This weeks Mobile World Congress was plagued by reports of bad return on investment (ROI) for mobile data by heavy hitters mobile industry. Their primary complaint is that they generate too little revenue in return for offering data from providers like Google. Now some providers want to introduce a tiered structure plan for data consumers.
Many fear that a tiered approach to charging consumers would push traffic back off the networks. Taking a different route, Facebook has committed to a mobile credit purchasing service, where usage payments are tied directly into mobile providers billing systems. Perhaps others can take a lesson from this model. Provide the content, but figure out an easy seamless way to keep users connected and still turn a profit off of those heavily congested wireless networks.
If providers choose to overcomplicate their data usage plans, consumers will be turned off and seek alternative ways to stay connected. If these challenges are dealt with correctly, mobile carriers will continue to fuel innovation and simultaneously restructure the way we interact with our environment and incoming information.
Anil Malhotra of Bango blog writes:
"Taxing data will simply push traffic off-net. But by facilitating payments for premium content, the internet players get a way to generate instant returns from mobile delivery and carriers have additional income to subsidize the costs of the network."