• What Do You Think Of Tiered Data Pricing?

    One of the most interesting points of this article is that only about 1% of mobile internet customers are impacted negatively by tiered data pricing.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Interesting article about tiered data pricing started by veriztd View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Steve B's Avatar
      Steve B -
      I don't like it. I have never even hit 1GB with my Incredible nor my past iPhones. The problem with the tiered pricing is the fact the carriers put it out there in the form of "we're doing it for you, the consumer" when that is not the case. Its all about their profit margin. They are lying to us. Then they setup the data tiers in such a way that you have to be hard pressed into using the "small" tiers and you end up just paying for the bigger tiers because they capped the smaller tiers just below what a lot of people would use. Couple that with the idea that the bigger tiers are prices the same or SLIGHTLY under the old unlimited tier. Now the consumer ends up basically paying the same for a lot less. Its a bunch of BS coming from the carriers.
    1. frail's Avatar
      frail -
      I can see the benefit for some people though. For example, those who never go over 2 GB with AT&T will save $5 a month with their new plans.
    1. waterboy711styl's Avatar
      waterboy711styl -
      There are several aspect to consider when looking at the data Nielsen provided. The first aspect is that the study is conduct only for smartphones. While this may make warrant thinking that it is a good sample size of the population it is severely skewed. According to Nielsen's own report on the population of smartphone users, still the highest percent are Blackberry customers. Many of these customers are given Blackberry's by his or her company to use for corporate use. If you check email, you will not exceed 250 MB. Also Nielsen's study fails to project for the growth of smartphones vs feature phone. According to Nielsen reports back in 2009 Smartphones represented only 20% of the market share. In 2011 Smartphones will represent an astonishing 50% of the market based on non-aggressive linear projections.

      The study also comments on current use, however, it can only make sense that data use will increase as bandwidth increases and the content that is available to smart phone users becomes more data intense. This include streaming videos or eventually performing video chat. 4G promises to bring greater speed than some land based forms of communication, but where will the utility of that be when users cannot utilize the applications. I will admit the caveat to the growth in data can be decreased with the increase availability of WIFI in many locations.

      I think a more accurate look at Smartphone usage would be to look at the 1.7 million Iphone 4 buyers. Not only is it a new technology, but it is a large enough sample size to look at the trends of individuals who purchased a Smartphone for mainly personally use.

      I personally have used a Storm 1 and use 200 MB per month. However, I can attribute the little amount of data that I used to several factors. Poor application selection, poor internet experience, and poor multimedia experience. I definitely think that once I get a more multimedia friendly phone, either the Droid X or Iphone 4, I will be using a lot more internet.
    1. formercanuck's Avatar
      formercanuck -
      I think that tiered data on wireless plans is inevitable, however, I do disagree with some aspects of the current data plan scheme, as this does allow for lower plans, yet doesn't make it 'fair' on many aspects.

      1. I would agree with tiered pricing, as long as there is also an 'opt out' (WiFi only) option of $0. This is NOT going to happend as AT&T recently did away with that option.... sadly enough, AT&T is promoting free WiFi for just about everything
      2. Since data is now a requirement on all smart phones, and
      2. Along with tiered pricing, users should also be allowed to 'cut off' data at the tired limit to kill any overages.
      3. Data on microcell should NOT be counted against your plan.
      4. While many do not go over 2GB today, with more media friendly devices (full html vs mini Opera style), and devices that multitask/call home, data volume/user is going only one way - up.
    1. carcarx's Avatar
      carcarx -
      Tiered pricing also has another negative aspect, in terms of expectations.

      Both businesses and consumers alike much prefer knowing that monthly service costs are invariant, otherwise, especially for businesses, expense planning is difficult.

      I agree with other commenters here that it is important to receive notification that data limits are being approached and allowing cutting off data consumption when the limit is reached.

      It's simply good customer relations!
    1. wizard8873's Avatar
      wizard8873 -
      I think it's a great option for those that barely use data but for people who use lots of data and for businesses, there still should be an unlimited plan or at least more than 2GB. either way, when it comes to T-Mobile, i'll make sure to keep my dataplan so I won't have to worry about it.
    1. cbreze's Avatar
      cbreze -
      I can see a benefit for the very light users. I use between 3gb and 4gb per month , and if I'm reading it correctly I would be paying more.(than $30/mo) I don't consider that amount to be heavy usage at all. I hardly ever D/L anything. It's just email/gps maps and daily browsing. I don't want to pay more. I'm hoping I can stay grandfathered with my unlimited plan. My only problem is that LTE will be so tempting and thats where I'll take the hit.
    1. ii Candor ii's Avatar
      ii Candor ii -
      I agree with formercanuck, tiered data plans are likely inevitable. But when things start moving that direction, it's going to feel really backwards. For years carriers have treated data like an add-on feature, not like it's the main service.

      Also, it seems backwards to me that some carriers are starting to raise their data prices. Isn't technology supposed to get cheaper as time goes on?

      I'm about as cheap as they come. I'm seriously thinking about ditching cellular altogether and going with a WiFi-only phone with Google Voice. I'm not the type that has to be connected ALL THE TIME, so if I'm in an area where there's no WiFi, I can wait. Life goes on.
    1. phonelady's Avatar
      phonelady -
      I think it could make smartphones much more affordable to people who didn't want to pay the unlimited price. Do you want to pay $15 for unlimited data on a messaging phone or get as much data as much people need for the same price on a Blackberry? Overall, it could help more people get the phone they really want without being charged for data they never use.
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