new at&t data plans will be great for us


All my social media streams are erupting with anger over AT&T's announcement today that they will no longer offer unlimited data plans on the iPhone--instead, you can get 200MB for $15, 2GB for $25, and pay $10 per GB above that.

I'm baffled by the uproar. Who are these people who are using more than 2GB of data a month on their phones? I suspect they're the reason that people have so much trouble with coverage in cities like New York and San Francisco.

In order to see how this would affect us if we switched to the new plans (keeping in mind that if you already have the $30 unlimited they're not taking it away from you; this is only for new service), I looked at our last few months of bills from AT&T. Gerald, Lane, and I all have iPhones, and we all use them pretty regularly. Most of our use when out and about is web and email; for video and music we typically use wifi. And what I found is that none of us typically go over 150MB of data usage in a single month.

I also looked at the statistics on my iPhone. (Settings-->General-->Usage). They were last reset on July 23, 2009, and since then I have yet to hit 2GB of data transferred. I'm at 1.4GB received, and 201MB sent.

That means we could easily switch to the $15/month plan, add a data plan for Alex and give him my hand-me-down iPhone 3G when I upgrade to the new version, and still save $30/month.

If you're one of the people upset about this change, can you explain to me what exactly you're doing on your phone that makes you likely to exceed 2GB of data transfer a month??


I haven't broken 170MB/month on my Palm Pre. Almost everywhere I go either has wifi, or lacks 3G coverage. Tricky!

That said, the move by AT&T almost seems preemptive. Sure it's a slap on the wrist for the current batch of heavy data users, but they're also telling us how they really feel about over-the-air full motion high quality video, two-way video conferencing, etc. We're not poised to use less data in the future, our needs will only increase.

It doesn't really strike me as unreasonable that companies would start imposing limits due to significant increases in high-bandwidth applications. I'd rather pay more if I'm using more, and not deal with network congestion from high bandwidth users who are paying the same amount as those of us who use relatively little...

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on June 2, 2010 1:59 PM.

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