Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Data Plans

ATT announced that they are changing their data plans and will no longer offer unlimited data plans.  Those of us who have them won’t give them up, but new contracts will have to choose between a $15/month plan where you get 200 MB of data or a $25/month plan that gives you 2G.  If you use more than 2G you pay $10 for each additional G.  ATT says most of their customers use less than 1G per month. 

I looked at my usage and I do use less than 1G per month.  In the winter months I even used less than 200MB.   But in the last 2 months I used more than 200MB and last November my usage doubled.  Must be my MLB app where I can stream baseball games. 

Consumer Reports says most of us will save money.

The average iPhone user should pay the same or less for service under the new data plans announced by AT&T. The new plans replace a $30-a-month flat fee for unlimited data service with plans that start at $15 per month for a limited amount of data.

The reason: Most iPhone users typically use less data per month than the amounts that would trigger a $30-plus bill under the new pricing schemes.

The average iPhone user consumes 273 MB of data per month, according to the unique data on iPhone usage reported a few months ago by colleague Jeff Blyskal. More than half of owners use less than 200 MB per month, that data reveals. The new $15 iPhone plan provides 200 MB per month, and so would cut data costs in half for the majority of iPhone owners.

I guess I’m about average.  And I suppose saving $5.00 per month would be a good thing.  But why do I think there’s a catch in here somewhere?

Oh, here it is:

In addition, the new plans come just days away from the expected launch of a new iPhone operating system, iPhone 4.0, that might change data usage. The new OS is expected to be on the new iPhone that will be announced on Monday and made available to all iPhones sometime next month, and to all iPads later in the year. iPhone 4.0 may encourage greater data use by, among other features, allowing iPhones and iPads to multitask. So where at present the devices generally consume data from only one app at a time, the 4.0 upgrade may allow them to draw simultaneously from several.