It's not hard to believe that mobile phone users prefer unlimited data plans, nor do we really need a survey to tell us that. But to all you telecoms out there, listen up -- a new report by financial research firm Sanford Bernstein discovered that not only do mobile phone users like unlimited data, but they ranked it as the most important preference when it comes to deciding on carriers and devices.
"Unlimited data plans could become a major source of differentiation, attracting customers and giving still-unlimited carriers a subscribership boost," said Sandford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. "At the same time, however, carriers who maintain unlimited pricing in the face of AT&T'
s move to usage-based pricing could self-select to the heaviest users, impairing future profitability."
As it stands, Verizon
is still championing unlimited mobile data for $30/month, but for how long is anyone's guess. Rumors continue to persist that Apple's iPhone is headed to Verizon, likely in early-to-mid 2011, and should an influx of subscribers follow suit, that could change. In fact, Verizon has already stated that it won't offer unlimited data plans for users on its LTE 4G network once compatible smartphones trickle out next year.