Update: According to two separate Verizon memos intercepted by Droid-life, existing Verizon customers can keep their existing data plan pricing when renewing or upgrading. Unfortunately, as with all offers of this type, just how long it will last remains to be seen. But, given that the BIONIC is coming some time soon-ish, it seems very likely that existing Verizon customers will be able to get the device without being forced into tiered data.
Nielsenwire released new smartphone figures this morning, with a focus on data consumption. Topping the list of the data consumers amongst the smartphone OS's was, of course, Android.
The average Android user utilizes 582MB (or roughly .6GB) of data per month - far less than what is allocated by any of the major carrier's plans. We often hear about consumers becoming feisty over data plan tier-ification or throttling, but how many people do these caps and throttles actually affect?
There's been a lot of talk about AT&T's crusade against rogue tethering lately, and it all comes back to this AT&T text message sent to some poor iPhone customer(s):
AT&T Free Msg: We’ve noticed you’re continuing to enjoy the tethering feature with your smartphone service. Remember, you need a tethering plan ($45/mo, incl. 4GB) to use this feature, so we’re planning to update your line with the required plan soon.
Yes, the carrier everyone loves to hate is cracking down on unauthorized tethering - and they are automatically switching violators onto AT&T's 4GB data plan with tethering access, at a steep $45 a month.
T-Mobile is starting to get aggressive with customer acquisition and retention, and in light of less than stellar fiscal performance and the news of the AT&T deal, it's not hard to see why.
On April 13, the carrier will begin offering a new off-contract smartphone plan, and it's a steal - for $59.99 a month (down from $79.99), you'll get unlimited talk, text and data*. But, there are some significant catches.
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.
While some people were unable to contemplate the possibility that Verizon's all-you-can-eat data plans would be coming to an end, Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo again affirmed the carrier's commitment to move to a tiered system today. When will life start to suck for new or upgrading Verizon customers? This Summer, apparently.
"But David, I already have an unlimited data contract, they have to honor that!" Why yes, they do. Until you want to upgrade to a 4G device, and you have to sign a completely "new" rate plan contract.
- As rumored, Motorola XOOM is indeed going to cost $799 and will require a 1-month data package to unlock WiFi. February 24th remains the go-live date. Anyone still up for picking it up?
Carriers' official tethering plans never cease to amaze us - $15 to $30 per month for something that users with rooted phones can enjoy for free via Wireless Tether or Tether for Android (not to mention the free tethering app that comes built right into stock Froyo). Nevertheless, T-Mobile's gone ahead and announced that starting this Sunday, November 14th, its users will be charged $14.99 per month for the feature. This will buy you unlimited data for your laptop/netbook to choke down, although there will also be a $10 monthly plan, which will get you just 200MB of data.
Over the years, Verizon, the nation's largest wireless carrier, has been notoriously expensive plan-wise, especially compared to Sprint or T-Mobile. For example, you can currently get a 450 minute talk+text plan with unlimited data for $90 over at Verizon, while at Sprint, it will cost you $69.99 (+ the minutes can be used to call any carrier's mobile phone):
Left: Verizon, right: Sprint
A new plan, or 2 plans to be exact, is being offered in a promotion, BGR found today, that are putting the current pricing to shame.
A rumor is going around, supposedly confirmed by multiple sources within Sprint, that the Sprint's infamous SERO employee referral plan is going to start accepting Android and WebOS phones come October 1st. It is currently not possible to use these devices if you belong to SERO; this has been a long-standing woe of many SERO users wanting a piece of the Android action.