AT&T Aiming to Curb Mobile Data Usage

Ralph de la Vega, chief of AT&T’s wireless services, tacitly informed investors this week that  smartphone users who gobble up more than their fair share of bandwidth may ultimately have to cough up more for their use of it.

De la Vega, however, didn’t specify what the carrier may consider to be “unreasonable usage.”

So stretched has AT&T’s network become that the carrier is now clearly aiming to curb excessive usage until necessary upgrades and repairs can be made to the network.

The new posturing from AT&T comes as complaints continue to explode out of New York and San Francisco where AT&T’s bandwidth simply can no longer adequately handle the massive usage common in those locations.

“This is going to get fixed,” de la Vega said. “In both of those markets, I am very confident that you’re going to see significant progress.”

De la Vega did, however, state that any changes in the carrier’s pricing structure “would respect net neutrality” and simply reflect data consumption based on “how well AT&T would be able to track real-time usage.”

But the cryptic “penalty” word was invoked to address data-demanding users unwilling to change their usage patterns.

Similarly, possible incentives for curbing usage may also be placed on the table as AT&T strives to contend with a growing problem that simply cannot be ignored by both carrier and customer.