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Carriers Blame the iPhone For Data Caps and Increased Upgrade Fees 272

zacharye writes "Bruised mobile carriers such as AT&T and Verizon are 'fighting back' against Apple's iPhone, despite the fact that the device has helped them eke out consistently higher average revenue per wireless subscribers since its launch. To hear the carriers tell it, the iPhone is a major inhibitor to their profits as last year they were 'only' generating wireless service profit margins in the 38% to 42% range. But ever since these beleaguered companies started 'fighting back' by implementing data caps, increasing fees for device upgrades and implementing longer waiting periods before users can switch devices, they’ve seen their wireless service profit margins surge. AT&T reported a 45% margin in Q2 2012 and Verizon reported a record-high 49% margin."
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Carriers Blame the iPhone For Data Caps and Increased Upgrade Fees

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:32PM (#40896657)

    Which is why I will never upgrade and lose my unlimited data, and will try my hardest to go over the 2GB "recommended" usage every month. And since I'm on Verizon and they now need to remove the $20 per month tethering charge I will be tethering everything. For everyone saying I'm only hurting the other users, Verizon needs to upgrade their systems instead of claiming 50% profits, invest that in your damn infrastructure.

  • by Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:49PM (#40896857)

    I'm all for hating on the telcos, but sometimes "just build more towers" is much, much easier said than done. For instance, it takes three years [] to get one built in San Francisco. Granted, not every place is as downright insane as San Francisco is, but it's worth mentioning.

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:14PM (#40897195) Homepage

    Well ya see, it's like this. The carriers had been selling smartphones with data plans for years before the iPhone, and it was a great deal. People spent $20-30 extra every month, but rarely went out the of 10s of megabytes for traffic. Because those phones pretty much sucked for everything other than e-mail, contacts and calendaring. The browsers were terrible, and network aware apps were a rarity or so hard to use that no one did (I remember trying to do ssh on my Treo, it was awful). Then those damned iPhones came out, and shortly thereafter those stupid Android phones. Suddenly networking on phones actually worked. The browsers could deal intelligently with websites, networked apps actually worked, people were using smartphones to actually access the data plans they had paid for. The nerve! They actually used what they bought instead of just paying for it and passively consuming a small part of their purchase.

    So you can totally see how it's all the iPhone's fault. Those assholes at Apple and Google made tools that people actually wanted to use. Why couldn't they just follow the status quo and network aware crap that allows the carrier to charge more, but not spend anything?

  • by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:25PM (#40897361)

    Except that you have just defined an artificial barrier. The Monopolies on wireless spectrum are hardly needed. There is more than enough bandwidth within (for example) the 1.3ghz spectrum to allow for multiple channels over which wireless companies could operate. There is no need to lock out entire bands for a company that uses a fraction of that bandwidth.

    Far better to use a single band for ALL cell communication and an encryption key standard that allows towers to communicate with any handset that performs the correct handshake. Combined with FHSS technology dropped calls would be a thing of the past, and we would free up massive piles of spectrum for public use.

    (Also, if the 1.3 ghz band is not wide enough, there is plenty of room in the 2.7 and 3.7 ghz bands)

    There is just no reason anymore to block out massive hunks of bandwidth. There should be ONE pool of bandwidth that can be used by ANYONE who wants to start a cell company. Make it rather wide if you must, but just one band. Just have a solid and extensible standard to follow and referee companies that use it so there are no abusers.

  • by Xeranar ( 2029624 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:36PM (#40897507)

    the issue is without a visible spectrum map showing problem areas and times this argument over caps is a blatant money grab. They're playing on people's moral superiority complex and greed to protect their scam from being found out. Very few areas actually have real congestion, it's like rush hour traffic. But in this case building more lanes (I.e. more towers) is not cost prohibitive. Especially in urban areas where tall buildings can erect small towers this is a non-issue.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"