Oh, no. There are great trends, and then there are awful trends. And
this one looks like it may be falling into that second category.
AT&T shook the mobile broadband universe when they decided to do
away with their "unlimited" (which was really a 5GB limit) data plan on
all smartphones in order to present customers with two initially cheaper
options. But these cheaper options include far less data, and unless
you are grandfathered into the old plan, you can no longer purchase an
AT&T phone with one of those old "unlimited" plans.
But you're aware of all that
. The issue is that Verizon
America's largest mobile operator, may be following suit. VZW is home to
, DROID Eris, DROID Incredible
and a bunch of other phones
that have the potential to consume loads of data. AT&T has a few BlackBerry
hands and the iPhone, but with VZW expected to get the DROID 2
and/or DROID X soon, Verizon may soon have a data problem on their
hands as well.
According to John Killian, chief financial officer of Verizon
Communications: "We will probably need to change the design of our
pricing where it will
not be totally unlimited, flat rate." He says that based on assumptions
that there will soon be "explosions in data traffic" over mobile
networks, and if he think it's bad now, just wait until Verizon adopts
LTE and allows users to head to 4G. Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford C.
Bernstein & Co. in New York, seemed to understand the concerns:
"The more bandwidth that you make available, the faster it will be
consumed. From Verizon’s perspective, the last thing you want is for
generation of consumers to be conditioned to the idea that data is
always going to be uncapped."
Of course, Verizon has yet to confirm that they're really working on
tiered data plan options, but to assume that they aren't at least
thinking of it would be a bit naive. Better lock down those contracts