AT&T Mulling Over Billing App Developers for Data Usage by Apps

February 28, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

In the past, developing an app was comparatively easy. You needed to code it, debug it, market it and then make money. Now, things are going to be tougher when it comes to developing apps for devices on AT&T network.

As per the sources close to the decision making top brass of AT&T, the biggest network carrier in the US is thinking about billing developers and publishers for the bandwidth usage caused by their apps.

A recent statement made by AT&T executive John Donovan from the ongoing Mobile World Congress, indicates that the carrier is thinking about a new billing plan for data usage, so that the customers will not be stifled by the data usage of a particular app but the developers will pay for it.

Though the company is still mulling over the idea, it is likely to receive mixed responses if implemented. Right now, mobile data usage is rocketing up with faster devices flooding the market.

AT&T and rival network Verizon have already halted new takers under their unlimited data usage plans and are threatening users with high charges if they cross data usage limits.

So, if the new billing system is implemented, it will take the pressure away from the shoulders of the user as far data usage is concerned.

However, the move will not be so good for smaller developers if their apps happen to be streaming video or cause high data usage.

That way, the new system, if implemented, may stifle the competition in the app markets and stratify the app publishing community.

In a gist, it will be great for the carrier as they get a new source of revenue without vexing the customers. However, we will have to wait and see how the developer community and technology companies will react to it.

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