There was an interesting article on the Wall
Street Journal called Demands on Network Are an iPhone Hang-Up.
The article talks about the bandwidth demands of smart phones, in
particular, the iPhone. While AT&T charges the same amount per
month for iPhone users that they charge for other smart phone users,
the amount of bandwidth used by iPhones is considerably higher, leading
to increased costs for AT&T.
To some extent this makes sense given that the iPhone is
heavily promoted for the online capabilities beyond simply being a
phone. But this is not something that is only happening with iPhones.
Other smart phones are improving their capabilities to compete in this
same space. RIM, for example, offers web browsing and now with their
App World, more applications are being sent over the existing
The iPhone was the starting point for carriers to realize that
there are increased costs with the current plans, specifically
unlimited data plans. This bandwidth usage could mean that new plan
structures will need to be put into place to compensate for the
increased cost, meaning an end to unlimited data plans.
I may be in the minority here, but unless there is something
that I desperately need to look for right now I tend to wait until I
can get to a WiFi enabled location to save on my phone bill. But then
again, I don't have access to an unlimited data plan with my carrier so
maybe I'm more cautious than I might otherwise be if I knew that there
was no additional cost for using the feature.
What about you? Do you surf on your phone anywhere at any time?