AT&T Addressing Network Performance in Manhattan and San Francisco, High-Bandwidth Users
Those two cities see especially high smart-phone penetration, which has put pressure on AT&T's data network. The company expects to see gradual improvements in New York and plans to replace some microcells in San Francisco, he said.
"This is going to get fixed," Mr. de la Vega said. "In both of those markets, I am very confident that you're going to see significant progress."
De la Vega also addressed the ongoing issue of high-bandwidth smartphone customers, noting frequently-cited data showing that 3% of smartphone users are responsible for 40% of data traffic. In response to this issue, de la Vega reiterated AT&T's general plan to "incentivize" customers to reduce their data usage.
With about 3% of smart-phone customers driving 40% of data traffic, AT&T is considering incentives to keep those subscribers from hampering the experience for everyone else, he said. "You can rest assured that we're very sure we can address it in a way that's consistent with net-neutrality and FCC regulations."While specific plans have yet to be rolled out, de la Vega suggested that simply offering users greater insight into their bandwidth usage has been shown to reduce their demand. Over the longer term, however, AT&T is likely to shift to usage-based pricing, although any such changes would be based on industry standards and competition and on regulatory guidelines.