Wireless in the USA: Worst of Both Worlds

5:45 PM Do new Euro-style capped data plans and old-school, two-year cellular contracts mean US consumers are getting the worst of both worlds?

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

June 28, 2011

1 Min Read
Wireless in the USA: Worst of Both Worlds

5:45 PM -- Are we getting the worst of both possible worlds when it comes to cellular service in the U.S.?

The thought crossed my mind as I was yapping away on the message boards this Tuesday afternoon: Consider that capped, tiered or metered data plans -- the norm in Europe -- are now becoming the standard here too. Yet, unlike Europe, those capped plans still lock the consumer into a two-year contract.

So, basically, you lose the cheap unlimited plan in favor of a more European-style capped plan but without the -- admittedly more expensive -- freedom of choice to switch plans and jump to new devices.

I'm originally a native of the U.K., but it's been a long time since I had to go shopping for a phone there. I'd be interested in opinions on this topic from either side of the pond.

Could we eventually see U.S. carriers moving to a more European-style model were you pay more upfront for a device? Seems like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) tried to push it without much luck. Maybe the major U.S. carriers standardizing on Long Term Evolution (LTE) could give the concept new life?

— 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.

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