Pipes strike back

Verizon wireless announced they will be introducing tiered data plan packages within the next few months.

In order to introduce a tiered dataplan, you should be able to effectively differentiate and measure time spent downloading under specific QoS conditions and permit the user to choose among different radio access available over the same place.

It actually won’t be the case, and you’ll probably be consuming your LTE fast line bucket when available.

This differentiation will introduce a complexity grade in a scenario simplified by unlimited prepaid bundles.

In Italy, in fact, operators are often offering full time/volume access providing you pay appropriate fee.

Limits are just to discourage peer to peer over mobile.

This is a way to encourage the use of mobile internet, a way to make people used to a certain use of the internet. If you know you have still 10 hours to use a day, you won’t probably complain too much if on a specific area you are forced to reconnect several times or you are downloading very slowly.

Tiered packages instead are a sort of customized service for specific high quality needs.

But will your device or application be able to discriminate among the need to use the proper tier for its connectivity.

Will you be asked to agree for wearing off you LTE plan connectivity package by your social network application, leaving the “gold reserve” to the app for managing the download of that urgent huge document?

Flat rates for heavy usage customers are not a good deal for operators. The applications business “governed” by “smart pipe” agreements did not brought the money expected. ARPU is dropping too.

The good thing for operators is that smartphones have almost fully replaced mid and high tier devices, teenagers want applications and data connectivity and managers increased the amount of data used by the mail service improving the use of attachments.

This means the market scenario has changed, but services really bandwidth demanding are not yet commonly used.

A service potentially making customers hungry of high tier connectivity packages is mobile TV.

Until mobile streaming won’t permeate people habits, I see hard to find attractive the chance to subscribe a tiered data plan.

The fact is that mobile data and tethering needs are different.

The “tiering” of bundles makes sense only for the latter. Are you, operator, still so smart to tell about the two connections?

Unlimited bundles avoid operators very expensive and difficult ways to constantly advise user she’s running out of data available on subscribed plan, with tiered data plan this mechanism should work properly and on time.

Probably the only way to make a high tier plan attractive will consist of making it  … unlimited.

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