Content Providers and App Developers to Subsidize LTE/3G Bandwidth Costs?
A story that is getting some traction this morning is a Wall Street Journal article about how quickly new iPad users are consuming their monthly bandwidth allotments over LTE. We covered this story on our iOS Blog. While the conclusion may seem an obvious, carriers are beginning to consider other ways to help shift the bandwidth cost away from the consumer.
In particular, the Wall Street Journal notes that AT&T is considering a plan to do just that by allowing the content providers to pay for usage of their apps:
AT&T, for example, is studying a plan to give app developers and content providers the option to pay for the mobile data their products use, thereby keeping those apps and videos from counting against a user's allotment of data, kind of like an 800-number for apps.
If implemented, this would presumably allow bandwidth usage for certain apps to be free. For example, watching shows from a TV network app such as ABC Player might not count against your monthly bandwidth allotment. Instead, ABC would pay AT&T (or Verizon) for the mobile bandwidth consumed. In return, ABC would likely see increased usage of their app to watch shows and more revenue from in-show advertising.
Mobile carriers in the U.S. have been moving away from unlimited bandwidth plans over the past few years. Instead bandwidth is sold in specific allotments (2GB, 3GB) per month with additional fees for overages.