Fake Steve puts it well:
"But AT&T has a much bigger problem on its hands. The problem is that the wireless data explosion is just beginning. This 3% of AT&T users who are supposedly accounting for 40% of bandwidth use? Pretty soon that 3% is going to become 30%.
The whole point of having these mobile devices is to consume data. This is not just about the iPhone. There’s the Droid, and the Pre, and soon there will be the Nexus One and a zillion other Android phones. Plus all the tablets. This is the future. We are going to carry these devices and use them as our televisions, our radios, our newspapers.
The appetite for bandwidth will be insatiable. The network operators that will prosper will be the ones that can keep up with the demand. The ones who don’t will get left behind. Sure, for now companies like AT&T can hang on to customers with exploitative contracts and exclusivity deals. But at some point, and I think it will be soon, the network operators will have to compete, for real, based on quality of service.
The fact that AT&T is already bonking, here in the first five minutes of a 60-minute game, is terrifying. It’s their own fault, of course. Go look at their financial statements and open up the Financial Operations and Statistics Summary and look at capital expenditures over the past eight quarters. I’m no math whiz, but it looks like capex has gone down by about 30% over the time period. Scroll down a bit to the Wireless section and check out data revenues — they’re up 80% over the same period."