Stacey at GigaOm writes about the data problem for cellular companies. On the one hand, data revenue of $40 to $60 more per month from an account seems pretty good; on the other hand, 70% of the traffic on a tower is from data cards (about 3-4% of subscribers). This seems like they should have known this.
Voice calls take up less than 10K per stream. 3G data takes up to 3MB. AT&T sees how much bandwidth an iPhone pulls off its network (read: a lot!). So are they just getting us addicted to a flat rate service and smartphone access only to charge us per byte later? It would seem so.
Once again they designed a voice network instead of a data network. (Remember the busy signals on dial-up?) And misjudged how people would use it.
Like terrestrial broadband not having a good enough business model for the network operators, it looks like cellular broadband will have to be re-tooled -- now that folks are addicted to 24/7 unlimited access.