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AT&T Working on System to Allow App Devs to Pay for Customers' Data Usage

AT&T plans to offer app developers and other mobile content providers the ability to pay for its customers' data usage on the carrier, according to the Wall Street Journal. The carrier compares the proposed service to toll-free 800-numbers for the mobile-broadband world.
[AT&T senior executive vice president for technology and network operations John] Donovan likened the service to toll-free calling for the mobile-broadband world. The move comes as carriers are hunting for new ways to make money on the rising data traffic on their networks, while mindful of limits on what consumers are willing to spend.

"A feature that we're hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage," Mr. Donovan said on the sidelines of a mobile-industry conference here.
Customer use of AT&T's data networks has exploded in recent years as smartphones have become increasingly popular. AT&T has made several moves to limit data usage, including dropping its unlimited data plan option and slowing the download speeds of its heaviest data users.

For customers on data-limited plans, the option to download a movie without it being charged against his or her data plan could be a motivating factor. Donovan compares it to including the cost of shipping in a catalog order. Of course, much like with "free shipping", while the customer wouldn't have to pay for the extra data usage directly, the cost would instead be bundled into the price of the app or service. Developers could, however, end up paying less for data than individual customers do if AT&T is willing to offer bulk purchase agreements.

Top Rated Comments

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33 months ago
These companies are getting very greedy. There has been numerous studies about how the majority of consumers barely use data. There is no shortage of data in most of the country the companies are just finding more waYs to continue to scam consumers.
Rating: 33 Votes
33 months ago

That means AT&T will be lowering prices for the consumers?

I am not so naive...


Just another way for At&t to screw people over
Rating: 30 Votes
33 months ago
That means AT&T will be lowering prices for the consumers?

I am not so naive...
Rating: 30 Votes
33 months ago
I don't see many devs taking part in this. The ones that do will just pass the cost on to the customers anyway.
Rating: 21 Votes
33 months ago
That's the stupidest idea they have come up with yet. How about they use the freakin 5 billion they get every month to create a network that works and be more generous? It won't affect them financially in any way. It costs them NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to send text messages, yet they want $20 every month for it.
Rating: 14 Votes
33 months ago
This might just make sense for folks like Netflix and Hulu, even Apple/iTunes/iTunes Match/iCloud.

B
Rating: 14 Votes
33 months ago
This could possibly be amazing. (Emphasis on the 'could.') It wouldn't' make sense for 95% of apps, but for a choice few this could be game-changing.

Imagine Netflix making a deal with AT&T so that I pay Netflix $2 extra per month and now all my Netflix watching doesn't affect my limit.

If they can work out numbers like that, it'd be worth it.

If they can't, well, no one will sign up for it. So there's no downside for me...either it's a good move for devs or its not. If it's not we'll never see it.
Rating: 11 Votes
33 months ago
Devs have to pay apple 30% and then potentially pay for the data?

I realize probably optional but I don't see the incentive.

I would imagine that only subscription style apps would ever consider this
Rating: 11 Votes
33 months ago

That's the stupidest idea they have come up with yet. How about they use the freakin 5 billion they get every month to create a network that works and be more generous? It won't affect them financially in any way. It costs them NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to send text messages, yet they want $20 every month for it.


They keep exploring new ways to rip off people, and this time, they think the developers are a great target.
'Generous' is a word that doesn't exist in AT&T's dictionary. Search for 'dumb', 'greedy' & 'stupid' instead.

Remember when the only (common house) means of internet access was via dialup? how they started to limit the amount of time you could be online every month, then every day? When all hopes seemed lost, ADSL and broadband came out. Then, everyone was happy with unlimited service. Now they have started to limit it, and the same has happened to mobile data until something else comes out and changes everything.
Rating: 9 Votes
33 months ago
Considering the terrible way AT&T currently handles its billing and minutes/data accounting, I don't understand how they are planning to make this possible, and how can they expect people and developers to trust them.:eek:
Rating: 9 Votes

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