|Rebecca's Connected World|
Wait – How Did I Use Up All My iPad Data So Fast?
That wonderful time of year has come and gone already. Apple announced the next iPad to much fanfare, and 3 million were sold the first weekend. Consumers can’t wait to use the new features it has to offer – including that beautiful Retina screen and ability to use super-fast LTE networks.
The idea of being able to access content insanely fast wherever you are is certainly enticing, but it could also be a major issue for consumers with inflexible data plans, and service providers with LTE networks that aren’t ready for the demand. There is no doubt the iPad will be a key driver in the growth of 4G LTE, and service providers need to ensure networks are ready and customers have the best experience possible.
The issue here is twofold. First, millions of consumers have these devices in hand with the ability to download large amount of data, yet they are still being offered data plans that aren’t optimized for their consumption habits. Why should an on-the -go business exec who sends emails constantly have the same type of data plan as the consumer who just wants to stream the latest movie? These different use-case scenarios can be remedied through personalized targeted pricing – the ability to offer customer data plans based on a user’s unique needs.
To support this point, AllThingsD recently reported that tablet sales are largely a “WiFi affair" because U.S. carriers do not currently allow consumers to share data across multiple devices. While many people are buying models with LTE capabilities, they choose to use Wi-Fi only, making carriers a “less important factor when it comes to tablet sales." Service providers have the opportunity to change this with shared data plans and more flexible usage models.
Secondly, service providers need solutions that will enable them to rapidly expand and build out their LTE networks. A typical Tier 1 provider has in excess of 10,000 new base stations to design when rolling out LTE networks. And globally, according to wireless industry trade association 4GAmericas (data supplied by Informa Telecoms), some 400 service providers are preparing for LTE network rollouts in the next three to five years. Solutions like the Amdocs Single Click Network Rollout Solution can help speed that process by automating the LTE (4G+3G) base station and backhaul planning and design processes. The potential strain on networks has the industry talking about how LTE networks will cope with the spike in demand, and these conversations are warranted. Especially when Apple claims the top download speed for the iPad is 73 megabits per second. We did the math, and that means consumers could burn through their basic 2 gigabyte monthly plain in less than four minutes. That’s a lot of data!
With the introduction of LTE to the new iPad, there is no doubt we’ll be seeing some interesting statistics about LTE adoption by the end of 2012. “Must have" devices like this provide a vast opportunity for service providers to capitalize on this demand and delight their users. Consumers are ready and waiting to plunk down their cash for a data plan that makes sense and a network that offers the best experience.
Rebecca Prudhomme is vice president of Product & Solutions Marketing at Amdocs. She currently leads Amdocs’ entire global team of product marketing professionals focused on bringing to market Amdocs’ products, services and solutions.