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!

Image via AndroidCentral

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57 Reactions to this post

"Would you like free nights and weekends for data use?"

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Ben Conover yes!! at&t needs it desperately. :)
Jamil Oquendo It would be a nice touch seeming as all the unlimited data services are going away. Why not, treat data like minutes, let's say 200mb and unlimited night and weekends, sounds pretty good.
Darren Penix I already have unlimited data, so it doesn't apply to me
John Amadei Considering we dont get unlimited data usage on any carrier (most are between 2-5GB of data then capped at 2G speeds) yes i think so. or even pay an extra 5 bucks.. the consumers have been robbed on this so called unlimited data plans..not to mention a so called "unlimited data plan" is 30 bucks. So if you had unlimited calling, text, and data most users will pay 100.00ish a month.. I think we deserve that much. for the price we pay.
Anthony Pina Aguilar Sprint dominates on this topic! FTW!
Seth Price Yes.... Minutes no longer matter
Edmund Nigel Yep that would be great I miss sprint but cst satisfaction sucked
Chris Bushing Ian checking Facebook all day everyday would not take up your data it is the streaming that does it.
Gina Guerra Thank God for unlimited everything on pre paid for $60 on my BB!
Michael Alvarado Castellano Is this only for Verizon or is it for at&t too that's the part I want to know
Ian Mcclendon Yea that'll be nice, even though you have WiFi just about every business. If you need more data you might wanna stop checking Facebook every 5 mins & wait till you get home
Stuart James Baucum I'm on a cheap Sprint family plan (with my dad), and I really wish we had a data plan, lol but Sprint's data plans are too expensive. not unless Sprint could miraculously come-out with below $100 custom data plans. :P
Amanda Sutton Messer If I didn't have an unlimited data plan with Sprint then yes I would.
Michael Alvarado Castellano Yes I'd like unlimited with at&t that would be the best thing they have done
Aaron J Brown Flip yea. Well until Verizon kicks me off the unlimited data. :)
Michael Marshall I personally think data should be treated like minutes. You get a certain amount each month but after a certain time you get unlimited and unlimited weekends. That would even things out.
Chris Luna Just give me my UNLIMITED DATA PLAN BACK!!!
Philip Raghunath Wish they would do it for texting
Mario Roberto Of course .!! Who does not .
Lamont Johnson YELL YEAH!!
Larry Lambert If I didn't have Sprint which is awesome then yes. But like Brian mentioned I'd like data rollover.
Chris Keener At&t doesnt have an unlimited plan period because freaking iPhone users were using ridiculous amounts of data. So android people like myself got screwed by apple. So definite yes to free data over the weekends because that is probably when I use it the most
Leo Alexandrov Did version stop their unlimited data plan?
Chris Bushing So slow data on weekends and nights lovely.
Kees Warren it would be awsom but it would never happen
Joshua Bokelman I switched Verizon to sprint never been happier
David DiPilla Verizon is the best of the best and they still have unlimited data until tomorrow night so switch over if you want to best
Anonymous Att are the biggest crooks of data period. Come on 2gb/mon.... Kill yourself! Then you want to go lte. So I will reach my data cap 2x faster. Lol!
Steve Williams lol wont happen lol
Matt Finzel All of you people on Sprint have Unlimited Data? You're just paying more to have no limits on the most ridiculous network there ever was.
Brian Edwards If I didn't already have UNL, yes. What AT&T should do is not this, but rollover data......
Derrico Brown I pay $10 for unlimited 3G/4G data with Sprint. I think free nights and weekends are included lol. No data caps or silly throttling either.
Stephen Wagner Thus would be great if you don't have unlimited data!
John Gross How about they just leave unlimited data like it was, insted of trying to rape customers, that makes sense to me!
Erman Guido That would b a good idea!!
Joseph Kitchen That's why sprint has truly unlimited everything.
Aditya Harsh is there any need to ask ofcourse we would like to have such weekends and nights
Anita Williams-Thomas Definitely!!!
Frederick Jackson I am with T-mobile and was grandfather in with 5gigs of data at 4g then slow down to edge after that. So far I am happy with that.
Tito Salgado Yes please!
Jerry Adney I already have free nights after 7, free weekends, free calls to any cell phone regardless of network, unlimited 3g/4g data, unlimited text, free roaming, and more weekday-landline minutes than we could possibly use (1400 between two smart phones). The kicker is that the plan is $50 cheaper than Verizon's closest plan with their caps and restrictions. Sprint may be just as much an uncaring corporation as the rest but at least they are attempting to compete on price and plans while ATT and Verizon seem only interested in competing through advertising and handset exclusive deals.
Enrique BigPapi Martinez This is a horrible plan for t-mobile and sprint butter for Verizon and at&t its a great idea because they don't have unlimited data anymore and it would b a great way to continue getting new customers and.current customers as well
Anonymous AHHHHH hahahahahahahaha! Well sprint, no matter what you do, I will have this unlimited data for life! I ain't changing nothing! Grandfathered in til there are no more cellular devices. Lol
Lee Hopkins most definitely
Eric Belanger Yes please. Imma send my phone bill your way. Be warned though, thats a Canadian phone bill :P
Hansel Starley yes yes yes YES YES YES!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!
Bryan Sager My everything family plan with sprint already has unlimited data/text/cell to cell calls to any network, all day every day. Thats for myself, my wife, and my kids. Why would I care about this crappy tiered plan.
Evan Cheney Best idea for ATT ever
Orga Price So... you take unlimited data away, and give a little bit of it back? It feels more like a mockery.
Matt Augspurger Well verizon is taking away unlimited data, so this may be a good idea.
Scott Graham Yes I would
Decoda Grant no, cus us smartphone people pretty much have it, no one whos smart would give this, they need to make money some how

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