Capping the Data Gusher

News and views from LR Mobile and beyond on AT&T's major move in data pricing

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

June 2, 2010

2 Min Read
Capping the Data Gusher

To cap or not to cap? That seems to be the question under the sea and over the air. Well, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) blinked and imposed new caps on its 3G data gusher Wednesday, doing away with unlimited data plans for smartphones.

Here's a roundup of our news, your views, and the best of the rest on the major change in data pricing in the US. What we said
Click below for news and opinion from Light Reading on today's news:

And check out Phil Harvey's video comment on the data shift:

What you said
Unsurprisingly, readers have been vocal on the message boards about what could be the start of a sea change in US wireless billing. Many of you are angered by the move from unlimited, but others see a tiered system as inevitable:

"AT&T is sinking their own ship with 3G pricing from the past, and an attitude that customers will allow themselves to be endlessly milked no matter how outrageous the mobile data costs," writes Mark Buse on this thread.

"At least they're making the decision to go elsewhere pretty simple," agrees Stevery.

"Welcome to the future" suggests Jevopic. "With 1-2 Mbit access, it's difficult but doable to run a network without data caps. With LTE and 40-60 Mbit access, it's just impossible. Some users may use terabytes, thereby ruining the service for all the other customers. My interpretation is that AT&T are preparing for LTE."

Meanwhile, user ycurrent has a more practical suggestion: "If 98% of AT&T smartphone users consume less than 2Gb/month, then 'smart' smartphone users should switch to $25/month!"

What they said
A few of the highlights on the capping issue from around the Web:

iLonge pulled together data usage charts for a series of users and found winners and losers under the new schemes. "A $20 fee for the privilege of using your 2GB plan more fully is ridiculous; a lower fee for tethering, or a similar fee with an unlimited plan would have been less objectionable," the site suggests.

"There's something sleazy about AT&T capping data plans right after raising early termination fees," suggests BetaNews.

ZDNet, meanwhile, is wondering if Verizon Wireless will follow suit with tiered pricing on 3G. The operator didn't want to comment when LR Mobile asked them just that Wednesday afternoon.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like