Future of Cell phone plans

August 23, 2010 at 3:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The end of “You must select a Voice plan”

The future of cell phone plans will de-emphasize voice and focus on data, offering a “cafeteria plan” of choice that does not revolve around a core, voice plan. This might seem obvious to many smartphone users (who spend most of their time using applications over a data connection) and Operators (that see that as much as 90% of the network traffic being used by data, not voice). But this change will turn current service plans on their head.

As iPhone users are all too aware, their purchase starts with a voice plan that most will not fully use. AT&T forces iPhone subscribers to purchase a costly voice plan that most subscribers do not want or need. (In the U.S., the minimum AT&T plan is 450 minutes of voice at $45, although a large percentage of users may use only a small fraction of this purchase, and many do not need this plan at all). Forcing users to purchase a large “bucket” of minutes is old school – useful for a generation of business users that transact by phone calls, but increasing irrelevant to young subscribers that prefer SMS and Skype. You can’t force subscribers to pay for something that they do not need.

Subscribers want a menu, and will purchase what they need

AT&T (and other operators) may find it profitable to force their subscribers to pay for something that they do not need, but over time they will be forced to let subscribers purchase what they need. This will require the Operators to offer a more flexible service plan, resembling purchases from a cafeteria. Subscribers want to be able to select the amount of voice/SMS/data that they will consume. Additionally, they want to be able to pay for this either on a (a) pre-paid or (b) post-paid (monthly) basis. Neither of these options are available today, but they will be, over time.


1 Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Cool.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: