Today in Connected Consumer

Owners of the new 4G-enabled iPad are waking up to an unpleasant wireless hangover. All that video streaming enabled by the new high-speed wireless connection is eating up users’ monthly data allotment in no time flat, according to the Wall Street Journal this morning. That’s leaving proud new iPad owners facing steep overage charges if they want to keep using their device for the rest of the month. The situation isn’t like to improve anytime soon, either. Verizon Wireless, one of Apple’s two 4G partners, is warning in regulatory filings that it could run out of 4G capacity by 2013, before the expected mobile video boom has even fully boomed. CDN’s like Akamai are working on solutions for optimizing wireless networks, but they’re a long way from being implemented. Apart from what it means for consumers, the limits on wireless capacity could become a serious constraint on app developers and content owners hoping to leverage the growing number of iPads and other tablets in people’s hands. Currently, 9 in 10 tablets sold are Wi-Fi only, which makes them less than fully mobile for data-intensive applications.

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Paul Sweeting

Principal Concurrent Media Strategies

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