Originally published: March 4, 2012
Last updated: March 5, 2012 - 4:24pm
Cellphone carriers are forcing customers to think about how much data they are slurping up as they watch YouTube and stream music from Pandora. In the United States, customers with unlimited plans who use a lot of data have found themselves forced into a network slow lane. Now companies are introducing services and applications that promise to help phone users manage and understand their data diet — for example, flagging the late-night Tumblr binge that chewed through their monthly data ration. The idea is to help them tweak their behavior and the way their phone works to get the most out of their data plans.
Start-ups like Onavo have services that compress data on its way to the phone. Qualcomm, the telecommunications company, is developing software that can be built into phones and seeks ways to minimize data use, like automatically switching to Wi-Fi when an approved network is detected. Your average smartphone owner could use some assistance on this front. Many are unlikely to know the difference between a megabyte and a gigabyte, or how much data it takes to watch a music video.
- As Networks Speed Up, Data Hits a Wall
- T-Mobile Offers iPhone Tests and Unlimited Music Streaming
- Sen Corker rallies opposition to Pandora-backed royalty bill
- Pandora Wins Licensing Ruling Against Songwriters
- Amid Flow of Leaks, Turkey Moves to Crimp Internet
- Pandora: We want to be the FM radio of the connected car
- Bid to deny Pandora an FM station reflects out-of-date music royalty system
- FTC Says AT&T Has Misled Millions of Consumers with ‘Unlimited’ Data Promises
- Pandora and Spotify Rake in the Money and Then Send It Off in Royalties
- Some T-Mobile Subscribers Complain Using Spotify Is Running Up Data Charges
- Consumer groups urge FCC to investigate Metro PCS for network neutrality violation
- Life in the Slow Lane
- Apple Wants to Build Its Own Pandora. Why?
- Pandora Making Bid to Unruffle Music World
- Winner in the Amazon War