AT&T's Revamped Data Pricing Is More About Tomorrow Than Today

 

This morning AT&T announced new data pricing for its mobile customers. Today's $30 per month unlimited use plan will be replaced by two plans:

  • $15 per month for up to 200 megabytes of data, with additional blocks of 200 MB at $15 each.
  • $25 per month for up to 2 gigabytes of data, with additional blocks of 1 GB at $10 each.

AT&T's CEO of Consumer, Ralph de la Vega, has publicly suggested on multiple occasions that network operators need to address the small percentage of subscribers that abuse unlimited usage plans and degrade the experience of others on the network. These suggestions have been met with howls by many, and I expect that we'll see similar reactions to this latest change. But will those reactions be justified? The answer depends on whether you believe AT&T's data on its current data users.

Mark Collins, AT&T's Senior VP of Data and Voice Products, told us that 65% of today's smartphone data users consume less than 200 MB of data per month, and 98% of them use less than 2 GB of data per month. These data plans then represent an opportunity for virtually all of AT&T's data customers to reduce their monthly data charges. For consumer product strategists, this change shows a remarkably (and, for some, surprisingly) customer-centric viewpoint. Why?

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