Print 40 comment(s) - last by xxsk8er101xx.. on Sep 26 at 10:31 AM

Game over man! GAME OVER!

In early June, AT&T angered more than a few hardcore smartphone users with new capped data plans. Under its new policy, users would be able to choose from 200MB ($15/month) and 2GB ($25/month) data plans instead of an unlimited package ($30/month).

We knew it wouldn't be long before other wireless carriers would start following AT&T's lead, and today Verizon has acknowledged its plans for tiered data plans. According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon will roll out its tiered data plans within the next six months.

"We didn't need to be first on tiered pricing," said Verizon Wireless CEO Ivan Seidenberg referring to AT&T's pricing structure. Seidenberg went on to state that he doesn't think that AT&T has the data allotment/pricing mix right, stating, "We're not sure we agree yet with how they valued the data."

The new tiered data plans will likely encompass both 3G and 4G data plans (once Verizon gets its LTE network up and running).

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has also expressed a willingness to introduce tiered data plans, so the all-you-can-eat data buffet may soon be coming to an end.

In other Verizon news, Seidenberg added that "At some point, Apple will get with the program," with regards to offering the iPhone on America's largest cellular network. Possibly in a move to cozy up to Apple's Steve Jobs, Seidenberg went on to say, "We would love to carry it, but we have to earn it."

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I see what you did there
By DtTall on 9/23/2010 11:26:41 AM , Rating: 2
Probably just getting things in place for when the iPhone is available to Verizon customers.

RE: I see what you did there
By Nightbird321 on 9/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: I see what you did there
By MrFord on 9/23/2010 1:06:35 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see that as enabling competitive pricing on the low end. They already have similar packages ie 25Mb for 10$/month. A joke basically.

They will tell everybody that this enable people to right-size their plan/offer more flexible plans/save money/only the top 1% blah blah/tons of ways to justify this as "doing what's best for the customers". What they want is for you to pay as much as you do right now, and limit severely your plan on top of that. Oh and if you want more, fork out some more money.

It's like having your insurance policy reduced to the bare minimum, still paying the same monthly premium, and on top of that having to pay yourself for your claims.

Are they gonna tell us that 3 years ago bandwidth was cheaper than now?

And 2Gb (as it is on AT&T IIRC) is a joke. I pull over 1Gb/month on my Pre and all I do is use Pandora an hour a day and listen to a couple podcasts. I'd bet that they will put the limit not so that it's enough for 95% of the people, but so that it is just low enough to constantly being exceeded, especially a year or 2 down the road. Then they'll be looking at lots of fees and people going for the higher package = $$$$.

RE: I see what you did there
By Nightbird321 on 9/23/2010 7:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
Overcharging seems like a good idea until you realize your competitors are stealing all your customers by offering cheaper data. Why doesn't any of them just say, "come on over, we'll guarantee unlimited data for a reasonable price forever?" They know that their competitors won't be able to offer cheaper data.

RE: I see what you did there
By chick0n on 9/23/2010 2:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
they did it because they're bunch of greedy fucks, not because they can't handle the upgrade race.

They know that Any iPhone users will 90% of the time go over the 2GB limit by just checking emails ... ok that might take 500 mb. consider even yahoo mail page have graphics and stuff that consumes a lot of bytes. what about everything else? listen to podcast, Music, a few youtube a week. 2gb is nothing.

AT&T its known to have garbage service + overcharging people. Its just sad that iZealots know that they're getting a shitty phone plus shitty service but as long as its Apple they are willing to just take the hit.

This is really how sad this world has become.

RE: I see what you did there
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2010 3:03:17 PM , Rating: 3
Checking email will not put you anywhere near 500MB. Even if you leave the sync feature on to have it automatically update and tell you when you get an email. My cycle ends tomorrow and I'm a little over 1GB. I check email, do a pretty good amount of web browsing, and stream Pandora for 4-5 hours a day around 3 days a week.

RE: I see what you did there
By xxsk8er101xx on 9/26/2010 10:29:04 AM , Rating: 2
Not even close. My smart phone is constantly checking my email, i do some web browsing, app updates every week, and I never go over 100MB a month. If I streem a couple stuff I'm below 200MB's. I consider myself an average Joe with the smart phone use.

I'm at 50MB's of usage and my cycle ends on 10/3

RE: I see what you did there
By quiksilvr on 9/23/2010 12:16:51 PM , Rating: 3
It's things like this that make T-Mobile and Sprint more appealing.

RE: I see what you did there
By stirfry213 on 9/23/2010 12:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Did you not read the article directly before this one?

RE: I see what you did there
By quiksilvr on 9/23/2010 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, but its still a lot cheaper than Verizon and AT&T

RE: I see what you did there
By mcnabney on 9/23/2010 4:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
Because they are selling it below their costs.

Sprint has not shown a profit since before the Nextel merger.

RE: I see what you did there
By Drag0nFire on 9/23/2010 2:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
I hope they're at least upfront about when they make the change. Give people a chance to buy into the old system before the switch.

It's the right thing to do... but then when does Verizon ever do the right thing for its customers?

RE: I see what you did there
By mikable on 9/23/2010 3:10:12 PM , Rating: 1
What does the iphone have to do with it?

Cellular companies can kiss my @$$
By marsbound2024 on 9/23/2010 12:18:00 PM , Rating: 2
Mobile broadband is the way of the future. All this is doing is serving to stagnate widespread adoption of the inevitable. They make billions of dollars a year in profits and they are still attempting to rape us every chance they get. When LTE comes out, I would expect the caps to be 4GB for $15 a month and say 10GB for $25 a month. This is on top of our existing payments of god knows how much a month. For one person, someone may end up spending $100 or more a month. They need to get in touch with reality.

RE: Cellular companies can kiss my @$$
By sprockkets on 9/23/2010 12:46:37 PM , Rating: 3
When LTE comes out, I would expect the caps to be 4GB for $15 a month and say 10GB for $25 a month.

Uh, no. It should be that NOW with 3G.

200MB? Absolute BS. Even 100MB a month with the ancient Palm i705 was a joke plan, and that was a device back in 2002, using a pager network for data!

By marvdmartian on 9/24/2010 9:14:43 AM , Rating: 1
I could see a reasonable amount of data, say 2GB, for $20 a month. Then bump up the price for unlimited data to $40 a month, for the hardcore users.

RE: Cellular companies can kiss my @$$
By mcnabney on 9/23/2010 12:56:43 PM , Rating: 4
While mobile broadband is the future, it cannot possibly provide the same quantity of service as wires.

Now you probably don't know this, but LTE is extremely efficient spectrum-wise. So they can provide a lot more data throughput, 4-6x using the same number of mhz. So yes, the 'buckets' at Verizon will likely be quite a bit more generous than AT&T's current offerings.

However, that increase cannot possibly match what home wired users could possibly demand. Right now, Comcast or Time Warner Cable could handle every one of their customers demanding access at the same time and likely deliver 1-2mbs in the process. Yes, the traffic would slow them a bit, but they could handle it. Wireless is different. If Verizon uses the 700mhz spectrum that they bought in 2008 for LTE they will be limited to just under 400mbs per tower. That sounds like a lot of capacity, but a tower will likely cover 10-20 square miles of service area. That is a lot of people to share with. So don't expect the ability to constantly access 1080p content over LTE. If 20 customers did that, the tower would be at capacity. And all these numbers are under 'ideal' conditions.

RE: Cellular companies can kiss my @$$
By Alexstarfire on 9/23/2010 3:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, no they couldn't. If every Comcast user tried using their service at the same time Comcast would probably crash for a while.

By mcnabney on 9/23/2010 4:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
I am going by what a TWC engineer and friend told me. Their typical evening load is about 20% of customers active. Even then they can get the customers about 5-8mbs (I can get up to 15mbs before I hit the speed cap). So at 100% I was guessing somewhere between 1 and 2.

DOCSIS3 provides up to 350Mbs of download to each node. In my suburban neighborhood five streets that run for four blocks share a node (and they plan on splitting it soon). So about 1/4 of a square mile of DOCSIS3 has about the same net bandwidth as the maximum theoretical capacity of an LTE tower that has to cover about 50x the area.

LTE will be awesome, but it won't replace the cable/FiOS modem.

RE: Cellular companies can kiss my @$$
By MrBlastman on 9/23/2010 1:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Mobile broadband is the way of the future

I'm not so sure of that. There are some of us that need very low latency connections and--for now, mobile broadband doesn't afford those latency levels that we seek.

The only reason I don't own a smartphone right now is I refuse to pay 25.00/month for the internet access--for as little as I'd use it, it just isn't worth the expenditure.

I am really interested to see how low they will go with this tiered pricing, especially for people who don't need much bandwidth.

By mcnabney on 9/23/2010 9:49:22 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, LTE has excellent latency. 30-40ms. Quite a bit better than Road Runner for me.

By Jeffk464 on 9/23/2010 1:53:17 PM , Rating: 2
yup, I'm at $110 a month.

2GB on 4G...
By Shig on 9/23/2010 11:35:26 AM , Rating: 2
That's what, about 2-3 hours?....

RE: 2GB on 4G...
By sprockkets on 9/23/2010 12:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
If it is TRUE 4G, you can download that, if you are stationary, in less than 20 seconds. Yup, 4G is supposed to bring 1 gbps if you are stationary, 100mbit while moving.

RE: 2GB on 4G...
By mcnabney on 9/23/2010 5:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what you are smoking.

That is 100% not true.

LTE is as advanced and as efficient as you are going to get. If you had a 4 antenna MIMO device, stood directly under the tower, and there were no other users on that tower, you could download at 384mbs using an entire A-band of spectrum.

Users will get around 2-10mbs.

And also, the only benefit to a stationary install is the multiple antennas that can do MIMO. A Gb/s would require about 60mhz of wireless spectrum all to yourself.

RE: 2GB on 4G...
By xxsk8er101xx on 9/26/2010 10:31:19 AM , Rating: 2
You're not torrenting on the phone. People like this clearly never used a smart phone before.

RE: 2GB on 4G...
By nvalhalla on 9/23/2010 12:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming 3mbps, 375Kbps, it would last about an hour and a half before you hit 2GB. 3mbps is low for 4G, but some areas average that. That's of course assuming you saturate the bandwidth by downloading something large, like say a movie. 200MB would be reached in about 9 minutes.

Pay what you use
By Simozene on 9/23/2010 2:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't we have plans where people simply pay for whatever they use? If 2 GB of data is $25... then that equates to approximately 80 MB of data per dollar. So if I used 200 MB of data last month then my phone bill should reflect a $3 charge for the data that I used. While we're at it, this should be applied to minutes and texts as well. That way everyone pays for the service they actually use.

RE: Pay what you use
By eskimospy on 9/23/2010 3:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
Because the market has spoken and people don't want that.

Most people decided a long time ago that counting the texts you send, the calls you make, and the data you use isn't worth the time it takes to do it, and it's annoying. So, they would rather just have an unlimited plan.

RE: Pay what you use
By Ananke on 9/23/2010 4:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
Because telecoms will make less money :). This is the reason why, unlike Europe, in the US talk time is rounded in Europe is in seconds :):). Do you feel screwed now?

RE: Pay what you use
By mcnabney on 9/23/2010 4:57:31 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, but then you would have to live in Europe.

RE: Pay what you use
By erple2 on 9/23/2010 9:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly, that's not working. If the market wants an unlimited plan, then why can I not get it? And why are the 2 largest companies moving to a limited tiered pricing plan? And the number 3 one mulling over whether to go that route? Doesn't sound like free market at all to me. More like collusion.

Is that what the market wants? I'm pretty sure the answer is "no". The reality of the situation is that I'd thoroughly enjoy the "80 MB for a buck" idea. I'm fairly certain that I won't use 2 GB of data (right now), but I'm sure that I'll use more than 200 MB of data.

It's not that the "market" has spoken, it's that someone in marketing made a decision, and removed options to the customer. I think that the "pay as you go" style plans disappeared since the alternative (unlimited data) was available. Now that there is no such alternative, you're stuck with something a marketeer wanted to sell you.

Lock in smartphone users
By DrApop on 9/23/2010 1:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
The carriers have now locked customers into smartphone usage and now are looking to further line their pockets by squeezing us on data usage.

2 GB/month is low if you plan to watch any video or stream music. Heck I use my wifi on android every chance I get so I don't go over...doesn't help on the road though.

And who the heck is going to buy a tablet with such a limited data plan???? I would expect much more data usage from a tablet device than a phone. Not worth the price!

RE: Lock in smartphone users
By Jeffk464 on 9/23/2010 1:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
I guess this means I wont upgrade until my phone dies. I'm not going to be willing to give up my unlimited data plan. I use over 5 gigs a month, really wanted a LTE phone to.

RE: Lock in smartphone users
By Bateluer on 9/23/2010 11:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
Same here.

I believe you could also stay on the unlimited plan if you bought the phone outright, without a subsidy from the carrier.

Expect Something Different
By GruntboyX on 9/23/2010 2:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't expect Verizon to take a Me too, AT&T approach. There have been various public comments from Verizon's CEO that he wants to make multiple device connection affordable. So I expect something like

$25 = 1GB
$45 = 4GB but for two devices (modem/smartphone or 2 smartphones)
$60 = 5GB Connectivity for 4 devices.

A strategy like this will help adoption of Tablet's and Smartphones for teenagers and family's. Either way, the single user is going to get hosed. Additionally, it will help preserve the lock-in as switching a family to a different network will be very painful.

RE: Expect Something Different
By mcnabney on 9/23/2010 8:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
I actually think that this is where the mobile market is headed. Discrete metered voice is rapidly fading away. Soon VoIP/VoLTE will become a standard. I think the ideal, and most fair, method of handling this is for wireless companies to sell bucketed data to use how you wish. No more minutes. Just Megabytes (or Gigabytes). So a family plan might consist of 50GB/mo, four connected devices at a time, and 2 upgrades per year. Use the data and upgrades as you like. Change connections around as you wish as well. Turn off your phone and turn on the LTE connection on your tablet. Maybe even allow upgrades to stack for a no-cost smartphone upgrade. The data bandwidth would be used by voice, internet, MMS, and streaming content. Just make sure every device has some sort of 'meter' on it to track usage. I even think that there are room for unlimited plans.

I think most people would agree that this is a 'fair' scheme. As long as an unlimited/very high bucket is available and the pricing is inline with the market I don't see why this wouldn't be a standard.

By snikt on 9/23/2010 5:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
So, no "grandfathering" of existing unlimited data plans?

By Bateluer on 9/23/2010 11:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
So, if I buy a WiFi only Android tablet, say something in the 5-7in category, thats still a pretty portable device. Get Google Voice working on it through WiFi and use a cheapo paygo/preloaded voice only cell phone.

Figure I'd go from a 94 dollar a month plan to under 20 pretty easily, given that I use less than 60 minutes a month on my Droid.

I like it
By xxsk8er101xx on 9/26/2010 10:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
I knew they wouldn't get rid of the unlimited plan. I like the additional options. I never go over 100mB a month so I would love the 15 dollar data plan!

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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