Examples Of How Fast Watching iPad Videos On Wireless Carrier Networks Eat Up Data Allotment

Posted Mar 21, 2012

The Wall Street Journal wrote an article about several examples of how fast data allotment can be consumed on wireless carrier networks. This would be interesting for those of you who are considering buying an iPad with a data plan.

Brandon Wells bought an iPad last Friday and started streaming March Madness games the next day. After watching two hours of college basketball, he had burned through his monthly wireless allotment of 2GB.

In order to keep watching more video or to surf the web on his iPad, Wells will now have to dish out an extra $10 per gigabyte that he wants to watch above his $30 subscription.

“It’s kind of a Catch-22,” stated Wells in an interview with the WSJ. “It streams really fast video, but by streaming really fast video you tend to watch more video, and that’s not always best.”

Why do telecommunications companies charge such high prices? The telecommunications carriers have to pay for their 4G data towers somehow. Consumers will have to start getting used to an increase in their monthly expenses. Personally I stay away from the iPad data plans because I feel like having an iPhone with a data plan is satisfying enough. I just use my iPad on my WiFi connection.

The WSJ also interviewed Albert Park of Austin, Texas. Initially Park connected to a WiFi network at a local coffee shop to watch YouTube videos, but the connection was too slow. So he switched to a high-speed mobile network on AT&T. After watching YouTube videos for an hour at the coffee shop and doing some general web browsing over the next five days, he found out that he already consumed 2/3rds of his data allotment in his 3GB plan. Lesson learned. “I’ll probably avoid watching videos outside my home,” said Park.