One really great feature in Windows Phone 8 that is often overlooked is Data Sense. This feature helps people on tiered data plans track and watch usage so they don’t go over limits. It also compresses data so to reduce consumption. Verizon is currently the only carrier to allows Data Sense. FierceWireless asked AT&T about Data Sense and got the following response:
“We are exploring Data Sense and how to optimize the experience for our customers. In the meantime, we recommend customers use the myAT&T app to track their data usage, as well as manage other aspects of their AT&T account.”
What does “optimize the experience” even mean? It means they don’t know if they want to let users have the feature. Using data sense means users are less likely to pay overage fees and buy a more expensive plan. It also means users will be getting more usage out of lower plans. AT&T doesn’t like this. Ever wonder why no one offers a 1GB plan? Because that would be too perfect. AT&T offers 300MB plan because that is just low enough to make people buy the 3GB plan. With Data Sense it would be easier to stay on the lowest plan, and that’s not what AT&T wants.
If you want to look at a reason why carriers in the U.S. have too much power look no further than this situation. AT&T customers are being refused a basic feature found in the OS on a phone they purchased with their own money. This is the price we pay for subsidizing.