Google may have lost yet another negotiation with carriers, and might now have to introduce bandwidth throttling in future versions of Android, at least that’s what a new patent filed by them says. Google’s bandwidth throttling would allow carriers to set usage thresholds for data that is transferred during a certain timeframe, and react with a reduction in bandwidth speed.
This would work much like T-mobile’s bandwidth throttling works when you reach your data cap, but then instead of charging you extra, they limit your speed. The thing is T-mobile promotes their plans as “unlimited”. They don’t really say it outloud that they are unlimited with restrictions, so that is pretty misleading.
I wonder if carriers want to force Google to implement this in Android so they get off the hook for violating net neutrality laws or other kind of wireless laws. LTE networks should help carriers support a lot more users who consumer a lot of data, but I think they will still want to move to nickle and dime you for everything in the future, because they don’t want to become simple ISP’s that charge a fixed plan per month and then allow you to do everything you want with your data plan.
This is why we’re still seeing today how they don’t want to allow you to tether your phone to a laptop without charging you extra for that, even though it makes no sense, since you should be the one the one who decides how you use the data, and once you paid for it, it shouldn’t matter how you use it.
So is data throttling in Google’s plans for Android because of pressure from carriers? We’ll have to see, but Google better be ready for the huge backlash.