In the ever-changing wireless industry, data is the new frontier. In a few short years, the conversation has changed from "How many minutes will you need?" to "How much data do you expect to use?" Data has become the new "anytime minutes" in the wireless industry, and we're watching the revolution take place in form of tiered data plans.
You see, carriers go where the demand is; the place that they can make the most money. While that "money maker" once involved offering an array of anytime minute plans (as recently as seven years ago, I can recall carriers offering 10-12 minute plans ranging from 100 to 2000 minutes), it has now shifted to data. Starting tomorrow, Verizon Wireless joins AT&T in offering tiered data plans in place of the "one size fits all" unlimited plan.
My professional guess is that we'll see this change even more in the years to come. In three years, there will probably be a cheap, base unlimited plan ($39.99, let's say), and data will be available in 4-6 tiers on each carrier. Using the "minutes" argument as a precedent, one would expect some similar features to come along, such as free nights and weekends for data.
Now, before you say something like "that wouldn't make a difference," it's always nice to have free features included with your plan. I can think of plenty of people that would take advantage of the bonus data. Perhaps you're out and about with family, and you want to stream the basketball game. Or you're traveling. Whatever the case, free is better than not free.
Would you be more open (and again, I'm not saying "in full support of" here) to the tiered data changes carriers are making if they implemented promotional features like free nights and weekends? Cast that vote, and let me know what you think!
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