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

Posted: , by Ken N.

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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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posted on 20 May 2011, 21:41

1. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Great idea! With wifi tabs taking some space the best would be to be considered a better option that wifi an tether plan go Orange! Show them why I'm in love with you

posted on 20 May 2011, 21:54 1

2. beatlesfan (Posts: 150; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)

I think this would be a pretty good idea, however I don't entirely think having a tablet on a contract with a cell network is at all necessary unless it is the only source of internet. There are 3g and 4g hotspots that are very portable and logically make more sense to me than paying for a 'subsidized' tablet on a contract. Take the moto xoom for example, on contract it is 599.99 and you're locked into a contract, but you can get a wifi only model with no contract for the same price, and if you must have data connectivity to a cellular network you can get a hotspot or use a hotspot feature on your smartphone. Personally I can justify signing a contract to a more versatile mobile hotspot or spending a little extra on a hotspot feature than locking myself into a contract with a tab that will be outdated in no time.

posted on 21 May 2011, 00:27

3. reply to beatles (unregistered)

Most of the time when I sell a tab with a plan to somebody its to replace a mifi or hotspot. Example you can buy a 3g mifi and tether your laptop or tablet and sign up with a minimum of 50 per month (since they just a few days ago got rid of 35 dollar plan with verizon) or you can buy a tablet and have an option for $20, $35, $50 or $80 dollar plan and use the tablet for portability or turn that in itself into a hotspot to tether your laptop. If you're already lugging around your laptop it's not much to toss the tablet in the bag with it. Thats the main reason I've been seeing lately. otherwise I agree with you, (btw, i know the ipad doesnt turn into a hotspot. I am talking about the android tabs.)

posted on 21 May 2011, 08:27

4. Gcombs (unregistered)

They need to do something, If you live here in Minneapolis where the city offers free wifi connectivity for everyone who needs a data plan for a tab.

posted on 21 May 2011, 09:14 3

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

anyone that has an android phone has no need for a carrier plan. All androids are capable of wifi hotspots. :)

suck it apple!! lol

posted on 21 May 2011, 12:17

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

So is the iPhone genius

posted on 27 May 2011, 19:35

8. EvoHero (Posts: 38; Member since: 15 May 2011)

Indeed. And many androids can be rooted to unlock that hotspot.

posted on 24 May 2011, 03:08

7. Camden (unregistered)

The solution is simple - let me simply pay a $10 dollar add-a-line fee to have the tablet added to my account and share my data plan with my phone. I'm more likely to purchase a more expensive data package, and the carriers get to collect a reasonable $10/mo revenue boost.

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