AT&T Mobility has not decided to change its data plan price structure to a usage-based model, but is actively seeking ways to offload more traffic from its cellular network as it strives to cope with prodigious and growing data traffic, according to the company's CEO.
"We have not made any decision to implement tiered pricing," AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told the Wall Street Journal. Last week at an analyst conference, de la Vega admitted that the company's cellular network was not performing up to par in New York City and San Francisco, and said the company was taking steps to improve the networks. He also alluded to unnamed incentives that the company would seek to implement to get users to limit their data usage. Critics have argued AT&T's network has not been able to keep pace with users' data demands, particularly Apple iPhone users.
Other tactics AT&T may employ include free WiFi hotspots and femtocells to help offload data traffic. AT&T has touted the 25.4 million WiFi connections its customers made in the third quarter on its hotspots, and earlier this fall it began trialing a femtocell offering.
Last week, de le Vega said wireless subscribers need to be given more information about their data usage patterns. "I think we need to educate the customer," he said. "The customer has to understand what represents a megabyte of data."
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
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