AT&T may implement speed and data tiers for 4G LTE service

By on January 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM.

AT&T may implement speed and data tiers for 4G LTE service

BGR has learned that AT&T may have plans to offer tiered data services when it launches its Long Term Evolution network later this year. The carrier apparently plans to trial two separate types of tiers alongside its LTE service: speed tiers and data tiers. Speed tiers will provide LTE data service at varying rates of speed depending on the plan a customer selects, similar to land-based broadband services currently offered by ISPs. Data tiers will afford subscribers “data buckets” of varying sizes, similar to the configuration of AT&T’s current data plans.

The carrier may also have plans to give subscribers the option to boost services temporarily for a fee, according to a document provided to BGR. The documents mentions “Top Up Sessions,” which allow users to increase their data allotment for the remainder of a billing cycle, and “Speed Up Sessions,” which will allow subscribers on lower-tier plans to speed up their service for a specific duration. The document does not provide any details in terms of what speeds might be afforded by each tier, nor does it detail how much data will be included with each of the various data bucket sizes. It is also currently unclear how many speed and data bucket options AT&T might intend to offer its LTE subscribers. According to the document, AT&T will begin trials of the aforementioned tiered LTE service plans in May for this year. Hit the jump for an excerpt from the internal AT&T document detailing the tiered data.

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Research concludes that tiered data plans are a win for consumers

By on June 29, 2010 at 7:23 PM.

Research concludes that tiered data plans are a win for consumers

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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 →

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Verizon to launch LTE network on November 15th, handsets on Black Friday

By on June 29, 2010 at 5:54 PM.

Verizon to launch LTE network on November 15th, handsets on Black Friday

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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 →

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Verizon Wireless to drop unlimited data plan, offer tiered pricing for LTE?

By on June 18, 2010 at 12:22 PM.

Verizon Wireless to drop unlimited data plan, offer tiered pricing for LTE?

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Verizon Wireless brass continue to drop hints that the advent of the carrier’s 4G LTE network will foster a change to the structure of its data plans. Speaking with Bloomberg, Verizon Wireless CFO, John Killian stated that, “We [Verizon Wireless] will probably need to change the design of our pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate”. Killian’s comment suggests that Big Red will adopt AT&T-like pricing, with tiered plans, for the customer’s convenience; the unlimited data plan will be removed from the pricing model. Anyone’s enthusiasm for LTE a bit dampened by this comment, or did you already assume that tiered pricing was inevitable? More →

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AT&T to allow iPad owners in waiting to purchase unlimited data before June 7th

By on June 4, 2010 at 5:35 PM.

AT&T to allow iPad owners in waiting to purchase unlimited data before June 7th

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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 →

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How To: Monitor your AT&T data usage

By on June 2, 2010 at 7:30 PM.

How To: Monitor your AT&T data usage

ATT-Data-Usage

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 →

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RIM is popping bottles in Waterloo, celebrating tiered data pricing

By on June 2, 2010 at 1:12 PM.

RIM is popping bottles in Waterloo, celebrating tiered data pricing

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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…

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Verizon confirms tiered pricing for LTE data

By on May 27, 2010 at 1:45 PM.

Verizon confirms tiered pricing for LTE data

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Speaking to a crowd of investors at a Barclay’s conference this week, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said that the introduction of its LTE network later this year will see the company introduce tiered data plans. According to McAdam, one of the reasons Big Red has opted to go this route with its next-generation network is because “people will have four or five or perhaps even more devices they will connect to the network.” Before anyone starts to wig out, McAdam made it clear that the tiered pricing won’t be as expensive as it sounds. Thanks to the efficiency of LTE, Verizon’s cost per megabyte will be approximately one-third of what they are today. At the same time, McAdam also said that LTE will offer further savings to customers, as he expects that all calls made come 2012 will be done via VoIP as opposed to its CDMA network. Verizon is expected to have LTE in place in 30 to 40 markets by the end of 2010.

[Via Phone Scoop] More →

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