Evolving The Mobile Data Billing Model

AT&T 3G USB DongleEarlier this week AT&T has its quarterly earnings call. Normally I would not give it any notice at all. It’d just be another bunch of noise in my Google Reader in-box. This week they did something that simply jumped out at me; they called for an evolution of the current billing model for mobile data plans. Oddly enough…I agree…sort of.

Of course, their perspective on this is not quite the same as my own. AT&T want to be rid of the $60/mo for all-you-can-eat billing model and charge based upon actual usage, perhaps in some sort of tiered fashion.

Literally everyone knows that the current billing model is badly broken. Their flat rate “unlimited” plans are not really unlimited at all. My Sprint 3G service was pretty plain about it being capped at 5 GB/month. Beyond that I’d guess that it gets costly. Moreover they claim performance levels that almost no-one ever achieves in practice.

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The Karl-ification of My Home Office Broadband

The great thing about the weekly VUC calls is that there’s just so much to learn from the various participants. I sometimes struggle to know if I prefer when we have formal guests vs those weeks when we just ramble aimlessly through the seemingly endless universe of VoIP geek minutia.

comcast256Here’s a case in point, some weeks ago VUC regular Karl Fife indicated that he had Comcast Business Class internet service…to his home. This got me thinking. When we added the cable modem about a year and half ago we just ordered it through Comcast’s normal consumer channel. That seemed simple enough. It’s how we had the similar service from Time-Warner Cable long, long ago. I simply never occurred to me that we could go through the business services office.

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A Little More Graphic Appreciation For Boingo

Today I was tasked with making a trip to the Los Angeles area. So I found myself on the way to the airport at 8am, counting my blessings that I didn’t need to take the extremely early first flight out of Houston, but rather the more sensible 9:30am departure. I get to the airport an hour before the flight and breeze through the security process with 45 minutes to get to my gate.

Normally I’d go to the President’s Club lounge for coffee, a bagel and a last minute check of email. Unlike many other airlines Continental provides free wifi in their lounges. Of course, you pay annually for the lounge membership.

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Wifi Business: AT&T Buys Wayport

Andy Abramson has posted with respect to AT&T deciding to purchase Wayport and so expand their Wifi hotspot business. Although I still prefer to not do business with AT&T I have over the years spent a considerable sum with Wayport. Such is the life of one who inhabits hotels quite frequently.

Andy notes, and I’m very pleased to hear, that one of the beneficiaries of the deal will be Boingo. While I haven’t posted about this before I’ve been using Boingo for about a year. In fact I just upgraded my account to their Boingo Unlimited access.

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