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

045322 att 1AT&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

Nautilus007 Avatar
137 months ago
At&t

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.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Slovak Avatar
137 months ago
That means AT&T will be lowering prices for the consumers?

I am not so naive...
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alsec Avatar
137 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
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
r.j.s Avatar
137 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.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
balamw Avatar
137 months ago
This might just make sense for folks like Netflix and Hulu, even Apple/iTunes/iTunes Match/iCloud.

B
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jackhdev Avatar
137 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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Purple

Apple Planning to Hold iPhone 14 Event on September 7

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:51 am PDT by
Apple is aiming to hold its first fall event on Wednesday, September 7, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The event will focus on the iPhone 14 models and the Apple Watch Series 8. The standard iPhone 14 models are expected to get few changes, but the iPhone 14 Pro models will include updated camera technology, the removal of the notch in favor of a pill-shaped and hole-punch cutout, an A16...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 With Bug Fixes

Wednesday August 17, 2022 9:50 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 15.6.1, minor updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems initially released in September 2021. iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 come a month after Apple released iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6 with new Live Sports features and bug fixes. The iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
Apple Watch Series 3 v 8 1

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 8: 20 Major New Features and Changes for Customers Upgrading

Tuesday August 16, 2022 6:52 am PDT by
It's crazy to think about, but next month will mark five years since Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 3. Despite being a severely antiquated smartwatch, the Series 3 has remained at the bottom of Apple's lineup for $199. Suppose you're still holding on to your Apple Watch Series 3. In that case, this article will list all the major new features and changes you'll get if you decide to...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...