February 27, 2012
AT&T is prepping a new service where content providers would pay the carrier for the mobile data its customers use when using an app. The Wall Street Journal first reported on this plan, which is being described as 800 numbers for apps. With AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers paying higher monthly fees, depending on how much data they consume, this new service could be a unique way for customers to utilize data-hungry apps without actually consuming from their data plan. According to AT&T’s network and technology head, John Donovan:
“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”Donovan, according to the report, said AT&T's rollout of a faster, broadband wireless technology called LTE would make such a service possible. While AT&T’s new service sounds interesting, the devil will be the details. After all, we don’t yet know what these types of apps would initially cost in the App Store. In addition, in the long run it might just be cheaper to go over ones' data usage from time to time. Finally, why do I think this plan has more to do with lining AT&T’s pockets than helping the company’s customers save on data limits? Still, for video-centric apps, in particular, this plan could benefit developers and customers a like, assuming it is implemented correctly. As Donovan concludes:
"A customer nearing his data limit for the month could be more likely to download a movie if the content provider covered the price of the data transmission."Interesting news or much about nothing?