What Data Will Carriers Be Able To Charge For

It’s a bit unfortunate that it’s taken this long for someone to do this study saying a lot of what lots of us have been saying for ages, just by understanding basic economics. A new study from Nokia has found that people will pay for mobile data – but only under specific circumstances. They aren’t interested in paying for the same data they can easily get at home for free, but don’t mind things that take advantage of the fact that they’re mobile (such as movie schedules on the go). In other words, content on a mobile phone competes with content from other sources, such as a home or work internet connection. There are places where content is needed rapidly and another internet connection isn’t available – but otherwise, it’s a tough sell. The other major finding is one we’ve been screaming about for years. While some carriers still think they can get away with charging users on a per byte basis, no users actually want that. If anything, they’d prefer a flat-rate pricing. It doesn’t take a degree in history to look at how flat-rate pricing in the ISP world helped turn the internet into a mainstream phenomenon. Of course, over the last year or so, it appears that more carriers have started to understand this, so hopefully this study will push the few holdovers (and on-the-fencers) to the side where they’re actually giving customers what they want, and helping to expand the market.

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