ATandT To Charge App Developers, Android Lacks Programmers
In an attempt to ease customer fears about data overage charges, AT&T announced that it plans to launch a new service in 2013 that will charge content providers and app developers for customer data use.
AT&T’s innovative plan was announced in Barcelona, Spain, during the Mobile World Congress and reported by the Wall Street Journal. The service would essentially add a reminder to let customers know that by using the app they are about to download, no data usage would be incurred. John Donovan, AT&T’s network and technology chief, described the service further, saying, “A feature that we're hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage.”
The reasons behind the plan benefit multiple parties. Since major carriers such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless have done away with unlimited data plans, customers often have to worry about racking up expensive overage charges if they exceed their plans’ limits. By moving the burden of data usage over to developers and content providers, mobile customers can more fully enjoy their devices with some added peace of mind. In addition, the carriers can benefit greatly from the new revenue streams generated from developers and content providers.
According to Donovan, AT&T’s plan has already generated interest from video providers and other companies, as they see potential rewards streaming from the increased data downloads that would follow once the service is put into place. “What they're saying is, why don't we go create new revenue streams that don't exist today and find a way to split them,” Donovan told the Wall Street Journal.
While the plan is being looked at as a positive on the provider front, some app developers will likely resist the change. Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics, believes the change will increase app developer flexibility, however. For instance, customers can download an app’s free version or opt for a $2.99 premium version that will not use up their data. “Somebody always has to pay the piper,” he added.