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Tiered data

Millions Of AT&T Customers Overpaying For Data

AT&T’s data has been a hot news item as of late. They recently lost a small claims lawsuit by a customer who was throttled even though he had unlimited data for the iPhone.  Now, a study reported via consumer reports revealed that over half of AT&T’s customers may be paying too much for data.

The survey was conducted by Validas. What they revealed was that nearly half (48.6%) of AT&T’s customers were using less than 300mb of data per month which is actually AT&T’s lowest plan. Customers grandfathered into AT&T’s unlimited plan pay $10 more dollars per month. They could potentially be saving $10 per month by switching to the 300mb.

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Verizon Wireless Unleashed PrePaid Unlimited Service Goes Nationwide- But Not So Fast

There has been a lot of talk lately about a $50 prepaid unlimited plan that Verizon Wireless has been testing out in Southern California and Florida. Well the coffers at Verizon have decided to roll it out nationwide starting Monday September 12, 2011.

The plan is for unlimited voice, web and text and it’s $50 a month, sounds great right? Well it is if you have an LG Accolade, LG Cosmos slide-out QWERTY or the Pantech Caper. These are the only phones that work on this plan and they are all unfortunately feature phones. But heck this news could be great for some who are looking to control their spending while talking, texting and surfing without caps.
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US Cellular Moving To Tiered Data, Bad Q2 Results

Sometimes we like to look out for the littler guys. After always focusing on Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile, companies like MetroPCS, Cellular South and US Cellular really contribute to the overall ecosystem while maintaining a regional or local base.

US Cellular’s CEO Mary Dillon said in their recent Q2 earnings call that results were “mixed” and subscriber results were “disappointing”. Overall US Cellular lost 58,000 customers in the last quarter which was 41,000 postpaid customers and 17,000 prepaid customers.

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REPORT: 9 Out Of 10 Smart Phone Customers In Bad Data Deals

David Kolata, Executive Director of the Citizens Utility Board

A consumer advocacy group in Illinois revealed some alarming data at a conference held at their Chicago headquarters this morning. The group called the Citizens Utility Board, or CUB for short, has been representing the interests of Illinois residents and small business utility customers.  Today they released a study on smartphone data plans.

The study by CUB revealed that 9 out of 10 consumers are trapped in over-sized data plans.  Contrary to the fact that people assume unlimited is best, CUB has found that many customers who paid for unlimited data over the course of a year in fact used less than the 2gb per month.  Although all four carriers have different policies about changing your plan mid-contract, most consumers don’t realize that they can change their plans.

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Verizon Giving Away 3 Free Months Of Netflix With An LG Revolution (insuring you go over your data)

Verizon Wireless has teamed up with Netflix for a great promotion.  If you purchase an LG Revolution between July 22 (tomorrow) and August 28, 2011 you can get three months free of Netflix.

The LG Revolution is a 4G/LTE Android phone that comes with Netflix pre-installed and ready to go.  All you have to do is add your Netflix account and your streaming, just like you would on your TV.

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Verizon To Rule The Air With Iron Fist Starting Tomorrow

It was revealed weeks ago that Verizon Wireless was going to tiered data pricing. We had actually hoped that Verizon Wireless would make “unlimited” one of the tiers but as it is they haven’t done that.  For some this is a scary thought, however many analysts insist you don’t use nearly as much data as you think.

Through the close of business today at Verizon Wireless retailers you can still grab a $30/mo unlimited data package for smartphones.  However starting tomorrow that $30 will only get you 2gb of data.  Verizon spokesperson Howie Waterman told The Boston Globe:

After tomorrow, Verizon Wireless will allow new customers to send and receive a limit of 2 gigabytes of data per month for $30 – enough, said Waterman, to send 1,000 e-mails, view 100 Web pages, listen to more than 20 hours of streaming music, upload more than 20 photographs, and view over two hours of high-definition video.

So let’s quickly look at this statement.

According to the average business user sends and receives 125 emails per day.  There are 20 “work days” per month if you consider the average business user works Monday-Friday.  That’s 20 business days per month and 2500 emails per month so midway through the cycle you’ve busted through that 1000 emails.

Everyone’s web viewing habits are different so the web page views per month is very hard to calculate. However it must be considered that a lot of “apps” in both the Apple app store and the Android Market are just mobile websites wrapped up in a shell.

Photos is another story though. According to this report the average Flickr user uploads 12.6 photos per day that means an average business user who is also an average Flickr user is again, very quickly blowing through their data.  With apps like Netflix being some of the most popular apps out there for both iPhone and Android the 2 hours of HD video seems, almost silly.

Now the first comments we are going to get are going to center around the fact that Waterman is talking about average usage combined in the scenario described above. Some will upload more photos, some stream more movies while others will send more emails, this is all true but the fact remains that Verizon took the $30 unlimited plan and turned it into the lowest data tier in their new offerings.

It’s very important to note if you’re already a Verizon customer with unlimited data you won’t have to change that until your current contract is up, this is for new customers and upgrades happening after today.

Sprint still offers truly unlimited data plans in 4g markets.  With Sprints unlimited data plan you do get throttled after 5gb on 3G service however 4G/Wimax is truly unlimited.