US operators abandoning unlimited data model‾

In the past few days there have been multiple signs that US operators may be abandoning the unlimited and pay-as-you-go data models that have up until now been so popular in the country.

Rural provider Frontier Communications has announced it intends to charge up to $2 for each gigabyte of bandwidth used over a new 5GB cap.

The company plans to introduce higher caps, for larger fees, in the future.

Time Warner is testing a similar business model in Texas. And the country's largest cable company, Comcast, introduced a 250GB monthly limit last month.

The trend is not limited to fixed-line broadband.  Verizon Wireless will soon eliminate their pay-as-you-go data plans, enforcing a mandatory $29.99 minimum monthly fee, according to the blog Boy Genius Report.

Bucking this trend, T-Mobile is reported to be revamping its mobile data pricing structure to introduce unlimited data plans for its entire handset portfolio, including Blackberries.

According to FierceMobileContent, the company will introduce unlimited data and messaging for $34.99 per month.

The plans will be soft-capped at 10GB and then shaped to 50kbps, but will remain unlimited.

The good news for T-Mobile and the like is that it appears that Americans view their mobile phone bills to be very important even in harsh economic times.

A recent study conducted by phone retailer LetsTalk has found that consumers are more likely to pay their wireless bill than their utilities bill - 75% of respondents reported to never pay their wireless bills late, whereas 90% admit to being late paying their utilities bill.