Tag Archives: T-Mobile

Wireless Carriers: Data Only Plans

Is there any traction on ‘Data Only’ wireless plans which augment your primarily carrier?

E.g. when you reach the allocated capacity of the primary plan, one of N secondary wireless providers may be selected ‘on the fly’ or in  settings.  Each wireless provider may offer their own competitive ‘data only’ plan.  The subscriber may choose a “10 GB for 10 USD.”

Alternatively, the consumer may direct traffic of a certain type, e.g. Network packets for movies to ABC wireless.

Prime example, my family shared plan offers 10 GB to share among the 4 of us.  One of us, for the last two months, chewed up our data plan.   At 75%, 90%, and 100% AT&T sent us warning notifications, which was very good.

After we bust the quota, we are automatically charged one GB for 15 USD.  It may be just me, but that sounds pricey.  Both months I stopped the data component for one of the phones.  Also, a great feature AT&T, but it doesn’t go far enough, block only streaming movies when not in WiFi.  I’d prefer if the middle tier, the wireless solutions management implement the feature.  The kids don’t have access to it as would a device implementation.

Wireless Data Plans, Packet Protocols, Granular Reporting

6 Days Left of my Billing Cycle: 0.3 GB Left (out of 10 GB)

Are you kidding me?! I login to AT&T’s Wireless, myAT&T portal to dive into where is all our data going?  I am able to see quite easily what mobile phone number is eating up our plan, but no additional granular information.  AT&T has a great site with lots of good information to help their customers manage their plans.

However, it seems wireless providers leave it up to the handset manufacturers to interpret the usage of the phones. Makes some sense on an individual level, but as multi line / family wireless plans continue to evolve, the growth of wireless services management portals should be spent on providing consumers transparency into their usage, aggregated and granular.

Packets of [wireless] data, bits of information, have a ‘signature’ as they travel through the Internet ether.  Packet protocol defines where the data/information originates, and it’s destination, as well as any other required information by the application sending / receiving the data.  Wireless carriers’, services management portal should allow consumers to slice and drill down to see how data is being used. For example,

Wireless plans of 10 GB is not a lot with teenagers.  You may want to target areas to curtail usage so you aren’t ‘bleeding data’.  At this time, there is not enough transparency on how data is being used from the wireless provider’s usage platform. The provider should be able to parse data packets to quantify how data is being used, and provide reports, e.g.

June 2015 Snapshot for 212-555-1212

231 songs streamed from ABC, N MB; 23 videos watched on YouTube, 2.3 GB; 34 streamed videos from Netflix, 3.2 GB; 345 emails downloaded, 90 MB;

DAM on wireless services:  Application data packet objects may have visibility through Digital Asset Management (DAM), all objects that can be managed, phone calls to chats from Facebook (except where encrypted).

Now take a piece of paper, write privacy on it, then rip it in half and toss it in the garbage.

Adjustable Data Quota Limits on Member’s of Family/Shared Data Plans

A cap on the amount of shared data each person in the plan is allowed to use should be adjustable at any point in the billing cycle. Good Use Case:  my kids are on my family plan, and I want to limit their data usage.  They always use more than my wife and I.

Another possible use case, from a small business perspective, if you add a few lines on your plan, then you may allocate to specific type of employees, such as sales reps., specific amounts of data.  There are several types of widgets can be used, such as a pie chart, and the total pie represents the total data package, and each slice represents an allocation to each member of the shared plan.

Update: I stand corrected, and do see an AT&T Smart Limits for 4.99 USD per month:

Mandatory Service for Your Smartphone: Change the Oil Please

As a way to continue to sell into their existing channel, as well as retain their existing customer base, I might try a sales/marketing strategy if I was a wireless carrier, which would bring in existing customers every six months into the store.

Analogous to an oil change for your car, or mandatory service, I would require existing customer base into a participating wireless carrier partner to perform the following on the existing user’s smartphone:

  •  Check the performance of the smartphone upon existing ‘idle conditions’, and determine if there are any application [services] are required to run by querying the user, and uninstalling any currently unused applications.
  • Check the performance of the smartphone upon start up, and see if there are any performance enhancement tools can be installed to the smartphone to help curb the usage of the memory and CPU cycles.  Company may advocate new third party products for the smartphone platform.
  • Depending upon the timing and the available deals, company may advocate any third party peripheral products, such as a car charger,or an male to male jack to plug the sound into your car to play music; a Bluetooth headset, or help connect your phone to your cars existing Bluetooth system.
  • Depending upon the timing and the available deals, company may advocate for an upgrade to the existing smartphone, either the Operating System or the hardware.
  • The company may try to sell another line into the package; i.e. sell additional lines, or new features that may be available at the current time, or conversion from a single to a family / multiple line package.

Android Powerful VoIP Phones Giving Cellular a Raspberry Very Soon

I was reading the article by CNET, Samsung: Galaxy S4 for U.S. has four cores, not eight, and said, well that’s just not nice.  I would have also said fair, but hey, life isn’t that fair, is it?  Then I remembered about a few guys at my last few companies who build their own PCs.  Then I thought of this recent craze called, Raspberry Pi, you might have heard of this inexpensive computer.  The wheels started turning and I though, well, I want 8 cores, and maybe 32 megabytes of RAM, then I thought, hey why not more?

Now, I pulled back the reigns.  How can I build a phone?  What are the barriers?  For one, what are the mechanics that I can’t handle?  Well, there’s this whole concept of carriers, bands, and regulated waves.  Solved, in limited form.   I put together a phone that uses Voice over IP (VoIP).  There are tons of hot spots all over, and every day the number grows and grows.  The operating system, is that a problem, probably not.  The article  I saw the other day from CNET, Android originally designed as smart-camera system, also was another piece to the puzzle.  The Android mobile OS is Open Source, and I thought amazing, it’s Open Source.  Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with an open-source license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software for free to anyone and for any purpose.  Many of the other challenges, screen, and other components, are relatively not too bad of a challenge.  So what I might end up with as a prototype is a VoIP phone from the 1980s, a brick phone.  Well, not that impressive.  Several companies, such as Avaya, and Cisco have been doing this a long time.  Then I thought, if the Raspberry Pi Foundation can make a small computer inexpensively, anyone  would be able to make a small VoIP phone as powerful as they want.  Coming soon from a Geek near you.

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi