Android App Ratings & Reviews

Data Likely to be Capped on Android

by On August 19, 2010

Wired.com points us to an interesting trend in the world of ISPs and cell carriers. Data shaping and capping. Comcast Cable for example has a poor history of altering its network terms of use. Recently it capped its residential users to 250Gb of month after trying to shape its traffic to reduce the priority (speed) of peer-2-peer file sharing. Then on the cellular side you have AT&T’s 3G data network. Since they have an exclusive iPhone-only contract their users consume far more data than people whose phones cannot run the variety of apps. AT&T, after getting hit hard by data jams and traffic overloads, limits the amount of data iPhone owners can use each month. Soon Wired theorized that Android users will be doomed to the same fate. The issue? Android users use even more data than iPhone users. Since the phones are also selling like hot cakes (200,000 per day) one can imagine the additional over head that will be needed to feed all those phones data requirements. Android has already surpassed the iPhone in terms of volume because it is used by many cellular carriers and because of all the different options available. It should come as no surprise the issues carriers may soon have. The research division of Validas found that Verizon Android users consume 25 percent more data than iPhone users. Soon after a Rhythm New Media study (via Giga Om) reveals that Android users are far more likely to stream video over 3G than iPhone users, who tend to watch more via Wi-Fi. When Android is selling faster than iPhones, and Android users consume more bandwidth than their iPhone counterparts, other wireless networks have two huge incentives to begin metering Android wireless plans just like AT&T did with the iPhone, rather than continuing to allow Android users to download and stream unlimited data to their hearts’ content.  And such limits don’t have to be reached in order to achieve their aim of reducing wireless bandwidth consumption; the fact that a limit exist is, in itself, enough to make users think twice before streaming a long video or using a data-intensive app. Since nothing is set in stone, there may be a chance that no capping or network shaping may occur.  Maybe we’re all just being paranoid…or maybe we just know how big business operates. Unfortunately, we cannot decide in the end what happens to our data.

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