There has been lots of news recently about Verizon Wireless and AT&T dropping the price of their unlimited plans, but the real story lies beneath the surface. For example, did you know that:
· These unlimited plans only cover voice minutes?
· Carriers are now requiring a data plan on many of their most popular phones, even if they are not smartphones?First, lets clarify a few things:
1. Its all talk
- The new unlimited talk plans from AT&T and Verizon only include unlimited talk time for $69.99 for an individual plan and $119.99 for first two lines of a family plan. Those plans only include voice.
- Neither plan includes text messaging, e-mail, or web surfing.
2. The real question is: how much do you really talk?
- If youre using more than 450 minutes to talk a month (which costs $39.99 for individual) then its worth considering.
- Before you make the change consider how many people you talk to that use the same service provider as you those calls are free.
- If youre on AT&T and youre not using all your minutes, remember unused minutes get rolled over to the next month.
3. Lots and lots of talk is now cheaper than it has ever been, who is this a good deal for?
- For those of you who have abandoned their landlines and talk a lot on the cell phone
- For those of you who really do gab
- A $30 drop in price from $99.99 to $69.99 is a good deal and worth taking notice
- As an added bonus, we should note, that if youre in the middle of a contract you can change your minute plan without extending your contract.Data is extra and often required?
In tandem with the unlimited plan rollouts, both AT&T and Verizon also made a fairly sweeping policy change that requires many of their phones (not just smartphones) to be purchased with data plans, which cost extra.
Why do I need data if Im not buying a smartphone?
o Checking web-based e-mail accounts (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.),
o Viewing videos from sites like YouTube
o Visiting news sites
o Adding and receive RSS feeds on your cell phone
o Staying connected to friends through social media sites.
· Unfortunately, this Stuff consumes data, and carriers were finding that the per kilobyte charges customers were incurring were far more expensive than a basic data plan (see chart).
· These phones are referred to as 3G multimedia phones (Verizon Wireless) or Quick Messaging Devices (AT&T) and you can pretty much figure out which cell phones fall into this category, they simply do more than take a picture, have a MP3 player included, and have basic 12-key pads. Cell phones in this category tend to have beautiful touch-screens, enhanced menu interfaces, and typical full QWERTY keyboards, but are not smartphones.
OK . What if I just text?
Good news here. There are many popular activities that do not require data usage and plenty of phones on the market that are great for you and do not require data plans. Data usage isnt required for:
· Text messaging
· Multimedia messaging
· Instant messaging
What does all this cost me? And how can I compare carriers? Its more confusing than ever!
Great question. Once you determine the kind of phone you want:
- Quick messaging/ multimedia phone
- Basic phone
you can refer to our slides below to compare costs across the 4 major postpaid carriers. Or you can message me at @letstalk_joni on Twitter and Ill do my best to help!Cell Phone Service Price Plan Comparison
Has anyone formally questioned the fairness of family pricing plans? I am a single, middle income person. It seems discriminatory that I pay 20%+ more for my cell service than a couple or family.