In a statement that most in the wireless industry predicted, AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said wireless customers that are heavy data users will eventually pay more for the service than others who use less.
Though Stephenson didn't specify a date or pricing structure of the tiered data plans, he went on to say that the iPhone will be an important part of the company's lineup for "quite some time." In a wide-ranging discussion at a Morgan Stanley conference in San Francisco, Stephenson said that he expects the iPad to be a "largely Wi-Fi-driven product" with the AT&T wireless network as a secondary connection option.
The company is also continuing the push to improve coverage in New York City and San Francisco, two known AT&T trouble spots. When asked about AT&T's LTE rollout, he said that the company would start the rollout in 2011 and accelerate the pace in 2012. "We're not in a tremendous hurry," he said, stating that AT&T's current HSPA network should be sufficiently able to handle data for the next few years.
Hmm...tiered data? How does that sound?