One of my biggest pet peeves is businesses that are too busy to address their failing business models and resort to going against their customers. We’ve seen this time and time again with the RIAA and MPAA, and now you’re seeing this with the these Wireless and Internet Service Providers.
Case in point, Gizmodo posted a prediction that AT&T may impose a cap on data usage for the iPhone customers. AT&T justifies this by saying that 3% of their smartphone users (which are iPhone users) use 40% of the Smartphone Data.
Sometimes I wonder if AT&T is happy with the deal they signed with the devil – in this case Apple. AT&T got a lot of new customers over being the exclusive iPhone provider in the US, but somehow they failed to understand that when you have one of the most feature-rich phones out there that boasts the largest applications store, you’re going to see increased data usage.
I’m on Verizon and don’t have an iPhone (I have a Windows Mobile phone, which I have a love/hate relationship), but I can tell you that my data usage far outweighs by voice usage, and the sooner that Wireless Carriers realize that the better off they’ll be. Instead they’re going to start battling customers, imposing these continued caps and restrictions – pages directly from the record industry’s playbook.
I understand that bandwidth isn’t free and these carriers aren’t a business but there are two issues that I have: 1) Carriers lock their customers into their contract and have sneaky ways of keeping you tied down with these new terms. 2) In the case of Telcos, the government provided them money to expand their networks, and they spent that money but seemingly can’t manage contain without “managing the network” steps.