New iPad is said to be data glutton

March 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- Users watching movies and television shows on their iPads are discovering the devices consume data from cellular networks at a high rate, U.S. analysts say.

Some iPad owners are seeing their monthly data allotment from cellphone carriers being used up by watching a single two-hour movie, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Cellular companies faced with overburdened networks are now charging customers for each byte of data they consume, and industry leaders Verizon and AT&T have stopped offering new customers unlimited data plans.

"My view has always been that video via cellular was always a fantasy," said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Bernstein Research. "The networks simply aren't designed to handle it."

Verizon charges $20 a month for 1 gigabyte of data on its 4G network and AT&T charges at least $14.99 for 250 megabytes. Both charge for any usage in excess of those limits.

Tablets like the iPad generate three times more network traffic than the average smartphone, a study by Cisco found.

Cellphone carriers have been urging frustrated customers to use WiFi networks whenever possible.

"For the time being, it looks like consumers who are budget-conscious will need to reserve some of their high-bandwidth applications for times they are at home or connected to a WiFi network," said Michael Calabrese, director of the future of wireless project at the New America Foundation think tank.

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