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Carriers will change tablet plan pricing to offset the Wi-Fi-only trend

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Carriers will change tablet plan pricing to offset the Wi-Fi-only trend
There's no doubt that tablets are quickly becoming a real force in the wireless market. But tablet plans might need to change if carriers are to remain a part of the equation. Tablets with cellular connections made up 60% of all tablets in 2010, but analysts expect that to drop to 30% by 2015, as customers opt for Wi-Fi-only models.

So why is that important? Well, if customers decide to forgo cellular connections, then carriers will be left behind. Orange reports that they will be considering data plans shared between your smartphone and tablet. That will be an effective way to comfort consumers unsure of how much they will really utilize a cellular connection on their tablet.

Fran Shammo, CFO at Verizon Wireless, says they're considering a similar shared plan: "I think it's safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans (for data) and people are going to share that mega-plan based on the number of devices within their family." But Shammo admitted they don't have a timeline in mind.

David Owens, VP of product development at Sprint, says they will consider tablet data plans for specific periods of time: "What you'll see is the ability to buy sessions...a day, a month or a week pass." And he suggested that we might see those changes within the coming months.

Analysts say that the carriers of the iPad's rivals will particularly suffer. Consumers are already wary enough of straying from the all-powerful iPad, so unsubsidized pricing and unrealistically expensive plans and contracts will only deter them further.

source: Reuters

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