After all these years listening to network operators whinge about how little people are using mobile data services today's news that AT&T wants to price users off its network has come as something of a surprise.
Speaking at an event in New York head of consumer services Ralph de la Vega said that the company was investigating ways to get people using the most data to "reduce or modify their usage."
He continued that some sort of data pricing was inevitable, compared to today's free service for smartphone users.
"We need to educate the customer ... We've got to get them to understand what represents a megabyte of data," de la Vega said, according to Associated Press.
"We're improving all our systems to let consumers get real-time information on their data usage."
He said that three per cent of AT&T's customers consumed 40 per cent of the bandwidth. AT&T's network has been suffering connection problems, particularly in San Francisco and New York he said.
The biggest bandwidth hogs are streaming video and audio sites, with internet radio a major culprit.
It's a similar argument we saw from ISPs a few years ago. Go unlimited until the market is big enough and then start charging more and more for the data. Then it was the file sharers who were the reason for charging. If mobile piracy ever takes off expect to get hit in the pocket.
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