Take a look at the recent launchin the UK of 4G network EE. Their data prices for 4G data, in general, added £5 on to the same volume of data as their 3G network (derived from Orange and T-Mobile's presence in the UK before the merger). The online reaction was pretty vocal and not in support of the network. Here's one of the comments on that story, from 'mpw':
I wrote somewhere else that the right packages and pricing need to be introduced to allow LTE to be taken up by the masses. With EE's first offering it's a corporate product only. One day into the UK LTE revolution and pricing published and the question is "where did it all go so wrong?". Clearly, EE has some thinking to do.
Something has to give. The BBC report points out that mobile data usage on a smartphone is 35 times more than a phone-only user, and that ratio is set to increase to 50 times over the next three years. More people, using more data, and not wanting to pay any more than they are at the moment. What's a network to do?
Many governments had seen the crunch coming, said the report, and had freed radio spectrum they were now auctioning off to help operators cope. But these auctions were relatively rare and governments often asked that the spectrum be put to a specific use, such as serving rural areas, rather than just to lighten the load on the busiest parts of a network.
Bandwidth is in finite supply, as is the investment to increase a better network to cope with everyone using a smartphone. The solution is likely to involve a lot more capping of data, higher costs, and higher overages.
The BBC article sets out the issue, but doesn't provide an answer. But lets throw this open to you... what would you do to accommodate the data explosion on mobile devices?