AT&T Mobility CEO: ‘We have not made any decision to implement tiered pricing’

Black Friday Apple Blowout VI“A senior AT&T Inc. executive dismissed speculation that the telecommunications carrier is planning to change the way it prices data plans for its wireless customers, but said it will give customers incentives to limit their use of its wireless network for surfing the Internet or downloading mobile applications,” Niraj Sheth reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“‘We have not made any decision to implement tiered pricing,’ AT&T Mobility Chief Executive Ralph de la Vega said Wednesday, referring to plans that would charge based on how much data a customer uses rather than the unlimited plans that are popular today,” Sheth reports.

“Mr. de la Vega declined to comment on the sorts of incentives the company will give customers to use less data,” Sheth reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing quite like a good non-denial denial.


  1. Oh, I can’t wait to see how they’re going to provide “incentives” for me not to use the unlimited data plan I’m paying for. Especially as I’m already using my wi-fi connection whenever I’m home, so really they’re getting a break from me most of the time already.

    And I’m sorry, but tiered internet access is just another way the telecos will gouge the customer. I’ve never had any problems with my iPhone’s AT&T connectivity, and I’d like to stay with their service as a result. But if they’re going to start acting like morons about this, then I’ll have to see what the other options are once their exclusivity is over.

  2. My wife, son and daughter are all wanting to sign new 2 year contracts and get new smart phones. I’ve been holding off waiting to see if verizon gets the iPhone. Now seeing the thinking of AT&T;executives coupled with the dropped calls, I can say I’m done with AT&T;when my contract is over.

  3. It seems more reasonable to me to have the current unlimited plan and add a lower-cost plan below it for people who want an iPhone but do not have huge wireless data access needs.

    That is a way to introduce a “tier” without changing what already exists. Existing customers keep what they already have for as long as they want. New customers can opt for the unlimited plan or pay less for a self-imposed limit on data access.

    I’d go for a lower-cost limited plan myself. I don’t have a huge need for ongoing wireless data access, and having a limited plan that costs less would make me feel like I wasn’t subsidizing the data hogs out there.

  4. Hello there, I’m from ATT, and this is my partner Benny. We’re here to provide incentives for you to lower your data use. This is a nice home you have here. It’d be a shame if caught on fire or somethin’. Not that I’d expect it to. I’m just sayin’.

  5. If anyone has been to an all you can eat buffet, knows it is really not all you can eat.

    There are people who will sit there and eat and eat and eat until they are removed. Now it you have 10 or 20 sitting, eating, and hanging around would bug the hell out of the regular customer. They take up space and cause the business to rise the price to cover the excess cost. ATT or any other would have to limit a person if they are causing problems that will have a negative impact on their service or customers.

    Those 10 percent that do not care or find way to be excessive cause the problems for the other 90 percent. Personally I find it refreshing that they will have some problems being they are, so called, causing me problems or dropped calls.

    Eat all you can, but do not make me lose a meal because you are too greedy.

  6. @ ken1w – That would indeed be the most ethical way AT&T could do this. But they already have pricing “tiers” by minutes used. How will they now combine that with “tiers” for data usage?

    I wish I could be as optimistic as you, but I’m afraid AT&T’s most likely course of action is to add an additional monthly fee for those who wish to have the unlimited data plan they were originally promised. Anyone who doesn’t agree to pay this extra fee will be hit with overage charges. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but that’s the most likely scenario, IMO.

    @ Spark – Bwahahaha!

  7. They are going to give their customers “incentives” to use less data? I doubt by “incentives” that they intend to bribe the heavier users into using less. It’ll be more like “Stop using so much data or we will break your legs” types of incentives.

  8. @ Buffet

    Geesh, did AT&T send out their paid astroturfers to MDN to make the case for tiered data plans? You’re one of several folks I’ve seen coming out of the woodwork, inexplicably claiming to be in favor of tiered data plans.

    Here’s a news flash for you – AT&T;isn’t working that hard on network upgrades: With another look at the information found in AT&T;’s Financial and Operating Statistics Summary, you begin to see tremendous flaws in AT&T;’s logic. They’ve consistently made more money (80% more revenue compared to Q4 2007) from wireless data, yet on average, AT&T;has spent less each quarter for network improvements. […] One thing is certain, the company is not serving AT&T;customers in the best manner possible.

    So the solution is NOT to implement tiered pricing. The solution is for AT&T to get off their lazy asses and actually provide the service we signed 2-year contracts to get.

  9. Again, AT&T;if you decide to put limits on UNLIMITED, then I’m canceling my phone and taking my iPhone to another network. Hacked. And I will tell friends how to hack it and do it as well.

    Spend the money you are making on making your network better and able to handle traffic. Not on big bonuses to employees.

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