage it was pulling up was filled with Verizon advertisements and banners. The actual weather information was very small; there really wasn’t that much to it, but by the end of the month when I received my phone bill, I was using more than 25 MB. And then I started to realize that each time I opened up a web browser, had to go through all the steps to get to the weather webpage, I was loading over a megabyte each time.
Taking that into account, realizing how many videos are on Netflix, and taking into account if someone just has the whim to watch a video on YouTube— they’re going to exceed their bandwidth caps very easily.
The consumption of rich media through smart phones and home PCs is just going to get greater. And with each carrier setting their own levels as to how much a customer can download or consume, it’s counterproductive to the whole eco-cycle.
When Sprint does their commercials for unlimited data plans; each time I say to myself, that’s how data plans should be. Data plans should be unlimited… they shouldn’t start throttling your bandwidth after X amounts of megabytes, they shouldn’t limit you on how much media you can consume and they shouldn’t charge customers for overages.
It doesn’t matter if it’s an ISP or a phone carrier; the problem is that their networks cannot sustain the amount of requests and output that the customer base is requesting. So, the answer for them, is to charge customers for tiers of service, to limit customers bandwidth and penalize customers who go over there bandwidth limits. This process scares customers into not using their data plans into not using services like YouTube and Netflix.
I’m actually very curious about the introduction of the list iPhone 4S; how it uses the Siri voice-recognition feature to help the users get the information that they want.
How much bandwidth does Siri use? and if applications like Siri become the standard with smartphones, how many customers are going to be able to use those types of functions?
Understanding that voice-recognition on smart phones is not done on the phone itself, it’s done at a data center [Nuance] that powers Dragon NaturallySpeaking or Google, the data is sent and received and simply presented to the user as a result, but all of that processing takes bandwidth…
Data plans and Internet service providers need to get back on the bandwagon of providing unlimited bandwidth… and stop preventing and charging customers from enjoying the rich media resources that could be available to them…
Larry Henry Jr.
- Average U.S. Smartphone Data Usage Up 89% as Cost per MB Goes Down 46% | Nielsen
- WireNetflix continues to use a lot of the US’s bandwidth – Neowin.net
- More Data Was Transmitted Over the Internet in 2010 Than All Previous Years Combined [VIDEO]
- Mobile data traffic doubled in past 12 months — Broadband News and Analysis
- Half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
- Do Unlimited Data Plans Really Matter?