AT&T Looking to Crack Down on Mobile Bandwidth Hogs

AT&T is the exclusive U.S. carrier for the Apple iPhone as well as a plethora of other smartphones and mobile devices, and it’s no secret that the company has had difficulty expanding the capacity of its wireless network to keep up with the bandwidth demands of all those mobile users. The company has been aggressively building out its network to increase capacity, but now it appears the company is considering other ways to get its mobile users under control: changing service plans so high-bandwidth pay more to push so much data through the network.

Apple-iphone-sg3

Speaking at a UBS investors conference in New York, AT&T’s head of consumer services Ralph de la Vega said the company is considering ways to get high-bandwidth users to “reduce or modify their usage” in order to free up bandwidth for other users. De la Vega did not offer any specifics, but AT&T is widely considered to be eye usage-based fees for mobile broadband data, rather than the flat rate all-you-can-eat data services it currently offers.

According to De la Vega, about three percent of smartphone users are consuming about 40 percent of AT&T’s network capacity, with video and audio streaming consuming being responsible for a good deal of that bandwidth consumption. De la Vega also reiterated AT&T’s claims that it offers the fastest 3G service in the United States, and contended most problems with data congestion occur in the San Francisco and New York City areas. The company is working to build out its network capacity in those markets and others. De la Vega also said the company is working on tools to help mobile users better monitor their data utilization.

Changing over to a usage-based fee system for mobile data could be a major headache for both AT&T and its customers, most of whom don’t want to be bothered with having to meter data usage in the same way many mobile phone users monitor usage minutes: one reason flat-rate plans are so popular is that they eliminate headaches and guesswork involved in mobile communication. However, if AT&T really is trying to reign in just the top 3 percent of smartphone users, it might be able to introduce a usage-based plan as a cost savings to ordinary phone users…and that might just earn the company some points in consumers’ eyes.

Mobile

T-Mobile says Sprint merger will boost 5G speeds by up to 6 times

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Mobile

AT&T adds Minneapolis and Chicago to its mobile 5G road map for 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

You can now get Google Fi SIM cards straight from Best Buy

Google's wireless service known as Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi. The company also announced the service is now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about…
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Mobile

The Apollo Traveller is the fastest recharging power bank we’ve ever used

Power banks are getting better all the time, but the Apollo Traveller from Elecjet hits new heights in terms of charging and recharging speeds thanks to the use of a graphene composite for cooling. Here's what happened when we tried it out.
Computing

Get ready for new AirPods, MacBooks as rumored dates for Apple WWDC 2019 emerge

Apple developers and fans alike look forward, every year, to the company's World Wide Developer Conference, WWDC, and for this year, we already have the rumored dates that might bring us Apple's latest tech announcements.
Computing

This Mac keyboard is slim, dark, and clicky, but it’s still not perfect

There aren't many great mechanical keyboards for Macs. The Keychron K1 is just the latest attempt to join that hallowed group, but does its blend of style and substance tick all the boxes?
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

One of these monitors will look great next to your new MacBook Pro

Apple doesn't make its beloved Cinema Display monitors anymore, which makes finding the best monitor for the MacBook Pro more difficult. In this guide, we break down some of our favorites and offer something for every size and budget.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.