Wish you could forgo the voice portion of your smartphone plan and go data-only? You may soon be able to do just that, according to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Speaking at a recent investor conference in New York, Stephenson said that he anticipates a company coming to market with a data-only phone plan sometime in the next two years. "I'll be surprised if, in the next 24 months, we don't see people in the market place with data-only plans," the exec explained, adding that he thinks such plans are "inevitable." Stephenson didn't say whether or not AT&T has any intentions to introduce such a plan.
With the popularity of VoIP services like Skype and alternative messaging platforms like iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger, there are likely many people that could get by with a data-only plan for their smartphone. There's also Voice over LTE service on the horizon for many carriers, AT&T and Verizon included, which could take the place of cellular voice service. Considering all of this, it definitely seems like Stephenson's prediction could come true, and it'll be interesting to see which carriers are the first to offer a data-only plan. What do you make of the AT&T CEO's statement? Do you think you'd ditch your voice plan and phase out carrier texting in favor of a data-only plan?