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  (Source: SkeptiSys)
Datapocalypse may be almost upon us

AT&T raised a ruckus early last month when it announced tiered, capped data plans, doing away with "unlimited" data for its smart phone users.  Now Verizon is rumored to soon to be following in suit.

Verizon already offers tiered capped data plans for its 3G PC wireless internet cards ($39.99, 250 MB a month; $59.99, 5 GB a month).  However, its smart phone users currently enjoy a single "unlimited" data allowances capped at a relatively high 5 GB.

Reuters began the rumors early last month when it cited analysts as saying that Verizon was likely to ditch the unlimited option and switch to a tiered pricing scheme.  Now Engadget is claiming that this prediction was correct and that its sources say that a tiered pricing scheme will likely land by July 29.

The report says that the pricing scheme will likely be around that offered by AT&T ($25 for 2GB, $15 for 200MB).  That would mean that Verizon users would ultimately be paying more per MB than they are currently.

Verizon has already suggested that it may adopt a tiered scheme at some point.

All indications are that T-Mobile and Sprint, though, have no intentions of following Verizon and AT&T into the world of capped connections.  Sprint is instead opting to charge users a small premium ($10) on its 4G connections -- T-Mobile may adopt that alternative approach as well.

Will customers embrace AT&T and Verizon's tiered, capped data plans?  Or will they rebel and jump to Sprint and Verizon and agree to pay a nominal fee if they want their data to be transferred at faster rates?  Only time will tell, but it should be interesting to watch for whether Verizon officially airs a tiered smart phone data scheme.


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RE: If they do.....
By MrTeal on 7/21/2010 10:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No one is subsidizing anyone, the ISP's advertised "Unlimited" at a certain price point, hence that is what you should be entitled to.


For the term of your contract, you are. Look at AT&T, those on unlimited plans get to keep them. They're just not offering them to anyone wanted to subscribe or switch plans. You can't reasonably expect the same plan to exist in perpetuity. If that was the case GM would be getting a letter from my lawyer about their refusal to sell me a new 1969 Judge GTO for $4000.

quote:
Secondly... If it's a case of congestion with the backhaul and international links, then they should increase capacity, or turn on some of the dormant fiber that they have lying around.


I doubt it's the backhaul links. The caps they're talking about are miniscule compared to standard internet caps. It's the over the air bandwidth that's the issue. There is a certain channel capacity that is possible, and as the number of subscribers using large amounts of bandwidth goes up it will get eaten up pretty quickly. Even with Turbo Coding schemes like they use in 3/4G, the only real solution is to buy more spectrum from an FCC auction, and that isn't cheap.

quote:
Seriously, I'm all for bandwidth caps, provided they still keep the unlimited plans at the same price point, but introduce caps at LOWER price points so those who only use say... 1gb a month could save a bit of money.


Their costs go up as more and more people start using the high-bandwidth capabilities of their smart phones. As long as they don't change rates in the middle of someone's contract, why should they be forced to keep rates stagnant?


RE: If they do.....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/21/2010 6:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
You will find that bandwidth and over the air congestion over Verizon's CDMA and soon LTE networks are magnitudes lower than GSM. There exists little reason to push this on their current network and even less sense on their new LTE network. This is purely a money grab plain and simple. On AT&T's side their GSM infrastructure is wholly inadequate to support the beast that is the iPhone. Yet another reason why GSM sucks compared to newer wireless technologies.


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