We have been talking about the need to prepare for qualitatively higher volumes of data in Asia as more people start using 3G networks. Our proposals have focused on adding to international backhaul capacity in order to reduce prices of this key input that is now 3-6 times more expensive than capacity in Europe and North America.
The New York Times discusses how the data flood is playing out in the US. The projections are that the networks will have to carry the total traffic they carried in all of 2010, in just two months in 2015 in the US.
Cellphone plans that let people gobble up data as if they were at an all-you-can eat buffet are disappearing, just as a new crop of data-gobbling Internet services from Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Apple and the like are hitting the market or catching on with wide audiences.
These services use far more data than simply checking e-mail or browsing the Web, so their heaviest users may find themselves running over their plan’s monthly allotment and paying extra.
The wireless carriers say their tighter limits will affect only a small percentage of customers. And they say they are simply trying to get ahead of an exploding appetite for data and avoid problems with overburdened networks.