Mobile phone technology is rapidly evolving, yet the pay structures for consumers have remained largely unchanged. Most phone plans require subscribers to pay for a set number of minutes and text messages in addition to placing a set amount of data for the month, which drives up the cost of a phone plan. This ultimately wrestles control over the phone plan away from the consumer, although a recent survey by Strategy Analytics confirmed that around 60 percent of mobile phone users around the world want better optimized customizable mobile service solutions.
One alternative strategy that mobile carriers could carry out is to switch to an entirely data-centric model, where text and voice are both sent over the Internet with Voice over IP technology (VoIP). In this situation, customers would only pay for their data, and the Strategy Analytics survey shows that most consumers would prefer a personalized phone service that charged them based on their usage, instead of only having a few preset options to choose from. Over 500 mobile phone users across China, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom as well as the United States expressed overwhelming interest in having customizable plans.
Half of these users also expressed interest in having an on-device solution for monitoring their data use in real-time, with the option to purchase more data as they use it. The demand for customizable phone plans also varied by country, with the highest demand in China and the United States, where 74 percent and 67 percent of phone users displayed interest. German phone users also displayed a particular appeal for the idea of purchasing additional amounts of bucket data once their preset data limit had been reached.
Ultimately, the biggest reason that pricing plans have remained so static over the years is due largely to the fact that the relatively small demand was not enough to change the status quo of a system that was still functional. Now that demand is rising to the rate that technology is changing, it may soon become more profitable for these major carriers to change their game plans.