By Bob Hunsberger, president and CEO, NetMotion Wireless
With several major cellular carriers announcing usage-based rates, the days of “all-you-can-eat” unlimited bandwidth for cellular data service appear to be ending. Tiered-rate structures aren’t just a new way to calculate costs. They’re a game changer. Access charges under the fixed-fee, unlimited bandwidth model have been treated as a sunk cost; any data use beyond a single byte has been, for all practical purposes, a “free lunch.” Now, there are incentives to make business-responsible use of data networks.
One response is to switch to carriers who still offer unmetered plans. This might be a shortsighted move. A longer-term view recognizes the changing dynamics: 1) mobile deployments have become more prevalent; 2) this has put pressure on the ability to deliver bandwidth, which is limited by the available spectrum; 3) the use of market pricing to regulate demand based on the perceived business value is inevitable; and 4) therefore businesses need effective strategies to reduce their consumption and ensure that bandwidth use aligns with business need.