10 Reasons Cell Phone Companies Need New Data Plans
Contributed by Coleen Torres
AT&T was the first to announce a new tiered data plan for their cell phone customers. Verizon and T-Mobile followed suit.
- Increased demand – Online access via smart phones and even not-so-smart phones has been continually increasing. As users become more familiar with the use of the data features available to them, they use them more. Data plans are becoming the norm for cell phone users rather than luxury option it used to be.
- One size doesn’t fit all – When data usage by individual users is analyzed, cell phone companies have found that the majority of users use a minimal amount of what is available to them. It is a much smaller number of users who are requiring the larger data usage.
- Competition – Although it took a few months for other companies to begin changing their own data plans, it was bound to happen. The only customers they would be gaining on their unlimited data plans would be the mega-users from AT&T, the very ones they didn’t want.
- Sell data plans – By going to a tiered data plan, cell phone companies have the hope of selling many more of the smaller data plans that may now are more affordable to a low data user.
- Upgrade to networks – The continual upgrading of the cell phone networks to the higher 4G speeds has been very costly. By changing to a tiered data structured, it may help the companies in recouping some of those overhead costs.
- Video streaming – Those who are using their phones to watch movies and television shows, as advertisements encourage them to do, are using much greater bandwidths for these entertainment options. It simply seems fair that those who are using the speed should be the ones paying for it.
- Dropped calls – Overload of the networks with unfettered data usage has been blamed for an increase in dropped calls and other service complaints over the last couple of years.
- Hotspot phones – Several of the newer phones are hotspot enabled, which allows them to be used as a wifi hotspot for other data users, such as laptop, e-reader or tablet computer. This has become another data option that users can choose to add to their plan.
- Educate users – With tiered data plans, it is hoped that users will become more aware of the amount of their individual data usage, something that was not a concern with an unlimited plan.
- Maybe they don’t? – The nine reasons above are the reasons that cell phone companies have been giving for adding data plans. Many confused cell phone users are questioning the reality of these needs and finding the multi-tiered plans difficult to decipher.
Technology continues to move faster than anyone could ever have predicted. If the cell phone companies have difficulty determining the best and fairest way to charge for these ongoing changes, we should not be surprised. We should also not expect those changes to stop. As the options continue to grow, the companies will be working hard to keep up.