Following the revelation of AT&T's potential solution to the problem of increased mobile data usage, The Wall Street Journal has an overview of all of the measures being taken to counter the average mobile user. As you'd expect, the findings are disconcerting to say the least. Anton Troianoski reports:
[...] Network technology companies are busy producing equipment and software that will allow mobile traffic to move at different speeds and be billed at different rates, so carriers can create more complicated data plans.
At the mobile-phone trade show here this week, Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. offered a glimpse of such a technology. One tap of a tablet screen running Huawei's software opened up more Internet bandwidth for a user paying more. Another function would let cellphone carriers limit which websites certain users can access, or charge them differently for different Web domains, a spokesman said.
Not only is this a huge blow to net neutrality, but more so to the way we view the Internet altogether. Carriers are essentially looking to embrace and market the despicable offspring of pay-as-you-go billing and draconian parental control for all users in order to wrestle control back into their court.
Innovation in the mobile sphere has provided a catalyst for development throughout the technology industry. Rich web services, imaginative UI concepts, and location awareness have all been given rise thanks to the increased viability of the mobile platform. And yet, for every ounce of innovation, there is blatant push back and vitriolic fear visibly seeping from most mobile carriers. Innovation has penetrated their domain and it has occurred outside the bounds of their control.
Seeking to right this, carriers are relying upon antiquated visions of the mobile marketplace and increasingly pathetic attempts to cling to power - the carriers repositioning themselves from useful services to obnoxious roadblocks against sustained innovation.
Hamstrung apps, deeply integrated limitations, and novel means for increasing billing characterize a market at complete odds with the average consumer.