Unlimited Data Plans Won't be Around Much Longer, Analyst Says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AT&T's decision to axe unlimited data plans earlier this month could have hit you in one of two ways. Either you were worried that you would go over and have to pay more, or you welcome the discount, glad you're not paying for anyone else any longer. No matter how you responded, you better get used to it at the very least, an analyst says.

     

    "It's a simple issue of commodity pricing," Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates told PCWorld. "Wireless bandwidth is after all a commodity, like airline seats, TV minutes, and even highways."

    Hey, but wait — don't we all have unlimited data plans in a way? I mean, you don't pay overages for your cable or DSL Internet line, do you? (Morbid side note: at least not yet.)

    Gold's response to that: "Wireless is fundamentally different from a bandwidth perspective. It is much more limited and far more expensive to improve/increase capacity, if it can even be done given the set limits on frequencies and bandwidth available."

    We'll have to see how AT&T's pricing ultimately works out as we all get it settle in to the new plans, but even if we find we don't like it, what choice will we have? Verizon and other carriers still have unlimited data plans, but how long will it last? The idea of unlimited data came to all the carriers around the same time. Now, AT&T is leading the charge in the other direction, and it's only a matter of time before the others follow.

    Via PCWorld