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MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
reply to phantom6294

Re: "Steep overages" ? Really?

said by phantom6294:

You're questioning the "steep overage" by comparing the cost to other carriers or the 'prepaid' data already included. I believe, though I may be wrong, that Karl Bode See Profile is speaking more to the relationship between what the carrier pays for the bandwidth and what they charge the user. Therein lies the "steep overage".

There's a hidden assumption here that AT&T and others should be regulated monopolies and forced to justify their pricing based on some marginal cost of providing the service. That assumption is wrong. AT&T gets to charge for services based on their business model, customer needs, and competition. Not a government regulation.

In particular, the words "marginal cost" above are very important. I'll not digress into a huge Business 101 discussion, but it's about how you price products and services to get a return over time, and pay for the capital investments, and balance the business' portfolio, etc.

However, the '5GB for $55' thing and '$60 being industry standard' is a bit misleading if not downright false. Verizon's smartphone data is only $30 and is truly unlimited. Verizon, similarly to AT&T, has added a 150MB plan for $15 for those light usage users, which is great if you want to save $15 a month but terrible when considering the cost per GB.

Back to unlimited, search around, and you'll find plenty of people using Verizon smartphones who download in excess of 2GB, 5GB, etc without problems or steep overages. I know of at least one DSLR user who downloaded at least ~12GB in a month (and legitimately so) without repercussions. In AT&T's "competitive" world, said user would be on the hook for: $25 for the first 2GB and $100 for the additional 10GB. So, $30 versus $125; you think that's competitive???

Yeah, I saw that too. We'll see where Verizon goes once they get millions of new iPhone users, whom AT&T found consumed data a lot more than the average "other" smartphone user. Also I'll point out that a majority of the AT&T iPhone users are still on the $30 unlimited plan.

Yes, if you're an outlier smartphone user who sucks down 12GB/month, you absolutely should try to find a provider who lets you do that on their standard plan. My guess is that in 2011 those will get increasingly hard to find. We'll see!

scamiran

join:2002-06-15
Des Plaines, IL
eah, I saw that too. We'll see where Verizon goes once they get millions of new iPhone users, whom AT&T found consumed data a lot more than the average "other" smartphone user.
This is untrue. Google will tell you that Verizon Wireless smartphone users already use more data per user per month than AT&T's iPhone users. I find it highly unlikely Verizon's build-outs will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of new subscribers.

The real issue here is not the Jesus phone. The issue is that AT&T's network is just poor. Sprint, Verizon, and T-mobile 3G and 4G build-outs are more comprehensive and better designed.

IIRC, Sprint has a vastly greater number of towers than its' competitors (an artifact of its' higher frequency range). Verizon's build out, other than in Texas, apparently, is more than sufficient to meet capacity in most major markets.
Yes, if you're an outlier smartphone user who sucks down 12GB/month, you absolutely should try to find a provider who lets you do that on their standard plan. My guess is that in 2011 those will get increasingly hard to find. We'll see!
*shrug*

I think its pretty unlikely. Sprint is moving its high-usage users to WiMax, a totally separate network build out that is extremely underutilized. Verizon is launch LTE; and reports of congestion on Verizon's network are few and far between. (Please note the above, as well; Verizon smartphone users *already* use more data than AT&T iPhone users).

T-Mobile's HSDPA network is receiving rave reviews, as well.

I know it sounds like I am beating up AT&T, but in many areas, AT&T simply has too many users on too few towers, with too little backhaul. None of the other networks are afraid of users who use 5-15 GB a month; particularly on the 'so-called' 4G devices. There is no bandwidth crunch. There's plenty of spectrum out there, and the newer network technologies (WiMax 2, LTE Advanced) will simply be able to provide enough bandwidth to users within North America that device capacity (SD card space, Battery Life, video resolution) will be the limiting factors on data usage, not bandwidth.

MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
Well, interesting discussion last 3 posts.

I had seen reports last year that iPhone users at AT&T were using lots more data per user than other smartphone users at AT&T. That's what I was referring to. If Verizon is finding they have higher usage numbers for their non-iPhone smartphone users, more than AT&T's iPhone users, that's news to me. I'd be interested to see a link to the report or story.

re $60 = "Industry Norm" for 5GB -- yes I was referring to tethered usage or USB device usage. I think the industry has been at a lower price point for smartphones because they thought they'd get less usage than PCs over 3G/4G. I think that's becoming less the case as really smart smartphones become like little PCs or netbooks, and I expect the industry pricing to react -- and I guess the reaction will be moving closer to the $10/GB price point (which is where AT&T is at right now). Or, maybe I'm completely wrong, and Verizon will blow it out by way undercutting AT&T. But my instinct is they won't.

Re capacity of different wireless providers -- it's going to be really interesting to see how this shakes out. They are all making competing claims right now. 2011 will be a very interesting year.

Hey, this is what market competition is all about! I'm stoked for 2011!

scamiran

join:2002-06-15
Des Plaines, IL
I had seen reports last year that iPhone users at AT&T were using lots more data per user than other smartphone users at AT&T. That's what I was referring to. If Verizon is finding they have higher usage numbers for their non-iPhone smartphone users, more than AT&T's iPhone users, that's news to me. I'd be interested to see a link to the report or story.
Here's the report I was referring to. That being said, I haven't read the underlying report. I don't know which category it fits into: Lies, Damn Lies, or Statistics.

»www.readwriteweb.com/archives/ve···hone.php

I now understand where you thinking was at in terms of the industry pricing. That being said, I have a feeling that pricing will continue to decrease, not increase; with the 5 GB for $30 being the first mark on the wall. Most of the big carriers are working on tower deployments that will reduce their data costs by an order of magnitude. I wouldn't be surprised to see 10-20 GB for $30; or maybe they will keep up with the unlimited meme.

To me, the biggest issue is going to be the mobile device's capacity to use data, not the "wireless" pipe. On a laptop, I can smash through 500 GB a month no problem; but on my phone, I'd be hard pressed to exceed 20-30 GB without tethering. Thus, I think if they can provide 30 GB for $30 comfortably, they'll keep offering it as "unlimited".

I'll caveat this with the thought that I have poor outlook towards AT&T. I've been bruised by their customer service.

MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
Yeah, AT&T customer service isn't that great. I've learned how to deal with it. This site helps a lot. You can do AT&T Direct for difficult issues.