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AT&T to offer 'incentives' to customers willing to limit data usage

AT&T to offer 'incentives' to customers willing to limit data usage
Donald Melanson
Donald Melanson|@donmelanson|December 17, 2009 12:55 PM
AT&T exec #1: You know, our network's really getting slammed with all these people using their unlimited data plans to download things and do stuff online all the time. Any ideas how we can fix it?

AT&T exec #2:
We could put out more WiFi hotspots. People seem to use those. Sometimes.

AT&T exec #1: Sure, but that's not going to make a dent in places like New York City. I mean, have you used an iPhone there?

AT&T exec #2: We have these things called MicroCells that people can use at home, if they live in North Carolina. Maybe more people could use those?

AT&T exec #1: Yeah, that's good. But people like to use their cellphones outside their house too. What happens then?

AT&T exec #2: Well, what if we offered customers incentives to use less data?

AT&T exec #1: Now you're talking! What sort of incentives could get them to do that?

AT&T exec #2: Hmm....

Well, readers, are there any incentives that would get you to use less data? Feel free to offer your suggestions for AT&T in the comments below. And don't worry about actually paying more for data (yet, anyway), as AT&T 's Ralph de la Vega is now saying that "we have not made any decision to implement tiered pricing," which is a slight backtrack from previous hints to the contrary.