Mobile Data Plans: The End Of Unlimited Data?

    March 13, 2014
    Toni Matthews-El
    Comments are off for this post.

Some are saying that the “unlimited data” selling point that has long been a part of mobile data plans among top wireless carriers is in its death throes.

It’s been pointed out that both Verizon Wireless and AT&T have switched to a “tiered system”. Instead of giving customers as much data as they want, they are now hit with higher bills if they use more than the amount data they agreed to pay for.

Though Sprint and T-Mobile both have unlimited data, industry analysts suspect it won’t be long before these companies follow suit.

What’s most startling is that customers don’t seem all that concerned. Despite Sprint marketing its unlimited data plan aggressively, especially since Verizon and AT&T have dropped the option, the carrier is reportedly hemorrhaging customers. As for T-Mobile, they still offer unlimited data, but it’s not at the forefront of their advertising campaigns.

Could it be that customers simply don’t care how much data they’re given? Perhaps. Or it could be that consumers have concerns that have nothing to do with how much data they’re allotted.

Leading wireless carrier Verizon, while at the pricier end of service, has long marketed to potential customers based on their extensive coverage maps. No matter where you are in the United States, you would be able to get their service and it it would be quality service. Quality itself is the second aspect.

Even though data is unlimited and cheap…what difference does it make if the service is largely unreliable and unavailable? The image of lower quality service and limited availability is what certain wireless carriers are fighting.

T-Mobile has seen a drastic increase in subscribers due to marketing directly to consumer concerns and designing plans that address “pain points”.

In the end, the most popular mobile plan service will likely have nothing to do with unlimited data. As T-Mobile is demonstrating with their “Uncarrier” approach, it may be about which plan does more to specifically address customer concerns.

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  • Kyle

    U.S. Cellular also offers unlimited data, followed by unlimited talk, and text, for only $50 a month on their promo no contract plan.

    • Judd

      with data speed throttled to 1x after a mere 500MB

      • Kyle

        The world revolves around money, and technology. Nothings free anymore, and even the highest rated internet companies slow speeds down after a certain threshold. Either way it’s still unlimited….technically speaking anyways.

  • Howard

    SPRINT is driving customers away with bad company policies and poor customer support. They offer BOOST mobile at a good Price then ruin it with extreamly bad customer service. They refuse to allow customers to use BOOST equipment on Sprint and Sprint Equipment on Boost. Both of which are CDMA and cross compatrible. SOOO; when custromers are forced to buy new equipment, they are no longer tethered to Spring/Boost and OFTEN switch to AT&T, T-Mobile or Strait Talk. SPRINT has created their own problems and unless they fix it soon, they won´t have any customers left.

  • Dave

    The reason why T-Mobile and Sprint can’t gain traction has NOTHING to do with their data plans. It’s because their coverage maps are inferior. I’d go to T-Mobile in a minute if I could but they have almost no coverage in my area.