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    Thumbs up Wireless data plans required for new AT&T smartphone users




    geek.com: If you’re a current or prospective AT&T subscriber looking to get a smartphone you may find that you will now be required to subscribe to a data plan. That’s because AT&T is requiring all of its new smartphone users to buy a data plan according to BusinessWeek. BusinessWeek reports that users could previously choose not to subscribe to a data plan by subscribing to MediaNet, which provides access to email and news for US$2 a megabyte.

    AT&T is expected to institute the new requirement beginning September 6th. Carriers currently subsidize the cost of smartphones in the hopes of making a profit off of a user’s voice and data subscription. Naturally, that’s a little harder to do when a user elects not to subscribe to a wireless data plan or actively use a “pay as you go” plan.

    Hey, I don’t blame AT&T for doing this and honestly I would be a little surprised if other wireless carriers don’t follow suit. The fact of the matter is that smartphones are expensive which is why wireless carriers tend to subsidize the price of smartphones heavily. The only way a wireless carrier can be assured to get a return on their subsidy is to make sure the phone is being used with the proper services to ensure a nice profit off of that subsidy.

    Read more at the BusinessWeek article.
    Last edited by cherrichiodo; 08-25-2009 at 12:07 AM.

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    I think this has been posted, Michael. Not sure but I saw it somewhere on PS.

    UPDATE: After thinking about it I think it was in the N Y Times (technical section) where I saw it a couple of days ago. (Sorry for the mistake)
    Last edited by jblackfish; 08-25-2009 at 07:39 AM.
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    T-Mo did this a few months back and so far it hasn't seemed to hurt their business any. The carriers are tired of subsidizing the cost for these devices and customers not using the data plans. They're hoping to gain revenue back by forcing customers to purchase the plans, even if they don't use them. At least that was the jist of the conversation I had with a T-Mo rep.
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    Since I'm already a data services subscriber with AT&T, it doesn't bother me, but I think the carriers that are requiring this should also make some concessions with regard to pricing. I mean, if they're going to make people do this, then they should also be willing to offer some discounts for bundled packages.
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    With the carrier I work for it's been a requirement since day one... you can get a no-voice package and just use data but every BB has to have a data package... we have a new promo for $10 off the BB package for the 1st year which I thought was nice...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoGro View Post
    Since I'm already a data services subscriber with AT&T, it doesn't bother me, but I think the carriers that are requiring this should also make some concessions with regard to pricing. I mean, if they're going to make people do this, then they should also be willing to offer some discounts for bundled packages.
    I agree. I would like to add a data plan to my wife's BB, but she wouldn't use it often enough to warrant the full cost of another plan, but T-Mo doesn't offer any family data plans for BB's. Like I said though, the rep told me T-Mo was doing it in an effort to regain some of the subsidy they're providing for the devices. They pay $300 towards the price of your device and while they have you for another 2 years, they're not making anything extra.
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    IDK about T-Mo. They have had some really reasonable plan costs in my experience

    My current plan (Verizon/Alltel), which is fairly simple IMO, with one BB data plan sharing 500 minutes a month with my wife and no text plan runs about $120 a month. I have a hard time believing that those guys aren't making pretty good money off of that. That's just one account.
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    ^^ I agree. I pay 30$ a month for my bb package and in addition, 10$ a month for my husbands data plan (samsung impression. Non smartphone data) and then I also have to pay 30$ a month for unlimited text. I don't understand why I have to pay and additional 30$ for texting, when I already pay so much for data. It sure would be nice to have a pice break for those of us who subscribe to everything. 225$ a month for two phones wih data and txting. Gahhhh. I don't disagree with requiring to get a data plan, but maybe a little more reasonable prices should follow suit.
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    I agree with you both the prices are a bit outrageous when you start looking at family plans. The same rep is the one who told me he totally disagreed with them enforcing that restriction on all smartphones (with the exception of about 4) because there are a lot of people out there who use devices like BB's for the calendar and organizer function. There are plenty of business apps out there that do not require any type of data connection or they rely on the Wi-Fi connection and he felt this would hurt their smartphone sales.
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    I guess it truly is time to leave AT$T. This makes my decision of cancelling my account with them a reality sooner than I expected. C'mon T-mo release driftwood already
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    Looks like my husband activated his blackjack2 without a data plan just in time.
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    When T-Mo did this, I wanted to get a new device, but my line wasn't eligible for the upgrade. However my wife's was, but when I told the T-Mo rep I wanted to get the phone on her line, he said I needed a data plan. I told him I was going to use it on my line and give her my 8120 w/o a data plan and he somehow worked it out in the system. I got my 8900 at full discount w/o adding another data plan.
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    cell phone companies make enough money without making you get the data plan. I think it will hurt them and the phone companies. Like somebody said people use a BB with other then over the air data so they may switch back to regular PDA's. Plus if they are going to force you to have the plan drop the price, paying $30 for date and then more for texting is stupid. Isn't text data? AT&T for one isn't using the money they are making to get their system running the best. Verizon has had 3g service in my area for over 4 years now and AT&T doesn't even know when they may have it and then the wonder why Verizon sells better here. Wake up

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