T-Mobile may charge Apple, Google for heavy data use
updated 03:55 pm EDT, Wed July 21, 2010
by MacNN Staff
T-Mo chief wants iPhone, Android data to cost more
The chief of T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom, Rene Obermann, argued in a German interview today that Apple and Google should pay more for higher-quality mobile data. iPhones and Android smartphones use much more data on the network, the executive told Manager Magazin, and should carry an extra surcharge if they need an especially fast or reliable network for music or video. Talks are already underway with at least Google.
Carriers have pressed for tiered use in the past, but they have usually chosen to cap data and simply curb overall use rather than punish individual mobile OS makers or apps. AT&T recently instituted a 2GB cap after years of promising unlimited data but being frequently overwhelmed by frequent use. Some of the blame has been pinned on companies refusing to disable or significantly cripple services; leaked insights from Apple's relationship with AT&T showed that it refused to neuter YouTube and other features, instead pushing AT&T to upgrade its network to handle the load.
T-Mobile might have the option of pursuing its extra fees in Europe but may not have that option in the US in the near future. The FCC hopes to codify net neutrality on a basic level and prevent carriers from charging more for certain kinds of data traffic. Officials have contended that allowing carriers to charge for more lets them discriminate in favor of certain technology or their own services. [viaNewTeeVee]