Verizon plans "Turbo" network speed mode for apps, takes tiered data to the micro level
Remember those hints that carriers might start slicing and dicing their data output, even going to the level of you paying based on the sites you visit? Well, Verizon is planning to introduce a much more elegant way to do a similar thing. It is developing a network optimization API that can be used in apps to add a "Turbo" network mode when needed, and hopes to finish it by mid-year 2012.
The technology for slicing your data consumption is out there, supplied by companies like Allot, which can analyze if you are visiting Facebook, YouTube, and so on, and tailor your data charges accordingly. The telcos even wanted to make popular sites pay for the traffic they generate in Europe, since the networks they have weren't planned for intense Facebook-ing or watching YouTube videos all day long, but that Tony Soprano idea fell apart.
The idea is to dynamically allocate more bandwidth to an app, which would be a welcome boost while you are streaming video over a congested network in peak hours, for example. And here comes the kicker - this "Turbo" mode will be available for a small fee via a microtransaction API the carrier is developing, that will pile a small charge onto your monthly bill. While demonstrating the "network optimization API" at the open house demo in San Francisco, Verizon's Hugh Fletcher said:
The technology for the carriers to charge you according to usage patterns is already out there
Verizon's solution is way more elegant, so kudos to its marketing team - only if you want "turbo" mode, you pay for it. The carrier says that the mere mortals who don't use this mode on a congested network are not going to be elbowed out by the guys that use and pay for the "network optimization API", but we can't imagine any other way, unless it's straight out of Hogwarts.