1. TrendyProfessional1's Avatar
    02-11-10 09:01 AM
  2. bs1two's Avatar
    Anyway you could copy/paste the article for me Trendy... it's blocked for me.
    02-11-10 09:09 AM
  3. markhunsaker's Avatar
    Here you go:

    "Mobile phone companies have been lauded for slashing the cost of unlimited voice plans, but many wireless customers' monthly bills are actually going to get a bit more expensive.

    Last month, both Verizon and AT&T lowered their unlimited voice plans by $30 to $70 per month. Sprint recently unveiled a plan that allows unlimited calls to any mobile device for $60 per month. That brought the three biggest mobile carriers' prices closer to rival T-Mobile, which offers a $60 per month unlimited plan, and in line with a slew of low-cost carriers that offer similar plans for about $40 per month.

    But as the wireless giants go around touting their lower voice prices, data plan costs have been quietly moving higher for some non-smartphone customers.

    It began with Verizon Wireless. Last month, that company began requiring certain non-smartphone customers to subscribe to a data plan that costs at least $10 per month. Mobile experts believe Verizon's move marks the first step in a larger trend to make up for carriers' lost revenue from voice.

    "There's a big shift going on among mobile companies, in which there is a price reduction on voice and an increased emphasis on selling and requiring data services," said Dan Hays, partner at PRTM. "It is like a dirty little secret."


    The New Smartphones


    Smartphone owners are used to paying for an unlimited data plan with T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T customers doling out the most: roughly $30 per month. Sprint offers a slightly different service, but also requires smartphone users to subscribe to an unlimited plan.

    But non-smartphone customers aren't used to high-priced data plans. Less expensive, limited data plans have been largely available but not widely adopted. Verizon said it began to require new customers who purchase so-called "3G multimedia" phones to subscribe to a data plan in part so that they could get the full functionality out of their phones.

    "Many customers didn't understand they could use the Web on their phones," said Brenda Raney, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless. "We hope that people who were reluctant to use data plans because they didn't know it was affordable will use them now."

    Previously, Verizon offered non-smartphone customers two data plans: $10 for up to 25 megabytes or $20 for up to 75 megabytes. In January, Verizon eliminated the $20 plan and replaced it with a $30 unlimited plan that was previously available only to smartphone users.

    3G multimedia phones include a wide array of phones, ranging from the LG enV Touch, which has a touch screen and a QWERTY keyboard, to the Motorola Entice, essentially a standard flip phone that can access the mobile Web.

    Other carriers are planning similar data requirements for their non-smartphone devices in the next several months, analysts say.

    "Non-smartphone users aren't using as much data as smartphone users, but they're getting closer," said Ramon Lamas, mobile device analyst with IDC. "Carriers see them as a breeding ground for increased data usage."


    Data Overload Vs. Revenue


    It's not just about increasing revenue, say analysts. Carriers are banking on the consumer-friendly aspect: phones are more fun and useful with the Internet.

    "The 'naked aggression' reason is to boost revenue to offset declining voice revenue," said Charles Golvin, mobile analyst with Forrester Research. "But carriers also realize consumers won't get the enjoyment out of their devices without data."

    But analysts caution that carriers need to be careful of data overload. 3G data networks are already in high demand from smartphone users, and smartphone usage was up 40% in 2009, according to an IDC study. AT&T has had well-documented 3G network troubles in New York and San Francisco due to the success of the data-hogging iPhone.

    "Carriers are getting people to move to data, but they're doing it cautiously," said Lamas. "Rather than have everyone move to data immediately, they're testing the waters and taking the people who can weather higher prices first."

    "Look how much revenue AT&T is getting from the iPhone," said Golvin. "It's easy for Verizon to make hay of AT&T's problems, but it's a problem that Verizon wishes it had.""
    02-11-10 09:22 AM
  4. TrendyProfessional1's Avatar
    Anyway you could copy/paste the article for me Trendy... it's blocked for me.
    Thanks Mark for gettin it done.
    That suks when they block the most harmless stuff
    02-11-10 09:36 AM
  5. bs1two's Avatar
    Thanks Mark and yeah it does suck but oh well rules are rules. I just didn't want to read it on my phone. 3.2 screen vs 17 monitor... lol.

    I am torn on this... the Moto Entice, LG 8360, and similar phones IMO are geared towards your middle aged/elderly people who want to make calls and light texting. Most don't get on the mobile web. $9.99 isn't much to me but for some people it's a lot. I don't complain... then again I get 50% off.

    The EnV Touch, EnV3, Choc Touch, Rogue, etc. I fully agree with bc they have full HTML web browsers that you can actually view pretty well for a phone.
    02-11-10 09:42 AM
  6. cenloe's Avatar
    We've been saying for the last couple of years that the move was toward data. Lower the costs of voice and increase data prices/requirements, eventually all voice will be over data networks.
    02-11-10 09:46 AM
  7. bs1two's Avatar
    ^^^right I am not disagreeing with you there but do people really buy the Entice or 8360 for mobile web purposes?
    02-11-10 10:10 AM
  8. PlainEnvelopes's Avatar
    I don't believe they should force people to get a data plan on lower end phones. Most of the people buying those phones just want to be able call and receive calls from people.
    02-11-10 10:37 AM
  9. markhunsaker's Avatar
    @Trendy and @bs1Two, no problem...

    I'm not super happy with this new tread. AT&T is following suit by requiring qualifying "messaging" plans with most of their dumbphones now. I would actually prefer that since I have unlimited messaging. The data...not so happy about. My wife has an EnV3 (which she loves to death), but she doesn't use data. Thankfully we picked it up for her a few days before they required data plans. She would NEVER use it. We've had other smartphones on Sprint and AT&T and Verizon, and she never used the data features, so we downgraded her (at her request) to a "phone that isn't smarter than her."

    I aggree with you bs1two, that the Entice just isn't great for web browsing. Even some of the higher end 3G Multimedia phones aren't geared for good browsing (i.e. EnV3, Alias 2, etc.) Sure they have "full" HTML browsers, but what if a person wants to get their kid a cellphone with a full keyboard without data. I have tons of friends who are parents who BLOCK all of their kids' data even if it's required as they don't want them browsing all the time. I don't blame them. I think AT&T's manditory messaging makes more sense.
    02-11-10 11:29 AM
  10. bs1two's Avatar
    I fully agree with you Mark.

    We just got rid of the Connect and Premium plans... well why not offer a family plan with data. I am all for a family shareplan with built in data. It's ridiculous if you have 5 bb's on a plan that you pay $29.99 for every device. Give that account a break. Maybe 10-15% off each line for that or one account gets their data package free.

    I think this will happen when LTE rolls out mainstream.
    02-11-10 11:54 AM
  11. tgilmore16's Avatar
    I read an article the other day that people were saving money by going back to the dumb phones for light texting and talking. I don't know how acurate that is, but I remember about 5 years ago when my daughter watched her minutes and mostly used text because it was cheaper than getting a plan with more minutes.

    Now she has more minutes and prefers to talk and rarely uses text. She has reversed course to save money and uses a dumbphone. It will be interesting to see if people migrate back to voice plans and avoid text and data.
    02-11-10 12:08 PM
  12. Polychrome's Avatar
    I don't believe they should force people to get a data plan on lower end phones. Most of the people buying those phones just want to be able call and receive calls from people.
    Except this problem doesn't happen on the lower end phones. An Env touch or Env 3 might be a "dumbphone", but they've got a heck of a lot of data-intensive features.

    The problem is, one of two scenarios were happening with most customers: Customer buys super high-end fancy dumbphone, then blocks all features. (What's the point?) Either that, or they bought one for their kid, the kid goes nuts and downloads half the Media Center catalog, and THEN the parents call in, yell and scream, demand credits, and block all the features.

    These devices were intended for data usage, so it was a lose-lose situation.

    The point is, if a customer wants "just plain phone", they need to get just that, and quit going after the fancier models that aren't intended to be "just plain phone" so they can look good for their neighbors. :P I'm fairly certain these data plans are partially to prevent "kid" overage, but also partially to steer customers who otherwise wouldn't use the features into something simpler to prevent the above scenarios. Its damage control, pure and simple.
    02-11-10 02:04 PM
  13. bs1two's Avatar
    I agree with you Polychrome but why add the Entice and 8360? I can justify the phones that I stated earlier (EnV Touch, Choc Touch, Rogue) but there are a few phones I can't.

    THANK GOD I AM NOT IN SALES!
    02-11-10 02:09 PM
  14. Polychrome's Avatar
    Beats me on the Entice. IMO, it *should* be required on the rival, which has the HTML browser.

    All I know is that pure EVDO ability doesn't appear to be the deciding factor. I also notice they don't require data plans on any of the ruggedized phones, all of which have EVDO.
    02-11-10 02:28 PM
  15. bs1two's Avatar
    I have asked the question of how it was determined to leave PTT off the data plan required phones and I have yet to receive a clear answer. Also as to why the Rival and Renown are option vs the Entice and 8360 is required.

    No definate answer at all. Sorry gang I tried. I would love further verification if anyone could provide it.
    02-11-10 02:56 PM
  16. Polychrome's Avatar
    I have asked the question of how it was determined to leave PTT off the data plan required phones and I have yet to receive a clear answer. Also as to why the Rival and Renown are option vs the Entice and 8360 is required.

    No definate answer at all. Sorry gang I tried. I would love further verification if anyone could provide it.
    I'll give you my best guess at least: These usually aren't the phones people buy for their kids.

    Yeah, the occasional parent *will* drop the cash because they're sick of their kid breaking the phone, but for the most part, you see businesses and outdoorsmen buying these. There isn't really a *problem* with the data on these phones as there is on others.
    02-11-10 02:59 PM
  17. bs1two's Avatar
    That's the answer I have given myself as well. But the Rival is a very well known teenager device... and the Entice and 8360 are more adult phones. Seems backwards to me.
    02-11-10 03:05 PM
  18. TrendyProfessional1's Avatar
    @Trendy and @bs1Two, no problem...

    I'm not super happy with this new tread. AT&T is following suit by requiring qualifying "messaging" plans with most of their dumbphones now. I would actually prefer that since I have unlimited messaging. The data...not so happy about. My wife has an EnV3 (which she loves to death), but she doesn't use data. Thankfully we picked it up for her a few days before they required data plans. She would NEVER use it. We've had other smartphones on Sprint and AT&T and Verizon, and she never used the data features, so we downgraded her (at her request) to a "phone that isn't smarter than her."

    I aggree with you bs1two, that the Entice just isn't great for web browsing. Even some of the higher end 3G Multimedia phones aren't geared for good browsing (i.e. EnV3, Alias 2, etc.) Sure they have "full" HTML browsers, but what if a person wants to get their kid a cellphone with a full keyboard without data. I have tons of friends who are parents who BLOCK all of their kids' data even if it's required as they don't want them browsing all the time. I don't blame them. I think AT&T's manditory messaging makes more sense.
    It does suck that they do require data for phones like the LG EnV.
    Which my son has; when it comes time for his upgrade, I will switch
    him to a dumb phone, I myself have used a data phone smart phone
    for quite some time. So it is something that I have grown accustom to.
    02-11-10 03:09 PM
  19. markhunsaker's Avatar
    @Trendy, it's difficult to go from a smartphone to a dumbphone. I've tried on many occassions in an effort to save money. I just can't...I find myself always saying, "why can't my phone to this...my old one could?"
    02-11-10 04:36 PM
  20. bs1two's Avatar
    I have never tried bc I know I can't do it... lol
    02-11-10 04:52 PM
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