April 11, 2008
Are unlimited voice and data plans causing unlimited headaches for carriers? More than one person told me at CTIA they think Sprint is going to be in real trouble as a result of the unlimited plan they are selling to customers.
Where does the trouble lie? In three places really. First of all, many of the enhanced services which used to generate revenue have now gone away. In addition, data and voice usage is increasing so capacity must do the same. Finally, the customers who used to pay more than $99/month now pay less.
One would imagine if my sources are correct, that Sprint may have to retract this offer at some point just to stay in business.
In the mean time, this new plan seems to have renewed some much-needed life into this carrier. It is unclear what magic the company will have to create to offset the elimination of this plan (of course this is hypothetical at this point).
I for one can't wait to see how this all plays out but I am enthused that an entire class of new mobile applications is being born for people to take advantage of.
Perhaps if Sprint does change its pricing, we will be so hooked on the data services that we won't mind paying a buck or two for data capability.
Om Malik has some thoughts
on the matter as well.
Update: See also: ABI:Flat-Rate Price Plans Pose Serious Network Challenges for Operators
, consumer electronics
, unlimited plan
, voice and data
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