The trend toward capped data plans is the latest attempt by US carriers to combat growing network congestion. AT&T was the first carrier to introduce capped data in 2010 with Verizon and T-Mobile following suit this year. Sprint recently capped its plan for tablet users. However, the average smartphone user in the US consumes only about 435 MB per month, nowhere near the typical low-end restriction of 2GB. And actually, only the top 5% of data users consume 2 GB or more of data each month, so it is obvious that capping data at 2 GB, 5 GB or 10 GB is not the answer to the mobile data tsunami.
The real problem that we’ve discussed in previous posts goes beyond data and bandwidth usage and lies with signaling and background app polling, which happens without the user even knowing. To truly fight network congestion, carriers will need to implement a traffic optimization solution that addresses entire mobile content ecosystem including the end-user behavior, the app, the device, the network and the back-end app systems.
SEVEN Open Channel addresses signaling and data overload by eliminating unnecessary traffic on the network and minimizing the time the device is on the network. This is significant in addressing the network data challenges faced by operators worldwide and is one of the first solutions of its kind to address signaling.
Until this traffic is better managed, mobile customers are only going to become more frustrated with carriers when they find out that capped data plans did nothing more than put expensive boundaries around their usage and their connections are still being dropped during peak hours. Stay tuned!