Posts Tagged ‘data’
A year ago AT&T changed the cell phone industry by moving away from the standard of unlimited data plans to a system of tiered ones. Verizon and T-Mobile have since followed, leaving Sprint as the only major national carrier to still offer data without limits. Yet AT&T did throw its then-current subscribers a bone by allowing them to stay on their unlimited data plans. Grandfather clauses last only so long, though, and it appears that the time has come for AT&T to shuffle all those data hogs off their unlimited plans. They don’t plan to do this by direct force, but rather, by making the unlimited plans as obnoxious as possible. Sure, you can still use as much data as you want, but don’t dare fall into the top five percent of users. That will slow your data connection to a crawl.
It’s an interesting tactic to ween people off of unlimited plans. Clearly, those on tiered data plans are unaffected by this, because they pay for a specific amount of data. That is, AT&T wouldn’t throttle someone on the 2GB plan who was using, say, 10GB per month, even if that 10GB does fall into the top five percent. That customer is paying $ 125 for that data, and AT&T would rather have that income. But an unlimited plan subscriber using 10GB might fall into that top five percent, at which time he’d experience slow speeds until his billing cycle resets.
There was no possible reaction other than outrage to the news about Verizon’s tiered data pricing. We knew it was coming, but given its fierce competition with AT&T, we — or at least I — also figured that the pricing scheme would work out a bit better. But when word leaked that the plans would only limit use and impose more costs on users, well, I lost a lot of faith in the company. We’ve gotten plenty more details since then, though, and some of them mitigate the issue. It’s still a raw deal, and I expect that they might adjust along the way. But in general terms, if you’re not a Verizon customer before July 7th, I don’t see the point in becoming one.
The tiers, which Droid Life broke on Monday, provide high caps for a high price. That is, the 10GB plan costs $ 80 per month. The worst part, though, is that the $ 30 plan, which currently covers unlimited usage, will cover only 2GB right now. There is a middle plan, 5GB for $ 50 per month, and there are some plans that include tethering, but none of them ease the outrage of the issue. After all, as Android Police’s David Ruddock ranted, didn’t Verizon advertise that LTE was actually cheaper for them to deliver than EVDO? If so, then why the hell is it going to cost us more?
No, I’m not pleased with Verizon’s tiered data intentions. There are mitigating factors, yes. But we’ve grown used to a land where we can stream videos and music at will. Those days, at least for those not grandfathered into the unlimited plans, are over. Eventually, they’ll end for us grandfathers as well. As I said in last night’s editorial, I will be leaving Verizon once this is implemented (so long, at least, as other carriers have more palatable deals). Not everyone feels the same, of course. In some areas Verizon has by far the best coverage, and perhaps it has the one handset you’ve craved. In that case you’ll have to limit your data usage. Today we’ll look at a few recent article and apps that can help you along the way.