Which is just the way AT&T wants it...
As we noted yesterday
the video capabilities of the iPhone 4 are going to burn through AT&T's new caps like wildfire -- and that's precisely the way AT&T wants it. With everyone
quickly becoming "bandwidth hogs" (an increasingly ridiculous term in a a world full of media) -- AT&T's placed itself in the profitability pilot's seat by insisting that $10-$15 is a fair value for a gigabyte of wireless data. Stacey Higginbotham over at GigaOM talked a little bit with Cisco
about just how quickly video will burn through AT&T's 200 MB and 2 GB caps:
...streaming an hour of Netflix on the 3G network would use up 168 MB - or about 84 percent of the cheaper AT&T data plan. Livestreaming a 5-minute video shot with the back-facing camera requires 64 MB, or 32 percent of the cheaper plan. So clearly, anyone wanting to avail themselves of the video technology on the phone better get the 2GB plan or stay on Wi-Fi. But even with the 2GB plan and $10-per-GB overages a video habit over the 3G network is going to cost you, and possibly make you think twice about that download ï¿½ or upload.
As those numbers illustrate, again these pricing plans aren't about being fair
-- they're about pushing everyone
toward a higher monthly data bill. Right now -- existing AT&T customers can have their existing unlimited $30 data plan grandfathered -- but if they do that they can't sign up for tethering (an additional $20 a month). It will be interesting to see just how long AT&T keeps those plans intact before giving everybody a shove into the high per-GB overage pool.