When AT&T revamped its data plans this past summer, feelings were mixed to say the least. While the Internet erupted with opinions on both sides of the fence, T-Mobile seemingly sat back and made notes. Letting AT&T take the heat appears to have been the right move, as rumors suggest that the carrier intends to do data right. In addition to T-Mobile’s standard $30 unlimited smartphone data plan, TmoNews reports that a new cheaper option will become available next month. According to the report, $9.99 will afford less active smartphone users 200MB of data per month. While there is no word on what data overages might cost, customers will supposedly have the option to upgrade to the $30 unlimited plan at any time. If this rumor holds true, expect the new cheaper option to become available toward the end of November. More →
A new Canadian Ninja has come forth with some great news for all you Bell Canada smartphone users who happen to also own an iPad. According to a Bell memo, the wireless carrier plans to offer a 6 GB data plan for $30 per month that will provide smartphone users with “unlimited Wi-Fi @ Starbucks” as well as tethering. Bell will also allow you to “share” your 6 GB data bucket with your iPad for an additional $10 (as long as they are on the same billing account). The effective date on the memo is July 30th through September 30th and it is being billed as a “limited time offer.” We’ve got the full three page memo, for your scrutiny, after the break. More →
Pocket-lint was sent an image that appears to detail exactly what T-Mobile U.K. customers will have to pay for a shiny new iPhone 4. T-Mo users over the pond can pick up an iP4 for somewhere between £349 ($530) and free, depending on which iPhone model and monthly plan you select (although not shown, Pocket-lint is reporting that a £60 monthly plan will get you a 16 GB iPhone 4 for free). The carrier will also be offering the iPhone 3GS 8 GB model for £149, £79, or free — again, depending on which monthly data plan is selected. Well, £60 ($91) gets you unlimited talk minutes, 500 texts (free incoming), and 1 GB of data. What do you think U.S. iPhone users? Is that a good deal? What does your monthly iPhone bill look like from AT&T? More →
FierceWireless has a great article in which Roger Entner from The Nielsen Company breaks down smartphone data usage obtained from 60,000 cellphone bills. Apart from the fact that more than 1/3 of smartphone users do not have data plans and that 23% overall use no data per month, that data reveals that 6% of smartphone users are going through half of the data consumed. And what data everyone else using doesn’t add up to a whole lot. Although averages are not the best example to point to for a number of reasons, the average smartphone user went through 298MB of data in Q1 2010, up 230% YoY. Despite this growth, the reality is that all but all but 1% of smartphones users stand to benefit from being on a tiered data plan. In fact, on the whole, the only losers when it comes to tiered data are the carriers, as they lose out on revenue each and every time someone cancels their unlimited plan and moves to a tiered plan. There are quite a few other interesting tidbits to be learned from the article, so do hit the jump to check it out. More →
This information comes from a new tipster, but we have very good reason to believe that Verizon will begin rolling out its LTE network in 25 markets starting on November 15th. While 25 markets might not sound like a lot, but apparently they’re enough to give 100 million subscribers access to the next-generation wireless network. LTE handsets will not be immediately available at launch, but Verizon is planning to release “a slew of new devices” on Black Friday which is on November 26th. LTE data plans will indeed be tiered, but Big Red won’t be pulling a Sprint and charing a $10 premium for access to its 4G network. Oh, and don’t be surprised if Verizon starts harping about how its “empowering the user” with open devices.
Thanks, C.! More →
AT&T’s new data plans certainly have gotten their fair share of press over the last couple days. There are two articles in particular that got us thinking, and we would like to throw our two cents into the ring. So here are our thoughts: AT&T, your improved data plans suck. Hit the jump for the rest of our rant. More →
All of the kicking and screaming over AT&T’s decision to drop its $30 unlimited data has paid off for iPad 3G owners in waiting. Today AT&T put the word out through its Facebook that anyone who places an order for an iPad before June 7th will be able to sign up for the $30 unlimited data plan. This means that even if your iPad has yet to ship from one of Apple’s factories in China on or after June 7th, you’ll be able to avoid being stuck with the $25 2GB plan. More →
We know that AT&T’s sudden announcement that it will put a halt to unlimited data put a lot of you into a tailspin this morning, but now that you’ve had some time to come to terms with the change (provided you didn’t immediately switch to another carrier), let’s take a moment to think about this. Many of you are going to grandfather your unlimited plan, but a lot will leave to either save a few bucks or to enable iPhone tethering. If you’re one of the later, how much data will you need? Unless you’re planning to tether, it’s pretty easy to predict how much data you’ll use in the future by looking into how much you’ve used in the past. And thankfully AT&T has a way for you to do this. Here’s how.
- Hit up att.com and log into your online account
- Click on My Accounts and select Bill & Payments
- Click Billing Reports and select Data Trends
- Hit Submit
From there, you’ll be able to get a detailed history of your wireless data usage. If you’re an iPhone user, you can simply grab AT&T’s myWireless Mobile app from the App Store. Unfortunately with the latter you’re restricted to viewing your usage from the current billing cycle, but maybe, just maybe, the app will get an update. How much data do you use a month? More →
Tiered data plans have been part of RIM’s long term strategy, and we safely assume the boys and girls in Waterloo are pretty happy at the news this morning. RIM let us know that:
These new pricing plans will translate to savings for BlackBerry customers due to the industry-leading efficiency of the BlackBerry platform. Thanks to RIM’s longstanding focus on wireless data efficiency and investment in related technologies and infrastructure, the BlackBerry platform is significantly more efficient than other mobile platforms and this leads to a major advantage for users with tiered pricing plans
Additionally, to put this in perspective, BlackBerry consumers use about 54 MB of (compressed/optimized) data per month on average (compared to data usage averages that are 3-5 times higher for other brands) according to Consumer Reports, “which suggests that the large majority of BlackBerry consumers will now qualify to use the $15/month data plan.”
Mr. Jim Balsillie chimed in with a quote as well:
“AT&T’s strategic pricing move is great news for BlackBerry smartphone customers,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion. “We envision a day when all mobile phones are smartphones and we believe AT&T’s new service plans, together with RIM’s leading portfolio of BlackBerry products and services, will help attract a much broader range of consumers.”
We were initially told that these new data plans didn’t affect BlackBerry plans yet, but it seems they do in fact cover every AT&T smartphone. We’ve reached out to RIM to find out more information about the Enterprise BlackBerry data feature.
UPDATE: One of our AT&T guys tells us the $45 AT&T Enterprise BlackBerry plan drops to $40/mo. So much for a 200MB Enterprise plan for $20/month…
Ladies and Gentleman, unlimited smartphone data from AT&T is a thing of the past. Or at least it will be as of June 7th. Starting that day, AT&T will introduce two new data plans to replace its current $30 unlimited smartphone plan. Without a bunch of preamble and crying over the changes, here’s the skinny on the plans that AT&T says will make it possible for “more affordable for more people to enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet.”
- 200MB of data for $15 per month. AT&T says this will be enough data to meet the needs of 65% of its smartphone users. If you go over the 200MB cap, AT&T will charge you $15 per 200MB of overages.
- 2GB of data for $25 per month. According to AT&T, only 2% of its smartphone customers manage to blow through more than 2GB of data per month. Go over the limit and you’ll be charged $10 per GB.
- Smartphone users that want tethering and have a DataPro plan can add the feature for $20 per month. This means you’ll be sharing 2GB between your phone and your laptop for $45 per month. Not great at all, but remember this: A 5GB data card plan costs $60 per month. This means — with overages — you’ll be able to have 5GB of smartphone and tethering data for $75 and not have to worry about two contracts. Oh, and “Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.” About bloody time.
- The $29.99 unlimited data plan for the iPad has not escaped the chop. Starting June 7th, new iPad customers will have two options: $15 for 250MB and $25 for 2GB of data. Any iPad customers who wish to stick to the $30 unlimited plan are free to do so, but AT&T is hoping most people will opt to save $5 and change plans.
As much as it hurts to see unlimited plans die off (and don’t pretend we didn’t know it was coming), the new rates will make data more accessible to those who don’t have a lot of coins in their coffer. And again, to be perfectly clear, you are welcome to stay on the current $30 unlimited smartphone data plan, but if you think you can squeak by on the new plans and save $5 to $15, AT&T will move you over to the DataPlus or DataPro plan without renewing your data commitment. Awww, so sweet. More →
Level with us — for all the complaining you do about your carrier not offering an affordable unlimited talk plan, how many minutes do you actually spend yapping on your cell phone per month? If you’re anything like the average person, you’re not doing it all that much. In fact, your use of data and texts far outweighs the voice minutes you log on a monthly basis, and what calls you do make are shorter. Since 2008, the CTIA has said voice calls are quickly going the way of the Dodo, with the average call length dropping over 20% from 2008 to 2009 alone. This comes at a time where the use of text messages alone increased 50% year-over-year, with half of America’s teens said to be sending more than 1,500 texts per month. So why is it that people are talking less? For starters, there’s convenience. Shooting someone a text, IM or email is far faster and less obtrusive than a phone call, allowing the recipients to carry on with their daily activities and respond at their leisure. Then there’s social customs. As rude as some might think it is to fire off a text in the company of others, we cannot imagine anyone who would prefer to sit in awkward silence as their friend carries out a 2 minute conversation about what’s happened on last night’s episode of The Hills. Not only that, but according to NPD analyst Ross Rubin, “handset design has become far less cheek-friendly” in recent years with most feature and smartphones requiring users to go through a multi-step process before initiating a simple phone call. So what does the future hold for the wireless industry? In lieu of the traditional charge for voice minutes, industry analysts are predicting that carriers will instead charge for the amount of data used…and we’re not sure that is going to be better.
They’re not showing up on the carrier website, but Apple’s Canadian iPad page has the skinny on the iPad data plans from Rogers Wireless. First and foremost, anyone who currently has a data plan from Rogers will be able to have their iPad draw from their existing data bucket for $20. To us this seems like nothing more than Rogers getting money for old rope, but we’ll leave our typical Canadian carrier data rants for another day. Moving down in price, but offering a clearly defined and finite amount of data, is the $15 plan which will afford customers 250MB of data. When factoring in the prevalence of Wi-Fi hotspots and the fact most people are either going to be using their iPad at home, work, or school, this is really the ideal plan for the majority of future iPad 3G owners. Finally, we have the top-tier plan…one which we’re sure is going to produce elation and outrage. Unlike AT&T, Rogers will not offer an unlimited data plan for $29.99, instead, it will allow customers 5GB for $35. As we’ve said countless times before, the idea of “unlimited” 3G data is nice, but we have a hard time imagining anyone coming close to consuming 5GB of data through normal use. If there’s anything to complain about it’s the $5 premium Canadians are paying for what is essentially all you can eat data when compared to their American neighbors.
No word yet if these plans will be pre-paid or require a contract commitment, but we’ve reached out to Rogers for clarification.
UPDATE: Apple has removed all traces of the $20 plan from its website. According to Rogers PR, the $20 plan was a mistake on Apple’s part. Also, we’ve been able to confirm that the $15 and $35 plan are contract free and include unlimited access to all Rogers Wi-Fi Hotspots. More →
Although there’s still 21 days to go before the Apple iPad is goes on sale in the UK, that hasn’t stopped Orange from whetting people’s appetites for the 3G model with its announcing its iPad-specific data plans. If casual 3G data is what you’re after, £2 a day will get you the iPad Daily plan which is good for 200MB until midnight on the day of purchase. Other than than that, £7.50 nets the iPad Weekly plan which offers 1GB of data, whilst the iPad Monthly plans go for £15 and £25 and offer 3GB and 10GB of data alongside browsing at Orange and BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots (although a 750MB fair use cap applies) . If all of this is too much fuss, there’s always the option of paying 5p per megabyte. Both Orange and Apple will be providing Micro SIMs free of charge with orders being accepted starting May 10th. More →