In the next few years, there will be the beginning of a price war in the family shared data plan market between U.S. carriers. To stay ahead, we are likely to see the carriers embrace truly flexible and affordable shared data plans in the U.S for smartphones, tablets and next-gen connected devices alike.
C Spire Wireless said it will launch shared data plans starting Dec. 3, becoming the third U.S. carrier to do so after Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. The plans are similar in pricing to those of the two Tier 1 carriers, but regional operator C Spire said that it will allow customers to top up their data buckets mid-month with a range of "passes" so they do not incur overage charges for exceeding their limit.
AT&T Mobility is doing away with subsidized tablets and the two-year contracts that go with them, according to internal documents posted by the blog Engadget.
AT&T Mobility will not charge customers for using Apple's FaceTime video calling feature over cellular connections--if they use the carrier's forthcoming Mobile Share shared data plans. Customers not on Mobile Share will not be able to use FaceTime over cellular but will still be able to access the service via Wi-Fi networks.
Verizon Wireless has disclosed higher-usage tiers for its Share Everything shared data plans, which it had not previously advertised.
The number of tablets with cellular data connectivity is going to soar by the end of 2017 to seven times the amount today, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. The report contradicts another recent analyst report from CCS Insight, which predicted that the share of tablets with built-in cellular connectivity will decline over the next four years.
Sprint Nextel is becoming more vocal in its opposition to the shared data plans being touted by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, and is urging consumers to compare the plans to Sprint's cheaper offerings. Sprint has set up a new website, dubbed "Dare to Compare," to highlight the differences.
Sprint Nextel officially launched its LTE network on July 15, becoming the third Tier 1 carrier to offer LTE service and beginning its efforts to catch up with larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility in LTE device selection and coverage. Now that three of the four Tier 1 carriers are offering LTE service, it's worth taking some time to sort through how much each carrier charges for LTE.
The share of tablets with built-in cellular connectivity will decline over the next four years despite the expected proliferation of multi-device data plans designed to encourage their adoption, according to a new forecast from research firm CCS Insight.
Verizon and AT&T often (though not always) lead the pack in terms of pricing decisions because of their size and stable positions as leaders in the marketplace. Other carriers do not have to follow them, and in the case of shared data plans, likely will not.