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:
- AT&T Intros Mobile Data Caps
- 5 Mobile Apps That Bust Data Caps
- Bye, Bye Unlimited iPad Data Plan
- 'All You Can Eat' Is Off the Menu
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