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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Right up to the cap....

I see that O2 has become the latest operator to clamp down on mobile data usage - and at least has rather better-tiered offerings than AT&T's rather cynical options.

But I'm wondering if operators are making the same mistake as usual - assuming that, on average, people will only use xx% of their allotted quota.

Because I can forsee several scenarios in which people might use all of it, or at least 90.

It would not be very difficult to install an application which tracks your usage and the day on which it expires. Then, there could be the option to:

- wait until near the end of the month, then use any spare capacity to bulk-download and pre-emptively cache sites or content you might want to watch subsequently. There's probably a clever ad-supported model in there somewhere

- If you resent the imposition of the cap, you could be spiteful and just have the "up to the limit" app generate traffic for the sake of it. Added bonus: by visiting lots of random websites, you trash the supposed "customer data" that's being gleaned so you can be advertised-at

- Wait until near the end of the month, then offer any surplus data to friends / others via a tethering function. You could even try and create an auction application to attempt to resell it, although that would probably contravene a ton of T's and Cs.

- Donate spare end-of-month capacity to a charity - there must be *some* philanthropic use for a free mobile pipe.


curdriceaurora said...

the first thing that crossed my mind after the repeal of unlimited plans was that then there should be rollover for the limited data plans.

Kedar said...

The interesting thing about the tiers is that someone mainly using data but less voice on say £25 or £30 per month plan with 500MB new limit is benefiting. Say he/she was using 750MB now he/she has to pay additional £5-£10 per month instead of going to £40 per month plan which has 750MB limit (savings of £5 per month).

It allows someone to avoid going to next higher plan just for data if they don't want to use additional voice minutes.

I agree with Dean that O2 plan is much more sensible than AT&T.

However, I am not sure this will tackle the key problem of congestion during busy hour. It is the busy hour that matters!

Paul said...

I consider that the appropriate application of FUP , up-tarriffing (FUP of say 1GB, but a super-subscription of £500 over 5GB automatically applied if you hit 5GB+ for 2 months running) and effective QoS is a better way of dealling with the 1-5% of 'abusers' of unlimited data.

So many 'silver surfers' and others who are less confident of keeping track of their data usage will surely feel disenfranchised by this move and stay clear of mobile internet and mobile broadband. But they are likely to be 99.99% below 200MB or so, and just the sort of mugs, I mean subscribers, that you want on your network.

£60 for 1GB??? You have got to be having a laugh. Setting up mobile mail, a weather app, a stock checker and facebook updates on a smartphone will use up 200MB without the user making a conscious decision to browse or download anything.

My decision to consider purchasing an iPhone4 to replace my wifes W995 is now on hold. She'll just not use the thing if she thinks that the bill will go up £35 a month just by finding something interesting to browse, but the truth is she'll stay consistently below 1/4 GB but just worry about overuse.

Paul said...

....FUP of say 1GB, but a super-subscription of £500 over 5GB automatically applied if you hit 5GB+ for 2 months running....

That's supposed to be £50 of course......