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AT&T shared data plans launch late August, start at $45 per smartphone - Page 4

post #121 of 165

I say there's no reason to switch, but then again, if you must have unlimited calling to POTS phones, this could work out in favor for a few individuals. 

post #122 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinLH00 View Post

 

Nobody gets a discount from Apple, why do you think AT&T could?

did some quick math and you're probably right 

 

either way expect a big part of your bill to go to advertising, new customer costs and the retail stores as well as decent support

 

in my 3 years with AT&T i only called in 5 times at most so i don't feel like paying for this

post #123 of 165

While Sprint may not have a large subscriber base or the fastest service, I find it somewhat amusing that AT&T and Verizon continue to be at each other's throats like this and for the most part, ignore them (which they do at their own peril IMO).

post #124 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xao View Post

Damn, still cut-off...

 

In short, current bill $284.97, with the 6GB plan $245, or the 10GB plan $260.  Plus the more devices the better the value gets.  At first glance the plan seemed ridiculous, but taking the time and really calculating it out, it makes sense, at least for us.

 

 

You should only pay $240 as the 2 pads can tehter to a phone to get the data saving you $10 each per month plus the up front cost of $129 to buy the ipad.

post #125 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xao View Post

Believe it or not, is will actually make sense for us to finally switch off of our Unlimited plans on our iPhones.  But as someone stated, you need to have a lot of devices, which we do.  In our family, we have two iPads, three iPhone 4s' and a dumb phone for dad.  Here is the spreadsheet on how I calculated it out.  I checked our data usage and the 6GB or 10GB will work for the family, and all of currently use iTunes Match to stream too.

 

 

Device Phone Plan Data Plan Txt Plan Total              
Mine 80 30 20 130              
Wife 9.99 30 20 59.99              
Son 9.99 15   24.99              
Dad's 9.99   5 14.99              
iPad (3)   25   25              
iPad (1)   30   30              
Grand Total 109.97 130 45 284.97              
                       
                       
                       
Plan   Device Cost Dumb Cost Tablet Cost # Smart Phone # Dumb Phone # Tablet Ext Phone Cost Ext Dumb Phone Ext Tablet Cost Total
6GB Plan 90 35 30 10 3 1 2 105 30 20 245
10GB Plan 120 30 30 10 3 1 2 90 30 20 260

Why are you paying $45 for text when you can opt for unlimited family messaging plan for everyone at $30?

post #126 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

If you aren't privy to their costs, how do you figure it isn't enough?

 

AT&T's Q1 2012 profits were ~$3.6 billion. Verizon's Q1 2012 profits were ~$3.9 billion. They are operating on publicly owned radio spectrum, given to them to use for the public good. I think they could charge $50/month and continue to operate at a healthy profit, even while building out the networks to support consumer demand.

 

The only reason they are charging the rates they do is because there is no real competition in wireless in this country, and the FCC, FTC and DoJ turn a blind eye.

 

Given to them? You have to be kidding. 

 

Try a few billion for just one part of the broadband spectrum license

post #127 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by swpalmer View Post

As usual, a total rip-off.

 

Why we don't have an uprising against these ridiculous "data plans" is beyond me.

 

Guess what AT&T?  1GB of data on my iPad looks the same to your network as 1GB of data on my iPhone!  Having a discrepancy in the pricing of data between the two should be illegal!  If only you could be fined billions to compensate those that you are overcharging.

 

Telecom on this continent sucks.

 

Telecom on this continent has entire families of people wanting to walk out of stores with iPhones while paying only one-third of the cost up front. That gets expensive.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

Ahem....

 

BOOOOOOOOO!

 

Sticking with our 'unlimited' plans or jumping to Verizon.

 

You won't save a dime on Verizon.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kendals View Post

Last month I switched my iPhone over to straight talk (www.straighttalksim.com) and I get unlimited talk/text & 2Gb of Data for $45.00 / month...no contract...no hidden fees, taxes, etc...works perfectly for me and uses the AT&T Towers!

 

Clearly prepaid is the way to go. My family has four smartphones all owned outright and our monthly cellphone bill is $112.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedGeminiPA View Post

We go with Straight Talk:

4 @ $45 for unlimited talk, text & web (capped around 2GB each) = $180

1 @ $30 (1000 minutes & texts and 30MB data) = $30

                                                                       $210

 

All iPhones would need to use the $45 plan.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

i knew at&t was going to do this once verizon did it

 

going prepaid with my wife, even paying an ETF for my 4S. going to straight talk. $40 a month unlimited everything. already gave a heads up to my inlaws who are on the same plan that they are on their own starting in september.

 

my wife is keeping her iphone 4 for probably another year and i'll be keeping my 4s for 3 years as well.

 

the app store is like windows software, 2-3 years behind the hardware

 

i'm reading a lot about prepaid now and this is bad news for apple and samsung. its a bigger nut to spend $650 or more on a phone than the $199 minus the trade in of your old phone

 

You make a good point. The cost disparity between prepaid and post-paid is becoming huge but most people have sucked it up because they want new $650 phones. The second they decide they don't want to keep subsidizing a $650 phone it could be very bad for Apple. Samsung might suffer but they actually make plenty of phones across all cost points.

 

As I said above, my own bill is $112. We use two iPhones (4s and 4) on Straight Talk for ($45x2) and the kids have to suffer with a Blackberry Curve and LG Vortex ($12x2) which are used with Page Plus cellular.

 

When I read on here what people are spending on their cell phones a month, it just seems insane to me. One of the reasons my kids can get by on their plans is I installed Whatsapp on every phone. It uses so little data to provide what amounts to unlimited family texting that it is astonishing to think what people are paying in markup to have an easier solution or that they tolerate the cell companies declaring unlimited texting an expensive feature.

 

People need to wise up and wake up. Sure a few years ago many of us may have carried around multiple devices but we were told to consolidate them into one device and save money. Now the one device is close to costing more than all the previous devices. I can carry around an iPod Touch and a cell phone for as little as $10-20 a month and that even includes enough data to check email and a few web pages a day, especially if you use Opera Mini.

 

I don't think Apple, Samsung, AT&T and Verizon need to worry though. America will still be the place where everyone is broke and unemployed while carrying around $650 cell phones (including the kids.) No thinking to save cash required.

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post #128 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

You arbitrarily lowered AT&Ts prices and came up with a strictly per GB plan.  I like the per GB idea but your structure where each GB costs more than the one before it is silly.  You have the model upside-down.  Otherwise your plan is what they offered today.  It is infinitely simpler than any previous plans they had.

 

It was an example, not meant to be real prices.  Yes, what I'm proposing is close to what they announced today, except it makes more sense to the customer. The following is how the cost breaks down for the new plan as opposed to the old:

 

Let's say you have two phone sharing a plan:

 

OLD

Unlimited talk = $70 + $50 for an additional line

Unlimited text = $30

3GB Data * 2 = $60

-----------------------------

Total = $210

 

NEW

6 GB Data + Unlimited Talk + Unlimited Text = $90

Per Smartphone Charge * 2 = $70

----------------------------

TOTAL = $160

 

Forget my prior post for a second and let's just use AT&T's established prices.  What's different here? Well, the new plan includes tethering, which you didn't get unless you upgraded to the 5 GB plan for $50.  The new plan also drops the $50 additional line fee of the old unlimited talk plan.  But why not just SAY that? If you're valuing data at $10 / GB and unlimited text at $30 / month and unlimited voice at $70 / month, why not just say that?  What's simpler than saying "UNLIMITED VOICE AND TEXT for $100 and $10 / GB for DATA THAT YOU USE!!!!"  Why do we need to charge per phone at all? You already have the individual lines tied to the account.  They're already letting you share everything.  Why not just frame it like that instead of making people do math in their heads.  I say that as an engineer with a math minor.  Tell me you wouldn't love to see an ad from AT&T saying:

 

UNLIMITED TALK and TEXT $100

DATA $10 / GB

CELLULAR CONNECTED DEVICES (Not including smartphones) $10 / month

*Up to 10 connected devices per account

 

Aaaaaaaand that's it...

 

That's a crap ton easier for someone to sign up for than what they rolled out today.  As for why charge more rather than less the more data you consume ... well, why not? AT&T has said that people who use an excessive amount of data clog the network. Make them pay for it ... of course, they may have just been talking out of their ass, too.  If what they were saying was true, charging more for excessive data use seems fair.  Right now, they're giving you a $2 / GB discount between the 10 GB and 20 GB tiers. Hey, it'd be really nice if they prorated that $10 / GB if you use less than 1 GB, so people with dumbphones aren't paying for a large amount of data that they're likely not using.

 

It might be semantics, but semantics do matter to customers.  Giving a price for unlimited talk + text and a certain amount of data is a little misleading, since the unlimited voice is really divvied up in the "per phone" cost. The only way you're really getting a deal is if you use this with a single smartphone.  In that case you're getting a discount on the unlimited voice.  If you have a single smartphone and use 20 GB, you're basically getting your unlimited voice for free.  Don't get me wrong ... I think this is an overall positive move by AT&T. It WILL simplify things.  I just wish they would call a spade a spade.  It's clear that minutes are almost worthless to them.  The money is in texts and data, with a majority of it being in serving up the data.  If that's what you want to emphasize as a company, then do it! Charge a flat rate for unlimited voice and text, then highlight your per GB data price.  It seems like they're moving in that direction - I only hope that they'll finally get there in the next couple of years...

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post #129 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I don't think Apple, Samsung, AT&T and Verizon need to worry though. America will still be the place where everyone is broke and unemployed while carrying around $650 cell phones (including the kids.) No thinking to save cash required.

And young people (29) like me who save will be taxed to the hill come retirement age because the majority will need the government/SSI to live on because they had to buy a $6 coffee every morning instead of invest in a Roth.  The majority of the population = the majority of votes.  So do I think for a second they are going to do what isn't in the best interest of a reelection?  Not looking forward to 36 years from now.....

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post #130 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by josephwinters View Post

I have 5 lines. 4 smartphones, and 1 dumb phone.
Knowing what I pay every month for all my phones and the separate data plans they currently have, none of these plans save me a dime. That's a damn shame AT&T. My average bill is $260 a month without taxes. And I'm curious what the cost is if you go over your data? :-/.
I've been waiting for this... But not like this. There is essentially still a premium and split out costs for having data on your phones. Grr.

I have the same set of phones, but we are on the grandfathered data plans (2x 2GB and 2x 200MB) and this plan doesn't save us anything at our current $220 pre-tax price point. The new plan would cost us $260; switching my son to a smartphone would drive the new plan price to only $265, but it would mean we all have 6GB of data to share.

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post #131 of 165

Screen Shot 2012-07-18 at 2.55.42 PM.png

 

Here is an easier to understand table of the real costs.

The first column is the # of smartphones on the plan.

These shared data plans make the most sense if you have 4 or more users.

If you are looking to minimize cost, the plans highlighted in blue mke the most sense.

This is assuming only smartphones and no iPads or notebooks.

post #132 of 165

If you have 5 iPhones:

 

Old Plan:

700 Shared Minute Plan: $70

4 Additional Lines: $40

Unlimited Texting: $30

5 Data Pro Plans: $150 (15 GB total, but nothing is shared)

Total: $290 + taxes

 

New Plan (includes tethering):

10 GB Shared Data + Unlimited Voice + Unlimited Text: $120

5 iPhones: $150

Total: $270 + taxes

 

If you try to make them more evenly matched (i.e. tethering and unlimited Voice):

 

Old Plan:

Unlimited Shared Minute Plan: $120

4 Additional Lines: $40

Unlimited Texting: $30

5 DataPro Hotspot Plans: $250 (25 GB total, but nothing is shared)

Total: $440 + taxes

 

New Plan (no 25GB plan):

20 GB Shared Data + Unlimited Voice + Unlimited Text: $200

5 iPhones: $150

Total: $350 + taxes

 

Now... THERE'S some savings! *eyeroll*

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post #133 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Screen Shot 2012-07-18 at 2.55.42 PM.png

 

Here is an easier to understand table of the real costs.

The first column is the # of smartphones on the plan.

These shared data plans make the most sense if you have 4 or more users.

If you are looking to minimize cost, the plans highlighted in blue mke the most sense.

This is assuming only smartphones and no iPads or notebooks.

This, of course, assumes you want to use this shared data plan. It's strange that the sweet-spot is at 10GB; the lower-GB plans make no sense, and would actually cost more money with 4 more more devices.We have to wonder if AT&T went through the same exercise you did? Or are they hoping that people will believe a lower data limit will save them money?

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post #134 of 165

What a deal! I need to rush out and buy this before the sale ends. Where does the line start?

post #135 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinLH00 View Post

 

How on earth do you feel that they should provide you with unlimited data, text, and talk for $50 per month? Are you out of your mind? 

Virgin Mobile has a $55 unlimited everything plan.  So I can't be that out of my mind!

post #136 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinLH00 View Post

 

You are asking them to cut the rate that they charge in half (at least). Why should they have to go from $3.6 billion to $1.8 billion? On another post I explained the subsidization as well. At $50 a month, the first 8 months of your service would go directly to Apple (or other phone manufacturer). Then they only have 12 months to get money from you ($600) to apply toward the cost of providing you service, retail overhead, customer service, expanding their network, etc...before you upgrade your phone and they lose another 8 months of income.

 

Apple made $11.62 billion last quarter, over 3 times more than AT&T. I don't see you jumping on them for greed.

 

Apple isn't utilizing public property, leased to them for the public good, to operate a necessary public utility. AT&T is.

 

Letting a small group of companies, utilizing a publicly owned resource, gouge consumers and hold back innovation and progress is not in the public interest.

post #137 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

 

Given to them? You have to be kidding. 

 

Try a few billion for just one part of the broadband spectrum license

 

So, they paid a few billion. If they aren't operating that spectrum in the public interest, the Feds need to step in.

post #138 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post

Virgin Mobile has a $55 unlimited everything plan.  So I can't be that out of my mind!

 

See, I rest my case. AT&T and Verizon are clearly gouging the public and standing in the way of innovation, progress and the public good.

post #139 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post

Virgin Mobile has a $55 unlimited everything plan.  So I can't be that out of my mind!

 

 

You do realize that it is only 3G capable. And you will have to fork over at least $550 for the iPhone.

post #140 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

So, they paid a few billion. If they aren't operating that spectrum in the public interest, the Feds need to step in.

 

Did you, or better yet can you, read the link. And that was just for 700 MHZ spectrum in 2008.

 

An who's to know what the next auction will garner. 

 

Quote:
In February, Congress approved legislation allowing the FCC to conduct "incentive auctions" to sell underutilized spectrum to meet the nation's growing mobile broadband needs. Genachowski called these an opportunity to "unleash vitally needed spectrum" as well as one to raise billions of dollars for deficit reduction. Over the last two decades, spectrum auctions, he said, have raised more than $50 billion for the Treasury—though economists regard the value created by the auctions as being closer to $500 billion.

Edited by Onhka - 7/18/12 at 2:59pm
post #141 of 165

Two things not discussed much:

 

1.  Dumbphone -> Smartphone only costs a $5 premium.  They're reducing the smartphone premium substantially.  Lots of dumbphone family plan members will be moving up to a smartphone next upgrade, including I'm sure the two dumbphones on my plan.

2.  Overage increased by 50% ($10 to $15).  When all the dumbphones become smartphones they will be collecting this more often than ever.

 

I worked out my particular situation (iPhone @ 5GB+tethering, 1 iPhones @ 3GB, 1 iPhone @ 300MB, two dumbphones, unlimited text, 1400 minutes, one iPad) and I will save a whopping $5 a month for 10GB versus the 11.3 GB I have now, at least until the two dumbphones move up.

 

EDIT: 1. actually no premium at all on 10GB and above plans.


Edited by iGuessSo - 7/18/12 at 2:38pm
post #142 of 165

This was never meant to save you money.  The goal is to get new subscribers to pay more when they sign up.

 

In two years, the carriers will be lamenting grandfathered individual plans the way they lament grandfathered unlimited plans today.

post #143 of 165

Has AT&T gone stupid or what? Who the hell is going to sign up to this brain dead shared plan. The day they take away my grand fathered unlimited iPhone plan, I am out of AT&T. I have been AT&T customer for any years, even prior to iPhone, but they have consistently tried to screw me over. I am so tempting to just move to Sprint for there unlimited plan. Sure they might not have the best coverage outside of metropolitan area, but majority of my time usage has been in metro area.

post #144 of 165
Lookout and beware Apple:
post #145 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Bart View Post

Lookout and beware Apple:

That's not even a tangent, that may as well be a deliberate attempt to derail a thread. It's completely unrelated to the article.

If you can't be bothered to stay on topic, please don't post.
Edited by JeffDM - 7/19/12 at 6:15am
post #146 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

You do realize that it is only 3G capable. And you will have to fork over at least $550 for the iPhone.

 

You can still save a lot of money with a prepaid plan, even paying up front for the phone.  For example, take the $45 Straight Talk plan, which works on AT&T's towers -- unlimited talk, text, and I think about 2 GB data before you get cut off:

 

$649 phone + $15 SIM + ($45 * 24) plan + average 6.5% sales tax on all purchases = $1,857 over two years.

 

Compare that to the similar offering from AT&T, which is $70 for unlimited talk, $20 for text and $25 for 2 GB data, for a total of $115 per month:

 

$199 phone + $36 activation + ($115 * 24) plan + 6.5% tax on the phone and $15/mo. taxes/fees = $3,368 over two years.

 

Let's say you're OK with 450 minutes per month at $40 from AT&T, well, you're still gonna pay a lot more money than you would with prepaid:

 

$199 phone + $36 activation + ($85 * 24) plan + 6.5% tax on the phone and $12/mo. taxes/fees = $2,577 over two years.

post #147 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadda yadda yadda View Post

 

You can still save a lot of money with a prepaid plan, even paying up front for the phone.  For example, take the $45 Straight Talk plan, which works on AT&T's towers -- unlimited talk, text, and I think about 2 GB data before you get cut off:

 

$649 phone + $15 SIM + ($45 * 24) plan + average 6.5% sales tax on all purchases = $1,857 over two years.

 

Compare that to the similar offering from AT&T, which is $70 for unlimited talk, $20 for text and $25 for 2 GB data, for a total of $115 per month:

 

$199 phone + $36 activation + ($115 * 24) plan + 6.5% tax on the phone and $15/mo. taxes/fees = $3,368 over two years.

 

Let's say you're OK with 450 minutes per month at $40 from AT&T, well, you're still gonna pay a lot more money than you would with prepaid:

 

$199 phone + $36 activation + ($85 * 24) plan + 6.5% tax on the phone and $12/mo. taxes/fees = $2,577 over two years.

And thats if you pay Apple.  You can buy brand new iPhones on Craigslist for $500 or under all day long.  Got a white iPhone 4S 16gb for $420 after she broke her old one- still sealed.  Opened it on the spot and it was perfect and never used.

 

So it gets even cheaper.  Of course- my wife and I are on our company phone bill, so prices don't really bother me.  :-)


Edited by Andysol - 7/19/12 at 7:02am

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post #148 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

And thats if you pay Apple.  You can buy brand new iPhones on Craigslist for $500 or under all day long.  Got a white iPhone 4S 16gb for $420 after she broke her old one- still sealed.  Opened it on the spot and it was perfect and never used.

Seems a bit suspicious. How do you know it wasn't stolen?
post #149 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post

Virgin Mobile has a $55 unlimited everything plan.  So I can't be that out of my mind!

 

Does Virgin Mobile subsidize the cost of a new iPhone? Does Virgin Mobile have their own network? Does Virgin Mobile have the ability to invest in their infrastructure? You cannot compare them.

post #150 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

See, I rest my case. AT&T and Verizon are clearly gouging the public and standing in the way of innovation, progress and the public good.

 

You are misinformed. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have to build the infrastructure to support this "public spectrum". It costs billions of dollars to build towers and power and support them. They had to pay money to acquire this spectrum on top of that. Plus they give you $400 when you buy your new iPhone that they need to recover somehow.

 

You cannot compare a company that offers no subsidized iPhone and piggy backs off of another companies infrastructure and call the two even.

 

Virgin Mobile and these other carriers have a much smaller overhead and your dollars to not fund infrastructure expansion with those carriers.

post #151 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Why are you paying $45 for text when you can opt for unlimited family messaging plan for everyone at $30?

 

Because our jobs actually require us to txt a lot to people that are not family nor on AT&T.  I have to say though that since iMessage the # of actual SMS have dropped significantly, but not enough to switch to the lower 200 plan.  Her dad at $5 is just the average cost of his monthly txt, he's not actually on a plan, we just pay per txt for his phone.

post #152 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xao View Post

 

Because our jobs actually require us to txt a lot to people that are not family nor on AT&T.  I have to say though that since iMessage the # of actual SMS have dropped significantly, but not enough to switch to the lower 200 plan.  Her dad at $5 is just the average cost of his monthly txt, he's not actually on a plan, we just pay per txt for his phone.

But the unlimited texting is not just between family members, it's to everyone. My son did not send his family members all those 18,000 text messages in one month. You can save yourself a lot with that plan.

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post #153 of 165

I have to say, there really is a lot of stupidity on this discussion.  I have just a few things to say.

 

These shared data plans on both AT&T and Verizon will be great for some and not for others.  Yes, of course these two companies are trying to develop a pricing model that will allow them to grow their average revenue per user - they are profit making companies.  They aren't charities or government agencies.  A lot of the people on here seem to have the same attitude that much of the American public has when it comes to taxes and government services - they want all of the benefits and perks of services, but they don't want to pay for it. AT&T and Verizon have shareholders and they are expected to deliver profits for them - sometimes that coincides with what is best for the consumer and sometimes it doesn't.  Particularly with U.S. cell phone market becoming saturated (who doesn't have at least a regular cell phone), these companies have to find new ways to grow their revenue - that's called capitalism.  In a free market, you have a choice if you don't like it - take your money elsewhere.

 

If you don't like what AT&T and Verizon are offering, there are a number of other providers out there to choose from.  The cell phone industry isn't a perfectly free market (few industries are) because you do have government regulation and they are, at the end of the day, telecommunications company.  Historically, the telecom industry has not exactly been the most competitive, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a time in American history where it has been as competitive as it is today.  You have so many options.  You can choose traditional land lines from a telephone company, VOIP lines from cable providers, cell phones, online services like skype, etc.  At the end of the day, many of us choose AT&T or Verizon because we want wireless service on our smartphone and we want good nationwide coverage.  Do you pay a premium for their service over say, T-mobile or Sprint?  Yes, but its up to you whether you want to pay it.

 

A lot of people also don't seem to realize the difference between cell phone providers that have their own network of cell phone towers and those that just roam on other networks.  AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile and, to a more limited degree, a couple of other small players actually maintain their own nationwide network of cell phone towers.  Providers like StraightTalk simply buy the ability for their phones to roam on the towers of one of those providers.  StraightTalk doesn't have to invest in infrastructure the way the other providers do.  It does cost money to maintain a wireless network infrastructure.  Cell phone towers don't go up for free - do a search of Google news articles and you will just how difficult it is for these providers to even put up a cell phone tower in a lot of areas.  The NIMBY attitute is alive and well in America - again, we want the cell phone service, get angry when it isn't available, and then throw a tantrum the minute AT&T or Verizon want to put up a cell phone tower in our neighborhood.  Furthermore, Verizon and AT&T have a more extensive nationwide network than any other carrier.  You probably don't realize it, but if you go to a place like Montana or Wyoming, Sprint and T-mobile have zero cell phone towers - the only reason you can get service with those providers in those areas is because they are roaming on Verizon or AT&T's towers.  It isn't cheap to maintain a nationwide network, particular in both dense, urban areas like NYC or sparsely populated rural areas like Montana.  

 

So, if you don't like the new plans - fine, switch to someone else.  But give me a break when talking about AT&T or Verizon as these greedy, corporate titans that are only interested in stealing your money.  Yes, they want to make a profit, as any corporation in America does, but they are also providing a service that is expensive to provide - the telecom industry is a capital intensive industry and always has been.  They can't just give it away.

post #154 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


Seems a bit suspicious. How do you know it wasn't stolen?

She and her friend had each upgraded and each had a receipt.  They wanted $500 originally, and I talked them down because they sounded desperate.  They did look like they were gonna spend it on booze and tattoos though lol.gif.  But $500 is easy to find.  Some people don't mind dumb phones- sign up for the upgrade and then sell the phones.  $300 is a lot to some people.... I don't understand it, but who am I to argue.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #155 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by airjay81 View Post

I have to say, there really is a lot of stupidity on this discussion.  I have just a few things to say.

 

These shared data plans on both AT&T and Verizon will be great for some and not for others.  Yes, of course these two companies are trying to develop a pricing model that will allow them to grow their average revenue per user - they are profit making companies.  They aren't charities or government agencies.  A lot of the people on here seem to have the same attitude that much of the American public has when it comes to taxes and government services - they want all of the benefits and perks of services, but they don't want to pay for it. AT&T and Verizon have shareholders and they are expected to deliver profits for them - sometimes that coincides with what is best for the consumer and sometimes it doesn't.  Particularly with U.S. cell phone market becoming saturated (who doesn't have at least a regular cell phone), these companies have to find new ways to grow their revenue - that's called capitalism.  In a free market, you have a choice if you don't like it - take your money elsewhere.

 

If you don't like what AT&T and Verizon are offering, there are a number of other providers out there to choose from.  The cell phone industry isn't a perfectly free market (few industries are) because you do have government regulation and they are, at the end of the day, telecommunications company.  Historically, the telecom industry has not exactly been the most competitive, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a time in American history where it has been as competitive as it is today.  You have so many options.  You can choose traditional land lines from a telephone company, VOIP lines from cable providers, cell phones, online services like skype, etc.  At the end of the day, many of us choose AT&T or Verizon because we want wireless service on our smartphone and we want good nationwide coverage.  Do you pay a premium for their service over say, T-mobile or Sprint?  Yes, but its up to you whether you want to pay it.

 

A lot of people also don't seem to realize the difference between cell phone providers that have their own network of cell phone towers and those that just roam on other networks.  AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile and, to a more limited degree, a couple of other small players actually maintain their own nationwide network of cell phone towers.  Providers like StraightTalk simply buy the ability for their phones to roam on the towers of one of those providers.  StraightTalk doesn't have to invest in infrastructure the way the other providers do.  It does cost money to maintain a wireless network infrastructure.  Cell phone towers don't go up for free - do a search of Google news articles and you will just how difficult it is for these providers to even put up a cell phone tower in a lot of areas.  The NIMBY attitute is alive and well in America - again, we want the cell phone service, get angry when it isn't available, and then throw a tantrum the minute AT&T or Verizon want to put up a cell phone tower in our neighborhood.  Furthermore, Verizon and AT&T have a more extensive nationwide network than any other carrier.  You probably don't realize it, but if you go to a place like Montana or Wyoming, Sprint and T-mobile have zero cell phone towers - the only reason you can get service with those providers in those areas is because they are roaming on Verizon or AT&T's towers.  It isn't cheap to maintain a nationwide network, particular in both dense, urban areas like NYC or sparsely populated rural areas like Montana.  

 

So, if you don't like the new plans - fine, switch to someone else.  But give me a break when talking about AT&T or Verizon as these greedy, corporate titans that are only interested in stealing your money.  Yes, they want to make a profit, as any corporation in America does, but they are also providing a service that is expensive to provide - the telecom industry is a capital intensive industry and always has been.  They can't just give it away.

 

I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you for the intelligent reply!

post #156 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by airjay81 View Post

I have to say, there really is a lot of stupidity on this discussion.  I have just a few things to say.

 

These shared data plans on both AT&T and Verizon will be great for some and not for others.  Yes, of course these two companies are trying to develop a pricing model that will allow them to grow their average revenue per user - they are profit making companies.  They aren't charities or government agencies.  A lot of the people on here seem to have the same attitude that much of the American public has when it comes to taxes and government services - they want all of the benefits and perks of services, but they don't want to pay for it. AT&T and Verizon have shareholders and they are expected to deliver profits for them - sometimes that coincides with what is best for the consumer and sometimes it doesn't.  Particularly with U.S. cell phone market becoming saturated (who doesn't have at least a regular cell phone), these companies have to find new ways to grow their revenue - that's called capitalism.  In a free market, you have a choice if you don't like it - take your money elsewhere.

 

If you don't like what AT&T and Verizon are offering, there are a number of other providers out there to choose from.  The cell phone industry isn't a perfectly free market (few industries are) because you do have government regulation and they are, at the end of the day, telecommunications company.  Historically, the telecom industry has not exactly been the most competitive, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a time in American history where it has been as competitive as it is today.  You have so many options.  You can choose traditional land lines from a telephone company, VOIP lines from cable providers, cell phones, online services like skype, etc.  At the end of the day, many of us choose AT&T or Verizon because we want wireless service on our smartphone and we want good nationwide coverage.  Do you pay a premium for their service over say, T-mobile or Sprint?  Yes, but its up to you whether you want to pay it.

 

A lot of people also don't seem to realize the difference between cell phone providers that have their own network of cell phone towers and those that just roam on other networks.  AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile and, to a more limited degree, a couple of other small players actually maintain their own nationwide network of cell phone towers.  Providers like StraightTalk simply buy the ability for their phones to roam on the towers of one of those providers.  StraightTalk doesn't have to invest in infrastructure the way the other providers do.  It does cost money to maintain a wireless network infrastructure.  Cell phone towers don't go up for free - do a search of Google news articles and you will just how difficult it is for these providers to even put up a cell phone tower in a lot of areas.  The NIMBY attitute is alive and well in America - again, we want the cell phone service, get angry when it isn't available, and then throw a tantrum the minute AT&T or Verizon want to put up a cell phone tower in our neighborhood.  Furthermore, Verizon and AT&T have a more extensive nationwide network than any other carrier.  You probably don't realize it, but if you go to a place like Montana or Wyoming, Sprint and T-mobile have zero cell phone towers - the only reason you can get service with those providers in those areas is because they are roaming on Verizon or AT&T's towers.  It isn't cheap to maintain a nationwide network, particular in both dense, urban areas like NYC or sparsely populated rural areas like Montana.  

 

So, if you don't like the new plans - fine, switch to someone else.  But give me a break when talking about AT&T or Verizon as these greedy, corporate titans that are only interested in stealing your money.  Yes, they want to make a profit, as any corporation in America does, but they are also providing a service that is expensive to provide - the telecom industry is a capital intensive industry and always has been.  They can't just give it away.

 

I don't many are calling for any sort of investigation into Verizon or AT&T or even declaring they aren't allowed to offer these plans. Many are saying simply that the prices and offerings are no longer worth tolerating for a phone subsidy or are saying they will tolerate a different phone, if tied to a service, for a more affordable service price.

 

Claiming MVNO's don't pay to maintain a network though is really nonsense. Neither AT&T nor Verizon nor anyone else is going to sell access to their networks for less than their own wholesale cost and part of determining that cost is factoring the price of maintaining a network. I own rental properties and the rents from them include maintenance and taxes. This would be no different.

 

So regardless of who you use whether they be the first party or an MVNO, you are paying to maintain the network.

 

The mark up on cellular service is ridiculous. That said most people buy much more than they need and are scared into paying more than they should. This happens because people subsidize new and shiny phones and because of fear of overages. Most regulated utilities do not allow the sort overages that cell companies engage in. They may charge higher rates above a certain usage level but they cannot suddenly have mark ups in the hundred to thousands of percent from prior pricing.

 

Where cell companies have to be careful is to profit but not be so excessive in their pursuit of profits that people call for them to be a strictly regulated public utility. No one buys excessive water or electricity because they don't sweat that their 501st gallon of water will suddenly cost more than the previous 500 combined. It is also very expensive to provide water, electricity, etc.

 

Again most people won't care because they are short sighted and want a shiny new phone. However as with many scenarios, technology changes and when the former technology evangelists become those heading for the exits, an inflection point can occur where the change is very sudden. I suspect this will soon be the case for cell companies but that it is also happening with "cord cutters" (of which I am one) with regard to cable and satellite.

 

It is clear cell companies think they can use data to dictate terms. I suspect they will soon find out otherwise.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #157 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

 

I don't many are calling for any sort of investigation into Verizon or AT&T or even declaring they aren't allowed to offer these plans. Many are saying simply that the prices and offerings are no longer worth tolerating for a phone subsidy or are saying they will tolerate a different phone, if tied to a service, for a more affordable service price.

 

Claiming MVNO's don't pay to maintain a network though is really nonsense. Neither AT&T nor Verizon nor anyone else is going to sell access to their networks for less than their own wholesale cost and part of determining that cost is factoring the price of maintaining a network. I own rental properties and the rents from them include maintenance and taxes. This would be no different.

 

So regardless of who you use whether they be the first party or an MVNO, you are paying to maintain the network.

 

The mark up on cellular service is ridiculous. That said most people buy much more than they need and are scared into paying more than they should. This happens because people subsidize new and shiny phones and because of fear of overages. Most regulated utilities do not allow the sort overages that cell companies engage in. They may charge higher rates above a certain usage level but they cannot suddenly have mark ups in the hundred to thousands of percent from prior pricing.

 

Where cell companies have to be careful is to profit but not be so excessive in their pursuit of profits that people call for them to be a strictly regulated public utility. No one buys excessive water or electricity because they don't sweat that their 501st gallon of water will suddenly cost more than the previous 500 combined. It is also very expensive to provide water, electricity, etc.

 

Again most people won't care because they are short sighted and want a shiny new phone. However as with many scenarios, technology changes and when the former technology evangelists become those heading for the exits, an inflection point can occur where the change is very sudden. I suspect this will soon be the case for cell companies but that it is also happening with "cord cutters" (of which I am one) with regard to cable and satellite.

 

It is clear cell companies think they can use data to dictate terms. I suspect they will soon find out otherwise.

 

What if they offered the same plans at $20 less per month without a subsidy? Would people think that was more fair?

post #158 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

 

I don't many are calling for any sort of investigation into Verizon or AT&T or even declaring they aren't allowed to offer these plans. Many are saying simply that the prices and offerings are no longer worth tolerating for a phone subsidy or are saying they will tolerate a different phone, if tied to a service, for a more affordable service price.

 

Claiming MVNO's don't pay to maintain a network though is really nonsense. Neither AT&T nor Verizon nor anyone else is going to sell access to their networks for less than their own wholesale cost and part of determining that cost is factoring the price of maintaining a network. I own rental properties and the rents from them include maintenance and taxes. This would be no different.

 

So regardless of who you use whether they be the first party or an MVNO, you are paying to maintain the network.

 

The mark up on cellular service is ridiculous. That said most people buy much more than they need and are scared into paying more than they should. This happens because people subsidize new and shiny phones and because of fear of overages. Most regulated utilities do not allow the sort overages that cell companies engage in. They may charge higher rates above a certain usage level but they cannot suddenly have mark ups in the hundred to thousands of percent from prior pricing.

 

Where cell companies have to be careful is to profit but not be so excessive in their pursuit of profits that people call for them to be a strictly regulated public utility. No one buys excessive water or electricity because they don't sweat that their 501st gallon of water will suddenly cost more than the previous 500 combined. It is also very expensive to provide water, electricity, etc.

 

Again most people won't care because they are short sighted and want a shiny new phone. However as with many scenarios, technology changes and when the former technology evangelists become those heading for the exits, an inflection point can occur where the change is very sudden. I suspect this will soon be the case for cell companies but that it is also happening with "cord cutters" (of which I am one) with regard to cable and satellite.

 

It is clear cell companies think they can use data to dictate terms. I suspect they will soon find out otherwise.

 

I know people may not be calling for an investigation or saying they aren't able to offer these plans, but there does seem to be a lot of statements about how ridiculous people think these plans are and how AT&T and Verizon are charging us ridiculous amounts of money for the services they offer, and I simply don't agree.  They are both charging market rates in a market that is pretty free, considering the limitations of competition in the telecom space.  Is it more than Sprint, T-mobile,   the MVNOs, etc?  Yes, but I would argue that you get more from AT&T and Verizon - whether it is worth it is up to each individual consumer, and I suspect, at the end of the day, many of the people who grumble and complain about big bad red and big bad blue will stick with them.

 

I suppose I overstated that MVNOs don't have to pay anything to maintain a network but if you are going to argue that MVNOs have the same ratio of spending on infrastructure to revenue that AT&T and Verizon do, I think you're smoking something really good.  Sure, AT&T and Verizon are going to charge MVNOs to use their network and some of that charge is going to be on account of network costs, but, the MVNOs do not have to deal with the actual infrastructure and ongoing maintenance.  They simply get to pay to use it and if they decide to use someone elses they can stop at any time.  Moreover, AT&T and Verizon will only be able to charge what the market can bear (and, in fact, are probably forced to charge less in certain instances on account of FCC regulations dictating that they can only charge to much).  To use your rental property analogy, yes, the rate you charge for rent will try to take account of the cost of maintenance, but you are only going to be charge rent for what the market will bear - that may or may not adequately cover your maintenance costs.  For the renter, they get to rent and leave when they are done - they don't have to worry about the long-term expenses associated with a property.  AT&T and Verizon have the largest, most extensive networks in the U.S. that become more heavily utilized every year.  That costs money and requires both ongoing expenses and long-term reserves.  An MVNO only has to pay the rate of their current contract with AT&T or Verizon - they do not have to deal with the long-term commitment and expense of running and maintaining a cell phone network.

 

I'm not arguing that there isn't a significant mark-up on cellular services - yes, the amount AT&T and Verizon charge is likely far greater than what you cost them as a user.  That's called making a profit.  Undoubtedly, the price of cell phone service has decreased over the past 10-15 years.  At the same time, what cell service provides has increased - better coverage, clearer calls, faster and faster data.  The new pricing schemes may raise consumer prices in the short run, but what you pay per minute/per text/per gb of data consumed will continue to decrease over time.  I simply don't see a tipping point coming very soon - all I see is increased demand for cellular data.  A point of market saturation will eventually be reached and, I suppose, cell phone companies will become more like cable companies.  However, unlike with cable where you can "cut the cord" and go with internet streaming for your TV needs (although, even there, you aren't going to get what you would if you paid for it - not yet, anyways), there is not yet anything you can do to ditch your cell phone.  Maybe new technology will be developed that could substitute for cell service, but I don't see it yet.  

post #159 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinLH00 View Post

Does Virgin Mobile subsidize the cost of a new iPhone? Does Virgin Mobile have their own network? Does Virgin Mobile have the ability to invest in their infrastructure? You cannot compare them.

They can be compared, you just need to account for the differences properly. Subsidy vs. no subsidy, just divide the cost of the device over two years (or whatever your expected use length would be) on an unsubsidized plan to compare to a subsidized plan.

A MVNO might not have their own infrastructure, but they are paying others for the right to use their networks. The "big" network operators also pay for the use of other networks, often smaller regional networks too.

Also, I found this gem:

"Virgin Mobile USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint Nextel." I think it's fair to say they have the infrastructure problem taken care of. Virgin doesn't offer roaming, which can be an issue. They offer iPhones now, so it's worth checking out.
Edited by JeffDM - 7/20/12 at 12:59pm
post #160 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by airjay81 View Post

I know people may not be calling for an investigation or saying they aren't able to offer these plans, but there does seem to be a lot of statements about how ridiculous people think these plans are and how AT&T and Verizon are charging us ridiculous amounts of money for the services they offer, and I simply don't agree.  They are both charging market rates in a market that is pretty free, considering the limitations of competition in the telecom space.  Is it more than Sprint, T-mobile,   the MVNOs, etc?  Yes, but I would argue that you get more from AT&T and Verizon - whether it is worth it is up to each individual consumer, and I suspect, at the end of the day, many of the people who grumble and complain about big bad red and big bad blue will stick with them.

It doesn't bother me what they charge - they have a right to charge whatever they want, just as I had the right to switch to Straight Talk.

What does bother me is that you're paying a higher rate because you get a subsidized phone. But once the contract is expired, your rate should drop since you've paid back the subsidy. The other thing that bothers me is how difficult they make it to unlock your phone at the end of the contract period. I spent 2 hours in the AT&T store and had to make a trip back home to get my bill (they apparently couldn't find it in their system) and then wait 3 days for the mother ship to send me an unlocking code.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadda yadda yadda View Post

You can still save a lot of money with a prepaid plan, even paying up front for the phone.  For example, take the $45 Straight Talk plan, which works on AT&T's towers -- unlimited talk, text, and I think about 2 GB data before you get cut off:

They claim that data is unlimited.

The only unwritten limitation that I've seen is that if you start streaming movies and audio all the time, they might throttle it or even cut you of, but for normal data usage, you effectively have no limit.
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