With so many ways of communicating with your smartphone, it’s quite disappointing to see it crushed by the jaws of expensive data. Recently, Verizon announced their data plans would be revamped and unlimited data would be completely removed from their offerings, much like AT&T did earlier in the year. Many consumers are in outrage over the tiered plans since it kind of ruins the entire point of owning a smartphone.
The average user would easily burst through even the most basic plans simply by streaming a few videos or downloading apps, so these limits are defintitely putting the brakes on smartphone usage. With the biggest carriers already putting caps, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if T-Mobile and Sprint started following suit, especially since they are still struggling to provide true 4G to its customers. Sure, existing users may be content with their current plans grandfathered onto their devices, but the situation could quickly change once other carriers adopt limits as well.
To put data into perspective, on AT&T, it costs $30 a month for unlimited talk and text to any mobile device in the U.S. for the entire family, (up to 5 devices) but if you were to get a data plan for just one person at the 2 GB mark, it would cost 25 bucks alone. Add that figure up 5x times and you’ll quickly realize how much more expensive it is for data than any other wireless feature. On Verizon, it gets even worse. With plans starting at $30 dollars for 2 GBs, you don’t even have a choice for a smaller data package and it basically forces you to pay more for data you may not use entirely.
Whether carriers are jacking up data rates to cool down their overloaded networks or if they just want to milk the smartphone boom for all its worth, the move comes at a time when users are actually demanding better data plans. Carriers are also taking steps to implement 4G LTE across the U.S., but a user could easily surpass their 2 GB data limits in just minutes, which begs the question, what’s the point of having fast internet when you’re too afraid to use it? We’ll have to stick it out and wait to see how this pans out in the future, but my guess is that data plans are only going to get worse before they get better, unless the goverment can intervene just like they have in European countries where data is both blazing fast…and cheap.