Why the End of Unlimited Mobile Data Is Even Worse Than It Sounds
Well, the mobile industry is ready to take a step backwards in pricing, practically together in one step. Unnecessarily getting around to adapting to how smartphones actually give us use for the “unlimited data” we pay for, this week Verizon followed AT&T as the second major carrier to announce the removal of an unlimited option (at least from the $25-$30 price range it is now, if not completely).
Once the flat-rate unlimited plan is gone, carriers will stick to tiered data pricing. For example, the same price you’re paying now for data will only grant you around 2GB, with automatic overage fees. To get an idea of where the trend is going, check out AT&T’s data plans post-unlimited option:
Previously “unlimited plans” really entitled you to 5GB, as per the fine print. In addition to dropping the perception tricks, this is also simply a big price increase. 5GB of data will now cost you almost double, at $55 rather than the old $30 price.
The mobile data scene and tricks have only been getting worse lately. Despite the prices, those who use the network most are being subject to data speed decreases, slowing you down in an obvious attempt to get you to use less data. One of Verizon’s many caveats includes server-side compression of media, reducing its quality but costing Verizon less.
While only half of the truly important carriers officially exclusively offer tiered data, there have been recent rumors that T-Mobile and Sprint will join them soon. If (but probably once) that happens, mobile data will be in a dark age brought upon by throttling, compression, and high prices. Hopefully 4G will come along full-swing and remove the bad taste of significantly-increased data prices. But that may be what the FCC is for…