Hugo Miller and Olga Kharif report for Bloomberg, “AT&T Inc.’s decision to scrap unlimited data plans for new customers has prompted a backlash from bloggers and consumers like Danette Collins. ‘As soon as I can get out of the AT&T plan, I’ll switch to Verizon,’ said Collins, a finance and operations manager in Portland, Oregon, who has AT&T service for her iPhone. ‘They’ve just shot themselves in the foot.'”
“AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless company, is battling network congestion as it tries to manage soaring demand for data-hungry devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone. The carrier said this week it will cut wireless data-plan prices for most users and stop offering unlimited data plans,” Miller and Kharif report. “Though Dallas-based AT&T has the highest-speed data network, it has the most frequent dropped connections, according to a study by PC Magazine.”
“‘They’re trying to make us use the network less rather than invest in the network,’ Jeff Jarvis, who writes the BuzzMachine blog and has AT&T service for his iPhone, said in an interview,” Miller and Kharif report. “AT&T will provide a 200-megabyte plan for $15 a month and a 2-gigabyte package at $25 that compares with current offers of $30 for unlimited data use. Users who exceed the 2-gigabyte level can pay an extra $10 per month for an additional 1 gigabyte of data service, according to a statement. AT&T is also replacing its unlimited monthly plan for iPad tablet computers with a $25 plan offering 2 gigabytes of data.”
Miller and Kharif report, “Existing AT&T customers can keep their unlimited data plans, the company said. ‘For most consumers this is a good deal’ as their modest monthly data use would qualify them for a cheaper plan, Mike Gikas, senior editor at Consumer Reports in Yonkers, New York, said in an interview. ‘The concern is that given how they’ve changed the plan like this without warning, there’s no stopping them from doing it again if they find it’s not as profitable for them.'”
“How AT&T’s business is affected by the pricing changes will depend in part on whether other wireless carriers follow its lead. Heavy-data users may defect to Verizon Wireless if that company keeps its current pricing, said Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe,” Miller and Kharif report. “Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, declined to comment on whether it will scrap its advertised unlimited plan, which carries extra charges if customers use more than 5 gigabytes of data a month.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]