Unlimited data to return in the future?

GeorgieAcevedo

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
740
0
New York City
Does it sound possible? For example when the companies get enough towers up to handle the hit would unlimited be able to make a return.

Maybe I'm just dreaming too much if this sounds too unlikely.
 

mrbutters

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2012
151
0
Not a chance. If you want unlimited data, switch to Sprint and deal with their throttled network thanks to the iPhone. May take you 3 minutes to open a website but hey, its unlimited data!
 

blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
2,760
78
Winnipeg, MB
I give it 30% odds. Only chance is in a few years when LTE is as prevalent as 3G. When it does though, it will be at a high premium. Remember what the AT&T CEO said in the article a couple weeks ago. They make much more off of tiered plans and overages then they did off of unlimited.
 

isoft7

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2011
757
15
Depends on the consumer, if profit margins drop then yes, unlimited will return.

The fact of the matter is, the bandwidth, or rather, capability of bandwidth already exists, the decisions made in regards to capping data are done with nothing more than greedy intentions.
 

robanga

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2007
1,657
1
Oregon
You can always expect the inferior providers to supply more data at a cheaper price. Sprint is the example here - also Dish Network is apparently bringing on LTE over the next four years.

Sprint is still unlimited.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
once sprint stops i don't think we will see it again.

The idea that it would return with an improved infrastructure does not sit with me. These companies have less and less incentive to keep us happy because most of us do business with them regardless. I am not fond of the big 3 but where else would I go? How many other people are in that boat? No VZW and ATT are not monopolies, but their policies mirror each other so closely, the only major difference between the two is the coverage areas and that is based on where you live.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,210
4,049
Atlanta
I wish carriers would adopt the most used method for paying for something. Just pay for what you use just like gas, electricity, food, water, beer,..... If you use 100GB then you just pay for that amount and not be throttled or cut off. Could charge in 1GB blocks. The problem is 90% don't come close to using their allotted amounts so under a pay for what you use the carriers would make less money. The carries want it both ways. Charging for unused data on most and limiting excessive use of data on those who use it.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
I wish carriers would adopt the most used method for paying for something. Just pay for what you use just like gas, electricity, food, water, beer,..... If you use 100GB then you just pay for that amount and not be throttled or cut off. Could charge in 1GB blocks. The problem is 90% don't come close to using their allotted amounts so under a pay for what you use the carriers would make less money. The carries want it both ways. Charging for unused data on most and limiting excessive use of data on those who use it.
that's exactly what they're doing and we all know why. To charge 1GB at a time would be awesome for the average iPhone user.

It's similar with gasoline. Today gas is $80/barrel and you pay X amount per gallon. Tomorrow they might announce an increase to $90/barrel and the gas that is still sitting in the pump at the station increases 5 or 10 cents, even though they paid the lower price to get it there. That gasoline at a higher price is at best weeks away from your tank but your already paying for it now. Sorry, sensitive topic with me haha.

They should re-evaluate data prices/packages often, especially with the release of a high profile device like the iPhone or even the nicer Android phones. I don't see why they couldn't afford to do quick burst (like a week or two) of unlimited plans during release windows, for the die hards.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,902
3,475
Boston, MA
I never like to say there is no chance for something like this to happen because, frankly, I just don't have the information to say that with any certainty. I would suspect that even if they did have the means to bring it back, so long as they are pulling in customers that are paying their bills under limited data plans, they will have no incentive to bring back unlimited. Why charge people less for more when they are willing to pay more for less?
 

GeorgieAcevedo

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2012
740
0
New York City
I never like to say there is no chance for something like this to happen because, frankly, I just don't have the information to say that with any certainty. I would suspect that even if they did have the means to bring it back, so long as they are pulling in customers that are paying their bills under limited data plans, they will have no incentive to bring back unlimited. Why charge people less for more when they are willing to pay more for less?
It happened with minutes. Remember when minutes plans were really expensive? Me too..

Now we have a shxt load of minutes of rollover thanks to mobile to mobile
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,902
3,475
Boston, MA
It happened with minutes. Remember when minutes plans were really expensive? Me too..

Now we have a shxt load of minutes of rollover thanks to mobile to mobile
That's true, but look at texts. Those STARTED out free, are super cheap for the carriers to provide, yet the consumer's cost has only risen.
 

reclusive46

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2011
1,088
27
Canada
In the UK, they all stopped offering it; now, two years later, two carriers in the UK actually offer it again now.
 

-aggie-

macrumors P6
Jun 19, 2009
16,800
50
Where bunnies are welcome.
They only restricted unlimited, because they were having a hard time keeping up with the demand. Once they add enough capacity, they'd have no problems charging for unlimited again and making more money.
 

Daveoc64

macrumors 601
Jan 16, 2008
4,058
51
Bristol, UK
Interesting. Are the carriers that are currently offering unlimited in the UK hurting for more customers?
Two out of the five major carriers in the UK offer genuine, 100% unlimited data (including Tethering):

Three and T-Mobile.

T-Mobile merged with another network (Orange) in 2010, and combined they are now the largest. That suggests to me that offering unlimited has little to do with them needing new customers.

Three is the smallest network (but growing at the fastest rate), but they take the attitude that capacity problems cannot be solved with monthly data caps*

Giffgaff as mentioned earlier is an MVNO that offers "unlimited" data, but Tethering isn't allowed and it's said that customers will be disconnected if they regularly use "too much" data. They only offer prepaid plans as well.

New advertising rules brought in at the start of April mean that you can't offer a product that is "unlimited" unless it genuinely is. Any hidden caps, fair usage policies or throttling must be prominently advertised.

*If you have 100 people all wanting to use 50MB of data in the same place at the same time, no cap is going to help with that. Three uses demand based traffic management. Each cell site is individually managed, with customers only being throttled when the site they are using doesn't have enough capacity.

I should note that both T-Mobile and Three pitch it as part of their "everything" packages (T-Mobile's "The Full Monty" and Three's "The One Plan"), where you get everything you could "possibly" need included (although that's really not true). It's not something everyone gets as standard.
 
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reclusive46

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2011
1,088
27
Canada
Two out of the five major carriers in the UK offer genuine, 100% unlimited data (including Tethering):

Three and T-Mobile.

T-Mobile merged with another network (Orange) in 2010, and combined they are now the largest. That suggests to me that offering unlimited has little to do with them needing new customers.

Three is the smallest network (but growing at the fastest rate), but they take the attitude that capacity problems cannot be solved with monthly data caps*

Giffgaff as mentioned earlier is an MVNO that offers "unlimited" data, but Tethering isn't allowed and it's said that customers will be disconnected if they regularly use "too much" data. They only offer prepaid plans as well.

New advertising rules brought in at the start of April mean that you can't offer a product that is "unlimited" unless it genuinely is. Any hidden caps, fair usage policies or throttling must be prominently advertised.

*If you have 100 people all wanting to use 50MB of data in the same place at the same time, no cap is going to help with that. Three uses demand based traffic management. Each cell site is individually managed, with customers only being throttled when the site they are using doesn't have enough capacity.

I should note that both T-Mobile and Three pitch it as part of their "everything" packages (T-Mobile's "The Full Monty" and Three's "The One Plan", where you get everything you could "possibly" need included (although that's really not true). It's not something everyone gets as standard.
The last bit is true with T-Mobile but the majority of tariffs have unlimited without tethering on 3. I agree though. EverythingEverywhere is not exactly looking for new customers.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,210
4,049
Atlanta
...Today gas is $80/barrel and you pay X amount per gallon. Tomorrow they might announce an increase to $90/barrel and the gas that is still sitting in the pump at the station increases 5 or 10 cents, even though they paid the lower price to get it there. That gasoline at a higher price is at best weeks away from your tank but your already paying for it now. Sorry, sensitive topic with me haha...
OT:But your analogue is one sided flawed. What about when the price goes down as it is now? Do you want to sit at the pumps for a few weeks waiting on the less expensive gas to arrive? ;)
 

Spectrum Abuser

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2011
1,377
47
The world never had truly unlimited data. It was just a 'use all you want because there's no way you can use enough to hurt our bottom line'. Then smartphones came around and things changed.
 

reclusive46

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2011
1,088
27
Canada
The world never had truly unlimited data. It was just a 'use all you want because there's no way you can use enough to hurt our bottom line'. Then smartphones came around and things changed.
Half the problem is the US and Canadian carriers are pretty much committing day light robbery. Many around the world pay half the price. For example in the uk you can get the iPhone for free on around a 48usd contract and practically have unlimited everything including data with tethering.
 

Spectrum Abuser

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2011
1,377
47
Half the problem is the US and Canadian carriers are pretty much committing day light robbery. Many around the world pay half the price. For example in the uk you can get the iPhone for free on around a 48usd contract and practically have unlimited everything including data with tethering.
You do have to understand that the North America carriers have to support a much larger landmass then that of the United Kingdom and mainland European carriers. They're looking out for their big margins, though. I'm not an executive for any of the nationwide carriers, but I'd bet that the plans could be considerably cheaper while retaining an operating profit.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
OT:But your analogue is one sided flawed. What about when the price goes down as it is now? Do you want to sit at the pumps for a few weeks waiting on the less expensive gas to arrive? ;)
When it goes up it does so a dime at a time. When it drops it's a penny at a time. At least where I live. Two steps forward, a hundred back. Kinda like the data plans.
 
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