AT&T CEO Mentions Data Management When Speaking On iPhone - Oh No!

Ugh. It's things like "managing" and "crowded out" that we don't like to hear from CEOs of wireless operators, and that's exactly what was overheard during an AT&T keynote speech at CTIA in San Diego this week. CEO Ralph de la Vega didn't go so far as to introduce some sort of throttling program to the world, but you can tell he has something of the like in mind.

It's no secret that iPhone users consume massive amounts of data compared to other smartphone users. The Safari browser is essentially the only phone web browser that can actually navigate the Internet in a way similar to the desktop, so more users bother to try. Then there's the App Store. With over 75,000 of them available, quite a few rely on an Internet connection to operate. It doesn't even dawn on users that those apps are sucking down large amounts of data, primarily because they're already paying an incredibly lofty $30 per month for access to an "unlimited amount" of data.

In a speech at the aforesaid conference however, the CEO mentioned that if usage continues to grow (and it will), they'll be forced to manage data so that normal smartphone users (as in, not iPhone users) aren't "crowded out" by the small number of users who consumer the vast majority of data on the network. In the same breath, he also pleaded for the FCC to keep its net neutrality efforts at bay. That's funny--this guy doesn't want the government regulating him, but he's practically confirming that he's willing to regulate his end-users. Amazing how that works, huh?

Do you think we'll see data management put into practice soon? Of course, we could wish that AT&T would simply expand its network, but Wall Street certainly wouldn't approve of spending billions on something like "improved customer service," now would it?