Anyone watching the worldwide smartphone market knows that over the years the devices have become more and more adept at moving data. This has resulted in carriers working on 3G, and now on 4G, networks to keep up with demand from consumers. We have also seen the major carriers take different paths to meeting the demand for data. AT&T and Verizon are moving to shared data plans while Sprint and T-Mobile continue on a path of providing unlimited data. A recent study by FierceWireless and NPD Connected Intelligence may shed some light on how these strategies are panning out.
If you’re a Verizon customer, Judgment Day will officially arrive on June 28th. As we had previously mentioned, Verizon had its sights set on introducing a new plan called the Data Share plan. In this plan, Verizon customers will have unlimited voice minutes, text messaging and shared data for up to 10 Verizon devices. Customers would first select the devices they want on their accounts. Then customers would choose a plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited messages and a shared data allowance that begins at 1GB for $50, 2GB for $60, 4GB for $70 and so on.Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Tami Erwin shares some insight on how important this new option is for customers:
“Share Everything Plans are the new standard for wireless service. They are simple; customers no longer have to think about their voice and message plans, because both are unlimited. Share Everything Plans are convenient; customers purchase one data plan and they share it with up to 10 mobile devices. And, they are worry-free; customers can connect their 3G or 4G devices wherever and whenever they want on America’s most reliable network.”
Customers would also have the option of adding 3G/4G tablets to their Data Share plans for an additional $10, though there is no need to sign a contract or long-term commitment. In all reality, the Data Share plan isn’t too bad— especially for couples and families. But if you’re not fortunate enough to be on a family plan and ride solo, then there’s nothing like having the luxury and freedom of unlimited data for Verizon customers— so you may want to hold onto that coveted unlimited data plan for as long as you can.
source: Verizon Wireless PR
After hearing all the hubbub surrounding Verizon’s plan to cut off unlimited data, T-Mobile’s VP of marketing Andrew Sherrard decided it was the right time to announce that they are on the side of the consumer and agree that shared data is not the way to go. Talking to T-Mobile’s Issues & Insights Blog, Sherrard acknowledged that consumers do not want to share a lump sum of data, nor would it beneficial in a family data plan model. Not only does he disagree with Verizon’s recent announcement, Sherrard brings up a really good point. “Do families really want to keep track of each others’ data consumption? We don’t think so. Just imagine mom’s email is suddenly unavailable because her teenage son watched an HD movie on his phone, consuming the family’s data allotment.” Sherrard also said that T-Mobile has no plans to go the way of AT&T and Verizon. They will be sticking with individual data packages and have no desire to implement huge overage charges for those who exceed their data limit. Instead, they choose to use the equally controversial method of “throttling.”
Without knowing what Verizon’s exact plans are for shared data it is hard for me to pass judgement as of yet. What if us Verizon customers are given an option to get a higher amount of data that we can share across our tablets and smartphones at a lesser cost than what we are paying for multiple data plans? On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a one-device data user and want to maintain your unlimited data, I don’t think buying your next Android device at full retail price is a reasonable trade-off either. Maybe it’s time to start looking into a T-Mobile account or the other option that keeps becoming more and more appealing – a pre-paid plan
Does knowing the carriers full stance toward data limits have you looking for a new plan or carrier? Let us know what you think, or plan to do, in the comments below.
T-Mobile has just announced a new plan that should certainly get some data hungry power users through their magenta doorway. Starting May 20, mobile hotspot, tablet and laptop stick users will be able to purchase a data “pass” ranging from $15 to $50 a month without the hassle or stress of a 2 year contract. This is a great strategy to get new customers to try out their 4G (HSPA+) and hopefully get them to keep the service for a long while. The pricing for each pass is not bad at all for what you’re getting and should definitely turn a few heads later this month when T-Mobile makes them available. Check out the full presser below for more details.
Score one for the little guys. AT&T’s controversial “unlimited” data plan has made some noise in recent weeks. Since announcing they would begin reducing speeds for certain customers with the coveted unlimited data plan last year, it had since gotten an immense amount of criticism from many customers and even the media. After all, how can AT&T throttle data speeds for unlimited customers who pay
the exact same a comparable amount to those who are on a tiered data (3GB/month) plan. Of course AT&T thinks its policies aren’t that bad, but one customer believes the policies are atrocious and had enough, so he decided to fight back.
AT&T customer Matt Spaccarelli decided to take action by taking AT&T to small claims court. He has the unlimited data plan and was being throttled by AT&T. He also contends his data speeds were being throttled, despite only using 1.5GB to 2GB of data per month and using by doing some thorough research, laid his claims and arguments before a judge arguing what AT&T is doing is wrong. AT&T countered by highlighting it is free to change the terms of its contracts or even end them outright, if it decided that the subscriber was causing adverse network usage. Judge Russell Nadel accepted the argument of Spaccarelli and granted him victory. Spaccarelli was awarded $850 which will go towards the remainder of his contract— or about $85 for 10 months.
Let this be a lesson for AT&T: customers aren’t happy and they’re willing to do something about your business practices. As an AT&T unlimited data customer myself and the victim of a threatening “text message warning” about my data usage, I can’t help but feel justice for all of us who are bullied by Ma Bell. Let’s hope it gets its act together, otherwise it will continue to lose support and ultimately customers.
(Photo courtesy of Synaptic Storage)
source: Google News
Sprint has recently decided to change their data plans for tablets and mobile broadband/hotspot in order to remain competitive with other mobile providers. It seems like Sprint has been tweaking its plans a lot lately and this new line-up has its ups and downs. All new changes went into effect today and only apply to non-smartphone devices. Smartphones will maintain unlimited data.
Sprint’s two high-tier plans offer more bandwidth than Verizon and AT&T and at a lower cost. You can get 12GB of data for $79.99 and 6GB fro $49.99. If you are simply using a tablet and want less data, you now have a 1GB option for $19.99 and 3GB plan for $34.99. The later also applies to hotspots as well.
All plans include 3G and 4G but if you go over in data you will definitely be punished for it. The Now Network is going to charge you an additional $0.25 per MB of overage, and if you manage to exceed 1GB you will have to pay a $50 penalty. Although the new pricing is really good and beats out Big Red and Ma Bell, the overage fees will definitely make you want to monitor your data usage more closely.
Jump past the break for the full low-down within Sprint’s press release.
T-Mobile continues to show the masses just how flexible the carrier can be when it comes to custom plans tailored for you . The company has recently announced that they’ll be adding another 4G plan to fit your personal lifestyle. For $60 per month you’ll get unlimited talk, text and data with the first 2GB.
In addition, Magenta is also offering three new “Pay by the day” plans giving you even more flexibility for times when you just require a day’s worth of data. Options include $3 per day for unlimited talk, text and data for the first 200 mb’s, $2 per day for unlimited talk, text and data (Edge speeds) and $1 per day for unlimited text and 10 cents per min for talk. Furthermore, beginning on Oct 16th the company is offering a no annual contract plan with unlimited web for the first 5 GB, unlimited text and 100 minutes of talk for only $30/mo at your nearest Walmart.
Are all the carriers playing follow the leader? Perhaps it’s more a setup of falling dominos. Following the pack, US Cellular announced in an earnings call that they will be moving to tiered data plans. No hard details on those plans are known at this time.
US Cellular also pointed out they’re still on track to bring 4G in November, with at least one LTE enabled smartphone to hit around the same time. Is this announcement of tiered data hitting alongside 4G due to congestion fears? Since all the carriers seem to be falling suit there must be a good reason for it right?
The end of tiered data just doesn’t feel right, but I’m trying to understand and appreciate where the carriers are coming from. Currently, I seem to be a 2 gig a month guy using as much WiFi as I can while at home or work, but this may change. Now that we can stream Netflix on our phones and enjoy our music streaming from the cloud I can see why carriers are trying to manage the data. I’d have to guess with 4G hitting more areas there will be more applications to take advantage of this experience and use even more data.
What do you think about this and how much data are you currently using monthly?
We reported on Tuesday that Verizon would be eliminating the unlimited data plan in favor of tiered pricing. You will see from the above image the pricing is now confirmed:
- $30 for 2GB, $10 extra for every 1GB
- $50 for 5GB, $10 extra for every 1GB
- $80 for 10GB, $10 extra for every 1GB
- Hotspot add on will be $20 for 2GB.
Pricing is for both 3G and 4G.
It looks like May 8th will bring a change in data plans for Sprint mobile broadband and embedded devices like tablets. The new packages will be 3GB for $34,99, 5GB for $49.99, and 10GB for $79.99.
Sprint currently offers 5GB for $59.99 per month and a 2GB tablet-only plan for $29.99 per month.
These plans should be good for the Motorola XOOM, BlackBerry Playbook, and the new Samsung Galaxy Tabs.