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AT&T CEO Stephenson: Unlimited data was a mistake

0. phoneArena posted on 05 May 2012, 03:34

AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson told a crowd at the Milken Institute's Global Conference that offering unlimited data plans was a mistake and that messaging systems that bypass SMS plans like iMessage are disruptive...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 06 May 2012, 12:52 1

57. medicci37 (Posts: 1335; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

Personally, I have noticed my (& alot of the geeks on PA) data use is much higher since your momma learned to skype @ fresh p.

posted on 06 May 2012, 15:28

61. BattleBrat (Posts: 1476; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

@Fresh I would love to have my penis control my brain like yours does your brain, but I think with my big head. And my record for data use was 44gb in one month with my OG DROID.
I didn't even break 1gb last month..... Unlimited data on Verizon

posted on 05 May 2012, 06:51 5

6. kanagadeepan (Posts: 981; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)

Data revenue alone for AT&T is 6.1b$ in just one quarter... MotoMobility costs 12.5b$ for Google... Now see how much these operators are earning and shedding CROCODILE TEARS for UnLimited plans....

posted on 05 May 2012, 07:18 3

7. bintheham (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

Exactly. And AT&T is the greediest and sneaky as they come. Cutting my ties with them 2 years ago was the best thing I ever did. I don't care what phones they carry. Their nickel & dime approach to business is not what I need, or any consumer for that matter.

posted on 05 May 2012, 08:07 8

8. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

They should fire his greedy a$$ and give us our unlimited data back! And every executive take a HUGE PAYCUT.

posted on 05 May 2012, 08:37 2

9. jeroome86 (Posts: 2112; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

CEO greed run amok. Text plans are a ripoff anyways. But when you can't get your friends to use the message apps, I have to keep one. Does AT&T even still offer a lower text plan now or is it just unlimited for 20 bucks?

posted on 05 May 2012, 09:15 4

13. thachlel (Posts: 75; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

I was a great experienced with Cingular, since at&t took over things changed. Price increase and my home line used to be $17 for basic local call and now with at&t $35 same basic! 2 smart phones from $160 to $249 ffkk at&t

posted on 05 May 2012, 09:17 4

15. thachlel (Posts: 75; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)

Btw, luckyly at&t didn't obtain T-Mobile otherwise consumers would even pay more

posted on 05 May 2012, 09:19

16. nelsonl21 (Posts: 18; Member since: 17 Jul 2011)

Once again I point out what's the benefit of having a super phone example galaxy note and restrain myself for using all the greatness and feature rich phone???? Now my home internet provider is cutting unlimited data cause of a domino effect. When all carriers had unlimited data both wifi and cell data was balanced now my cell data is running less than 1 gab because I punish myself to not use it on the go for the fear of overage but guess what now my home wifi has increased the triple of what I use. Oh also att uverse cut unlimited data as well. What's the point Randall of offering best in class phones and services that you can use in a small period of time while on the go??? Contradictions oh contradictions...

posted on 05 May 2012, 10:14 3

19. jabberwocky (Posts: 89; Member since: 21 Feb 2012)

He talks about low data users subsidizing high data users? The only way around it is to charge per kb. Tiered plans still include subsidization.

Also, you can't then lament the fact that people are moving away from your MASSIVELY overpriced text plans, which are SUBSIDIZING everything else since they cost nothing to run. Way to talk out of both sides of your mouth.

The fact is, that wireless companies want $100 from you to give you 2GB of data wirelessly, more than the wired providers charge (which are also overpriced in the US), and for 1/20th of the data cap.

If you overcharge for text, people will eventually find ways around it. If you think you can do the same for data, guess what...

posted on 05 May 2012, 11:24 5

22. intos (Posts: 92; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)

go to hell stephenson...

posted on 05 May 2012, 11:45

23. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

I'm not worried about the thumbs downs, but to be quite honest? Unlimited data was a huge mistake. You set the expectation when you release a new technology, so had we not been offered unlimited in the first place we wouldnt have anything to bitch about right? (just like offering discounted phones with a contract...THAT was a mistake too)

what people dont realize is that we are in the golden age of smartphones. There is only so much bandwidth available. In the long scheme of things, if we had kept unlimited data we'd be a huge heap of trouble. HD Voice, google voice? Soon enough we wont even have voice or texting plans...everything will be data technically.

What I dont agree with? If you're not going to give me unlimited data you sure as heck better lower my cost from 30 flipping bucks a month!
Initial rates of 30 bucks for 2gigs of data is a damn ripoff, of this i'm sure we can all agree on.

posted on 05 May 2012, 12:38

28. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Agree with this comment except the phone subsidies. Carriers are are profiting in the long run by adding a bunch more data revenue.

posted on 05 May 2012, 13:14 6

32. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

its amazing how you always worry more about carrier profit than your own wallet. Thats how i know you live at home with mommy and she pays for everything.

Subsidies are a bad idea. I wish carriers never went that way. Yea, your phone would be more expencive, but you have no idea just how much cheaper your plan could be if they were not burying costs for devices in the plan. It would also even the playing field with devices. Your precious iphone would be on any and every carrier because carriers wouldnt have to worry about being drowned in subsidy costs.
Then again, getting rid of subsidies also means giving up a lot of power the carriers have. If its not subsidized, why would you want a contract? Why would you put up with carrier's jerking you around with updates and bloatware? Why would you put up with locked devices? All that comes because they have people conditioned to subsidies.
Much like the government and taxes.. resetting the system and reforming it are exactly what we need and is best for everyone, but it will never happen because those in power refuse to give up that power.

posted on 05 May 2012, 13:16

34. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

however this is the reason WHY i would pay full price for a phone.

over the course of two years people have no idea how much they are actually spending on their products. that 300 dollar Razr Maxx cost more than it did retail

posted on 05 May 2012, 13:14

33. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

the only reason why i feel discounted phones are a mistake is because of the phrase "i want a free phone"

so if anything else companies shouldnt have ever offered a free phone :)

posted on 05 May 2012, 15:14 1

39. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

ha, i get people all the time pissed that we are getting away from free phones. And I ask them. "do you want to pay 60 bux a month or 130 a month like ATT or VZW".. and they go "60 of course". I respond "well you pay an extra 1600 bux on a contract to save 200 on the phone by going to a carrier with free phones. Did you still want that free phone?

You have no idea how many people say "yea".. palm to the forehead.
They really want the GeeBees and the WiFis bad.

posted on 05 May 2012, 12:05

25. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Why is it that whenever this guy talks, I get the feeling he really doesn't like his own customers? Or maybe he is just the most painfully honest business man in the cellular industry, because it just sounds like he's saying "We (AT&T) gave customers too much, and they aren't giving us enough in return". What this guy needs is a good spin doctor. A good PR guy/girl who can speak to the media without sounding like Black Beard the Pirate!

posted on 05 May 2012, 15:15 1

40. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

i really think he needs to just let someone else talk. He is not helping the whole "evil empire" image.. unless he really just wants to double down on that image.. lol.

posted on 05 May 2012, 12:15 2

26. gaby1451 (Posts: 114; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

This guy is getting on my nerves. First he bitches about losing the purchase of T-Mobile, then threatens to raise the price of service for consumers because of it, and now he's regretting making unlimited data a mistake? COME OFF IT ALREADY.

posted on 05 May 2012, 12:29 1

27. MartyK (Posts: 947; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)

The ONLY way this guy would change his ways is if his company was the #3 or #4 company in the USA, but since AT&T is in the top two, he/they will never appreciate their customers; this is how CEO and/or company works.

posted on 05 May 2012, 13:23 1

35. Jyakotu (Posts: 854; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

Here's what AT&T and all other carriers should look at for their mobile data plans: have plans set up like their broadband Internet services. For example, say you have a smartphone. Obviously, the phone can run on EDGE 2G, 3G, and 4G HSPA+/LTE, right.? So how about for smartphones, carriers allow people to choose the type of data connection they want access to.? Instead of pricing it by amount, do it by the speed. If you want 4G LTE, then you pay a premium. If you can get by with 3G, then you pay a little less. For those with feature phones, 2G or 3G should be enough, since I assume those with feature phones don't really have a need for a web connection. And the usage should be unlimited.

My vision:
2G Unlimited - $10
3G Unlimited - $20
4G HSPA+/LTE Unlimited - $30

Long story short: unlimited data plans that allow users to choose based on speed, not the amount. And this way, if and whenever 4G comes to your area, you can upgrade to the plan accordingly.

posted on 06 May 2012, 11:57

56. jtm1208 (Posts: 37; Member since: 16 Jun 2009)

Lte is not only faster it is more cost efficent as well for the carriers. so that model would only keep people on slower technology that is more expensive for the carrier. That will never happen

posted on 05 May 2012, 17:30 1

44. jeroome86 (Posts: 2112; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

Don't give any ideas. They may try that. Only differences will be 30,40, and 50 for lte.

posted on 05 May 2012, 18:10 1

45. PC_Surgeon (Posts: 7; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

All I hear is "I'm sorry we didn't screw you more."

posted on 05 May 2012, 18:21

46. ScelesticSteve (Posts: 26; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Gosh, he's such a freakin' cry baby. He's all of the media whining and crying about something all the time. If AT&T would quit being such a hateful, greedy, s**tty company Karma might quit biting them in the ass repeatedly.

posted on 05 May 2012, 18:27

47. quryous (banned) (Posts: 106; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

"AT&T CEO Stephenson: Unlimited data was a mistake."

Yea, they should have screwed the customer even more, from the beginning. None of the embarrassment of policy and price changes.

posted on 05 May 2012, 22:14

49. dmckay12 (Posts: 243; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)

I bet he could beat Dan Hesse in a fight, but everyone would lose if that kid from the Thunderbolt commercials had lightning strike them.

posted on 06 May 2012, 01:42

51. Forsaken77 (Posts: 553; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)

I say we ALL start using services like "iMessage" that disrupt the carriers' business models. That's the only way we can get them to change things. This guy just showed us a kink in their armor... LET'S STRIKE!!!

posted on 06 May 2012, 07:58 1

52. JunitoNH (Posts: 1934; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)

Actually, on the above picture his saying, bend down sheep. Guess in which part of your anatomy I'm going to place my rings of power? Now shut up!!! Pay your bill and hand me all the women in your village.

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