New pricing models on the way
There is, though, an upside for business and consumers in application-based pricing: "Corporate users don't want to have to carry around two phones, and segmenting personal and business use of one device is much more easily accomplished with an application-aware network," wrote Chris Hoover, vice president of telecom service tools provider Openet, in a blog post earlier this year. "Operators have the ability to offer enterprise users the option to use their personal smartphone as a business device, without any party worrying about potential fraud."
In any case, it's clear that the tidal wave of video traffic is going to force changes in addition to higher prices that will affect carriers and users alike.
Google is already in talks with carriers about how to manage YouTube traffic, and an option called traffic shaping is being discussed within the wireless industry. Allot's marketing director Jonathan Gordon explained in a recent interview that much of the video traffic on the network isn't optimized for the device it's being sent to, resulting in a lot of data being tossed out once it reaches its terminus. "The network can recognize the type of device on the fly and, for example, transmit to an iPhone a lower-quality stream than it would, say, an iPad," he said. Or carriers could start offering incentives for using networks at off-peak hours, sort of a happy hour for broadband, he told me.
How this will play out is unclear, but we have to recognize that our unending appetite for new data-intensive applications comes with a price.
This article, "The apps that ate the mobile Internet will change 3G pricing," was originally published by InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.