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Unlimited Wireless Plans Coming 206

Posted by kdawson
from the talk-much-surf-often-text-lots dept.
An anonymous reader tells us about a BusinessWeek story claiming that in a few years most wireless plans will be unlimited. And pretty costly: unlimited cell calling, SMS, and data for on the order of $115 - $150 a month. Sprint is conducting a trial of such an offering in San Francisco, with the intent of rolling it out nationwide, and other carriers are said to be sure to follow suit. An interesting claim in the article is that in 5 years time, 40% of the US population will be untethered from landlines and using their cell numbers exclusively (vs. 15% now).
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Unlimited Wireless Plans Coming

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  • Yawn... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sugapablo (600023) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:54AM (#18345337) Homepage
    I already get unlimited wireless in Pittsburgh for $44/month from Cricket.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kaeru (245396)
      Here in Malaysia we have both EDGE and 3G unlimited data plans from around USD35/month from 3 different providers.

      Wouldn't be surprised if other providers around the world have more competitive rates.

      This is hardly news.
    • Re:Yawn... (Score:4, Informative)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:34AM (#18345623) Homepage Journal
      I've seen this and the MetroPCS service, and the one thing I've noticed about both is the limited coverage area. They only seem to have service in the big cities, and nothing even just outside. For example, here's MetroPCS' coverage for Detroit [metropcs.com]. Look in the northwest part of the coverage area and note that if you go out to Howell, you're covered, but not in Pinckney, which is just as populated as Howell. Now compare the coverage map for Sprint [sprintpcs.com]. Notice that just about the entire freakin' state of Michigan is covered. The MetroPCS map looks like Sprint's coverage map ca. 1992. Ditto for Cricket in its coverage areas.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mr2001 (90979)
        Cricket is perfect for replacing a landline, though. After all, the "coverage area" of a landline is one building. You can pay about the same amount per month for a Cricket phone and carry it all over town - and apparently you also get unlimited usage when you travel to other Cricket markets.
        • by sugapablo (600023)
          Factor in unlimited free long distance (which is also part of my plan) and you're gold. I still have a land line, for DSL and all, but I was able to drop my long distance provider (AT&T).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Right, perfect for replacing a landline, but a poor replacement for 'real' cellular service from one of the big networks.
          • by revlayle (964221)
            Exactly... i used Cricket years ago to replace a landline, but now I need service when I go out of town, and more than one line (3 to be exact - for the different people in the house). While Cricket can go out-of-area-now, once you use their "anywhere" plan and add a couple lines to it, you are not saving much more than any other service.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by WgT2 (591074)

      Cool. I just heard that MetroPCS [metropcs.com] has all the mentioned features for a flat $60/month. And from the looks of plans page [metropcs.com], that includes taxes.

  • I've got to say that I'm definitely skeptical. What does the business model change to if you have everything included? Though I suppose getting 150 a month from each of their clients wouldn't be such a bad thing.
    And can I get unlimited data included with this plan?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rootofevil (188401)
      seriously, i pay less than 1/3 of that and i get unlimited wireless data now. and i havent gone over my minutes since getting the phone. not because im a minute-miser mind you, but because i just dont use the phone part all that much now that ive got all the data i need. sprints coverage may suck, but their data (vision) plans are quite cheap compared to the competition.
      • by zerocool^ (112121)

        Yeah, I was going to say - my Sidekick II gets unlimited data and 300 minutes + free weekends already for $50/month.

        And I could swear I heard a cingular commercial on the radio proclaiming unlimited minutes (nothing about data, though) for $50/month.

        ~Wx
    • And can I get unlimited data included with this plan?
      It depends how you define "unlimited". If you mean not billed per kilobyte but we'll cut you off if we think you've used too much bandwidth (say, over 1 GB) for the month in our exclusive opinion then I guess yes, it would be unlimited.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:57AM (#18345367) Homepage Journal
    how many people out there will wreck their finances this way?

    Amazing, just a few years ago most people didn't think they had to have a cell phone, let alone use it all the time. Yet these days I know some families that have gone over the top with them.

    Sorry, but having a $50 to $100+ new monthy expense is not my idea of progress. What is truly amazing is that the Cell providers marketing worked so well. Pay by the minute? I guess unlimited coming so expensive makes sense because people will convince themselves they are getting a deal.

    We have unlimited local calling on some plans in the Atlanta area and a few give you unlimited national calling too. These plans are regularly less than $50 a month but the only hang up is limited local coverage even though they piggy back on another network.

    Now unlimited high speed data "might" be worth it. Might be because for the most part people don't need it. Businesses and self employed might need it. Say going to a client and making a presentation and you need stuff from outside at the last minute. Regular people? What, watch YouTube on my phone? I guess some will.

    $100+ a month for voice - not for me, I can put that $100 to far better use. Kill yourself with monthlies and keep moaning about how you don't get paid enough - I won't
    • Now unlimited high speed data "might" be worth it. Might be because for the most part people don't need it. Businesses and self employed might need it. Say going to a client and making a presentation and you need stuff from outside at the last minute. Regular people? What, watch YouTube on my phone? I guess some will.

      It's useful for more than watching YouTube on your phone. You can use your phone as a modem in a lot of cases. And if you are doing that and the speed is fast enough for actual internet acce

    • by yoha (249396)
      you'll just moan about how other people get killed with monthlies. wierdo.
    • Amazing, just a few years ago most people didn't think they had to have a cell phone, let alone use it all the time. Yet these days I know some families that have gone over the top with them.
      ...

      Sorry, but having a $50 to $100+ new monthy expense is not my idea of progress. What is truly amazing is that the Cell providers marketing worked so well. ....

      That sir, is the MIRACLE of marketing... Water falls from the sky yet people pay handsomely for it... Not only has a massive cellphone industry quickly sprouted up, but it will likely also succeed into conning people to pay 2x as much as they currently do for something that they don't truly *need* in the first place. I bet some bigshots in accounting/marketing/management will get nice bonus if this idea of "progress" succeeds.

      I don't really understand why people need so many minutes. I spend the d

      • by derF024 (36585) *
        I don't really understand why people need so many minutes. I spend the daytime during weekdays at work, not yakking on the phone. I talk to friends and family on mainly weeknights or on the weekends -- i.e. mostly when I'm NOT at work. Am I that weird?

        I, and most of the people I work with, use cell phones quite a bit while at work for work related calls. The managers/executives do this most often because they spend their day wandering from meeting to meeting. I've disabled my desk phone and just have it for
    • how many people out there will wreck their finances this way?

      I can't tell you how many people I know who have run up their cell phone bills into the $300-$500 range because they simply are not able to control their texting/minute usage. The horror of finding a cell phone bill 3x what you normally budget is what wrecks people's finances.

  • by djones101 (1021277) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @07:58AM (#18345371)
    regular calling? I don't need SMS, I don't need Internet connectivity. I'm one of those rare freaks out there that actually uses the cell phone for *gasp* emergencies and quick phone calls. I don't text message people under the table during dinner (I engage in what some people call conversation with friends and family face-to-face), I don't browse the Internet (that's what I have a wireless work laptop for), and I stick with one of the pre-installed ringtones (ever notice how many people use Jingle Bells as their ringtone at Christmas?). Great, create the unlimited calling plan for $150, just don't leave those of us who only need about $25 worth of that plan in the dust.
    • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:24AM (#18345555)

      I'm one of those rare freaks out there that actually uses the cell phone for *gasp* emergencies and quick phone calls.
      All my mother-in-law wants is a phone that can be loaded with 100 minutes for emergencies to call a tow truck or her husband and she wants those minutes to never expire. She just wants to throw the phone in the glove compartment for emergencies, but I have yet to find any prepaid service like this. Everyone wants you to periodically (every 2-3 months) buy new minutes to refresh your balance or else your service is terminated. Why should it matter whether you use the minutes you bought today or 3 years from now? You paid for minutes and that should be all that matters.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It costs money to operate a cell tower, even if nobody uses it. Why should your mother-in-law have permanent access to such a service for a one-time charge?
        • It costs money to operate a cell tower, even if nobody uses it. Why should your mother-in-law have permanent access to such a service for a one-time charge?
          The towers are not unused - they are unused by me. Think of it this way. They take my money up-front for "minutes" which will only depreciate in value over time.

          - Why should I pay for those towers if I'm not using them?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TimHunter (174406)
        I have a AT&T (nee Cingular) GoPhone that has exactly this plan. Pay 'em $100 up front. Minutes cost $0.25 per. At the end of 12 months they keep any of the $100 that you haven't used.

        Since I would only use the phone for emergencies there's no way I'll use 400 minutes in a year (I've had the phone 3 months and haven't used ANY minutes yet) what I'm doing is paying AT&T $100 for 12 months of cell phone service. That's $8.33/month. You do have to buy a phone. Mine cost $30.00.
      • by Insightfill (554828) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:18AM (#18346081) Homepage
        "All my mother-in-law wants is a phone that can be loaded with 100 minutes for emergencies to call a tow truck or her husband and she wants those minutes to never expire."

        For true emergencies, any working cell phone can still make 911 calls (or cellular version thereof *999 - whatever). That's free - no carrier, no bills. In many areas, the local police or cell phone stores will take donated old cell phones to give to local women's shelters and to shut-ins for just this purpose.

        Look around the house, find a phone from a provider you no longer use or whatever, and charge it up and give it to her. The biggest hassle is usually the battery - those lithium batteries have a 'shelf-life' of about three years before they can hold no charge at all. They hold their existing charge quite nicely on the shelf, but their capacity is what goes down.

        • by stubear (130454)
          "For true emergencies, any working cell phone can still make 911 calls..."

          No all emergencies require the police. Calling a tow truck for a flat tire is one such example.
        • The problem with using a cell phone that doesn't have a service provider is that you lose the 911 locating functionality, very nice to have when you do need to call 911.

          Important as well, you still need to upgrade the phone every few years to keep up with the changing technologies. Good luck with an old analog phone, and I'm not sure the old Sprint PCS GSM phones will work on the existing GSM carriers.
      • by TeknoHog (164938)
        This seems like a good place in this discussion to point out my current cellphone plan which has zero fixed fees, you only pay by the minute. Then again, this is in Finland where you buy your own phone and get the service separately. Most plans here are practically unlimited, with a relatively high monthly fee that includes lots of free calling time.
      • by jaredcat (223478)
        It costs the carrier to have the phone activated, even if there is no usage. The costs are pretty high for the MVNOs like Virgin who offer prepaid as they are paying something ridiculous to the underlying carrier for the privilege of having your phone number turned on and loaded up in their switches. The wholesale rate for that is something like $5/month. So it completely makes business sense that these carriers expire your service.

        Now on the other hand, you can activate your prepaid phone with a new num
      • Doesn't T-mobile have such a plan? $100 for 1000 minutes, and "no hidden charges". I haven't used it, so I can't verify if they're being truthful about the no hidden charges.
    • by vertinox (846076)
      just don't leave those of us who only need about $25 worth of that plan in the dust.

      The problem is you can't find any plans cheaper than $39.99 these days and those usually end up being $60 after taxes and other "fees".

      I never have even come close to using up all my minutes at all at any given time.
      • by demonbug (309515)
        Yeah, it sucks that all of the cellular services have basically decided that $40 is the minimum buy-in for a monthly plan. That's why I haven't upgraded my plan in years - I still pay $30 a month (plus their innumerable taxes and fees) for ~300 any-time minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, and no roaming nationwide (I don't know how common this is these days, but it was one of the first plans to offer it). I've had it for four or five years I think, and can't change because nobody offers a comparable p
    • Using text messages doesn't mean you have to be rude. Quite the contrary, a text message can mean that you're not interrupting the receiver with a phone call about something quick, and instead sending them a quick message that they can read at their leisure. Nobody is forcing you to use it under the table at dinner. Since the advent of text messaging it is nice to no longer have to deal with the formalities and interruptions of a phone call for quick things like "Can you pick up a loaf of bread on the way h
    • Right on. My Verizon contract just expired, and I promptly moved to prepaid. I'm saving almost $30 a month. Prepaid phones are great if you don't use many minutes. My particular phone has ridiculously good deals for data and texting if I were interested in that.
    • I'm one of those rare freaks out there that actually uses the cell phone for *gasp* emergencies and quick phone calls

      I'm with you. That's how I use my cell now. But I see immense value in data over cell at work, but cost is the issue at the moment. My employer effectively censors my access to MOST websites, whether they are genuinely illicit or just offensive to their corporate heads (rumor is slashdot was censored at one point before I was here, but employee rage fixed it), or just being viewed as "anti-pr
    • by profplump (309017)
      You have a valid point about not everyone wanting unlimited access. You don't need to be so annoyingly arrogant to make it -- you come off like Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television [theonion.com].

      There are plenty of uses for SMS that don't prevent you from having a dinner conversation. And there are plenty of places where WiFi isn't available or isn't free that make wide-area wireless Internet access useful. It's a little hypocritical to whine about how you'll be ignored by the new plans while you ig
    • by springbox (853816)
      Yeah, I do that too. I also play Tetris on my phone when I get bored and forgot my DS. I don't often need to be contacted every second that I'm away from the wired phone in my room.
  • If people are going to be paying that much for unlimited wireless data, with no option for 'some wireless data', then they'll be cancelling their home phone lines in order to scrape some money back. Low broadband users might scrap that too and use their phone for internet!

    Which is a big wet dream for the mobile service providers.

    Consumers, on the other hand, don't have a limitless supply of money, especially these days where everything is getting more expensive across the board. It will be hard for them to
  • Am I the only one who's concerned with the health risks involved with all these increased dosages of electromagnetic radiation exposure?

    I'm pretty sure that we're all the Guinea pigs of tomorrow.

    Soon enough we'll start comparing the cellular industry with Tobacco industry.
    • by petabyte (238821) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:19AM (#18345509)
      Am I the only one who's concerned with the health risks involved with all these increased dosages of electromagnetic radiation exposure?

      Of course not. That is why I, like many slashdoters, avoid that big bright producer of electromagnetic radiation in the sky whenever possible. As a side benefit, my pasty white completion will soon be white enough for me to qualify as a white body and as such, EM radiation will just bounce happily away from me.

      Note: Intended as a joke and I haven't had a physics class since High School so ...
    • by GundamFan (848341)
      I hardly think that holding a radio transceiver next to your head is more than a drop in the bucket compared to the massive amounts of EM being broadcast terrestrially and from space.

      Plus it's non-ionizing radiation anyway. The most a radio wave can do tissue is heat it (like a microwave) and yes that can be harmful but it would take a staggering number of cell phones and an unrealistic continuous exposer time.
      • by toleraen (831634)
        ...it would take a staggering number of cell phones and an unrealistic continuous exposer time.

        Don't you see how relevant that is to this story though?! With unlimited plans, I'll be able to finally afford that fifth cell phone I've been looking at! I'll never have to put any of them down!
  • Just like ISPs! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by inviolet (797804) <slashdot AT ideasmatter DOT org> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:04AM (#18345409) Journal

    "Our customers have unlimited bandwidth, but some are more unlimited than others!"

    Now that we know how ISPs have chosen to implement 'unlimited', we should expect similar from the cellular companies. It won't be long before they've all merged together anyway.

    The FDA requires food products that contain no actual cheese to refrain from using the word 'cheese' in their names. And so you get things like 'cheez whiz'. I say we require ISPs and Cellular companies to do likewise. Then we'll know when our plan is truly 'unlimited' versus merely 'unlymited'. :)

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Now that we know how ISPs have chosen to implement 'unlimited', we should expect similar from the cellular companies. It won't be long before they've all merged together anyway.

      AFAIK, only one _national_ carrier ever offered an unlimited talk plan (back before 2001, but I can't really cite this) & they lost so much money on it, it was discontinued very quickly.

      Even now, with free nights/weekends, if you talk to much while roaming on another network, your provider may decide to cancel your service becaus

  • When we had the great power outage in 2003, our land phone lines continued to work, but the cell phones were hosed. My wife's greatest concern has always been the reliability of the land lines, even though they too can go out. This is probably the last main reason we haven't switched to all cellular or at least to cable phone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Svartalf (2997)
      The only reason the landlines still worked had to do with what they did to get the reliability.

      They've got huge banks of 48 volt lead-acid or better batteries that hold 48-72 hours of juice
      minimum for the entire system at "normal" usage levels. If the mobile phone towers had that
      level of backup, the mobiles probably would have worked as well.
    • My landline went out about a day into that outage. That's when I decided that landline reliability was overhyped. I figure it's easier to haul generators to cell stations than it is to keep a landline grid powered. (Cell phones might have been down too, I didn't have one then.)

      Not that cell phones don't have their problems. Mine keeps locking onto a distant tower and dropping calls rather than picking one of the three closer towers when I'm at home. Works perfectly everywhere else. (The GPS coordinate
  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:14AM (#18345475) Homepage Journal
    Today I have one land line exclusively for the 'unlimited' aspect of the MCI Neighborhood plan because that line accrues 4-5,000 (thousand) minutes a month. It costs $72 including taxes. I also have an AT&T CallVantage VoIP line for work and I believe its 'unlimited' is actually capped at 5,000 minutes/month. But before you all tell me to discard MCI landline let me tell you that it's orders of magnitude more reliable than CallVantage. If I had to pay for AT&T VoIP, I wouldn't. It sucks. Then I have 5 lines on a shared minute Sprint plan. 2,500 minutes/month. So if Sprint wants to give me 'unlimited' minutes it has to be an additional 5,000 minutes per month and it can't cost more than $50/month plus all the garbage taxes. So the price has to come down by at least half. Compared to crappy VoIP for $25/month 'unlimited' cell would have to come down in price by 3/4ths.
  • by Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:16AM (#18345483)
    How can they charge so much? In Finland, you can in example get 3G phone packet from Saunalahti that includes a 3G phone, 3000min/month to all GSM and wired phones, videophone-calls for 3000min/month, 3000 sms/month, 3000mms/month and 3G-, EDGE- and GRPS data connection with max 384 kbit/s speed and that only costs 57,95euros which already includes sales tax. To me paying 57euros from that packet is little bit expensive, I would definitely get it if it would cost 30 to 40 euros... charging 115 to 150 dollars from basically the same deal that Saunalahti offers is just crazy, I wouldn't accept it.
    • "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." - H. L. Mencken

      Part of the problem is that we are attempting to create a public utility from what started as a luxury service. We simply want to be able to talk on the phone, we're blineded by the bells and whistles, and the providers are used to being able to charge through the nose for phone calls that - as I've said before - are seemingly carried by gold-encrusted fairies on a steady diet of caviar.

      Same on a lesser scale
    • which was effectively a tax that the cell phone providers must collect from their customers. Most Americans are too economically illiterate to understand that though. Heck, there's $8.10 in taxes listed on my cell phone bill in addition to the hidden taxes.

      I read an article about a rural cell phone company that's providing cheap phone and cellular Internet access. They can do that because the big companies weren't all that interested in serving the area and thus the feds couldn't extort much money at the
      • ...just google for "3G auctions." AFAIK the total recovered by governments from sale of the 3G spectrum was substantially higher in Europe than the US (One 2001 source quotes $190bn for Europe vs $17bn for the US.)
        • Ah, I see, but they're trying to weasel out of it [out-law.com], having come to the same conclusion I did. I'm also not clear on how many American companies had to pony up for new 3G spectrum vs. reuse spectrum they already had, etc. I'd want to look at the total amount spent buying cellular spectrum, not just 3G.

    • 60 euros? What is that right now, about 80 bucks? So you're saying that a maybe 30-40 buck difference for a (data-wise at least) superior service in the US is horrible? doesn't seem that bad to me.

      The CDMA networks in America--notably Sprint+Verizon--that are currently both rolling out next gen EVDO give you SUBSTANTIALLY better speed that your 384 Kb/s. I believe the RevA evdo can give a max of around 3mbps down, 2mbps up.

      My parents have gotten rid of their cable modem connection at home, and gone with Ver
      • Well 30 to 40 dollars can make a yearly difference of 360 to 480 dollars. Also to mind is that mobile operators still have with these prices quite good marginals, so from the point of view of a consumer 30 to 40 dollars difference can be a difference between fair price and robbery. To be noted that in my original message I thought that the fair price for the service should be more like 30 to 40 euros. In the future I think that the price can actually fall to that, if consumers put enough pressure to operato
  • In the future there will be service for a little cheaper they are saying. Nextel plan with 2000 minutes for a blackberry with unlimited data is about $150. So this will just be taking it the next step, just like the current plans are a step beyond what used to be.
  • by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:28AM (#18345583) Homepage Journal
    40% of the US population will be untethered from landlines

    Tethers need not be visible. In this case people will simply be exchanging a small one for a big, thick, heavy one. Anyone remember ye good ole days, when you had to purchase phone hardware exclusively from Ma Bell? We went through that crap once before the government stepped in and forced them to allow us options. Now we're going through the same thing again with the cellular industry - except its worse. We've got phones that should be capable of doing all sorts of fantastic things, but can't (or won't) unless we buy our software from the carrier, pay the bandwidth fees to them to transfer it (because we can't just plug our phone into our PC and transfer software that way), then continue paying subscription and bandwidth fees if we want to continue using our software. We have to sign 2 year contracts just to get a phone at a reasonable price. They offer insurance that, after 6 months, isn't worthwhile because the cost of the phone has plummeted, and it's cheaper to buy a phone from a 3rd party than pay just the deductible.

    Right now I think we're entering a phase in which carriers are not really trying to compete with one another. Have you ever noticed how you can go into a town and every gas station's prices are within a couple cents of one another, and go down the road a few miles and all those stations prices are 5% cheaper? That's because they aren't competing - they're consorting together (indirectly) in their micro-market to set the prices they want. Well, that's what's going on with cell market. You shouldn't have to pay $100 a month network fees for a single cell phone just for decent service, and unfortunately that's where we stand today. Enough people have been bit by an over-minute cell phone bill, with obscene per-minute rates, that the carriers can now extort people to pay a much higher flat monthly fee simply to avoid the risk.

    Dan East
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dvnelson72 (595066)
      How can you possibly compare government mandated monopoly to not getting all the software you want? You can change carriers at will. You may feel like they are moving too slow, but think about how much more your phone does today than in 2000. Digital was just starting to take hold in 2000. We didn't have dual modes. We didn't have any data to speak of. We certainly couldn't surf the web, send emails or take/send photos. Right around then Bellsouth was offering a blackberry like device and you could s
      • How can you possibly compare government mandated monopoly to not getting all the software you want? You can change carriers at will.

        Most people end up signing a 1-2 year service contract every time they buy a new phone. Sure they can change carrier, and pay for both. They should have bought an unlocked instrument and a no contract plan? Shoulda but dinna. Go to a wireless carrier's store and they proudly display phone's no-contract price inflated higher than seized coke values to make the average cust

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chrisbro (207935)
      You shouldn't have to pay $100 a month network fees for a single cell phone just for decent service, and unfortunately that's where we stand today.

      But we do pay that, so they will charge it. [wikipedia.org]

      It's wrong to compare the cellular industry to a monopoly. Think of where this industry was 15 or even 10 years ago...how far phones have come, how reliable and widespread the connectivity is. This industry has exploded due to competition, and will continue to do so. The only way to change things, if you are that offende
  • by emj (15659)
    25/month for 3.6Mbits unlimited plan, wireless all over Stockholm. At the moment there's no problem with it at all. Though I wish I could configure it to automatically switch over to my WLAN when I'm at home, now I just continue to surf on the 3G network..
    • by walt-sjc (145127)
      Sweden is roughly the size of Montana and has 10 times the population. The problem in the US is that it is large, with sparse population except for a small number of large cities. In the large cities, there are a plethora of Cellphone companies and you can get pretty inexpensive plans. If you travel and want a national plan, you are screwed. That, and broadband service is limited to major metro areas at best. This probably won't change anytime soon.
  • I just checked plans on Verizon, and they have a 4000 minute plan, with free nights/weekends for $149.99. That is basically unlimited, since your core minutes would only be used M-F, 6am - 9pm, which is roughly 4500 minutes. Considering "In" calling and the unlikelihood that your phone would be constantly "talking" 6am-9pm I would say one might even get away with 2000 minutes at $99.00. So in other words, wheres the news. Let me know when they claim unlimited plans for like $75.00/month.
    And can someone
    • by TimeTrav (460837)
      Your math is a little off, I think you meant to calculate for the entire month, not just one week.

      6 am to 9 pm is 15 hours, or 900 minutes. Multiply by 5 weekdays and you get 4500. Multiply by 4 weeks (lets calculate for February just for the sake of simplicity) and you get 18000.

      That said, it is indeed possible to burn through 4000 minutes and I know a "road warrior" technician that uses his phone for work who has broken that amount.

  • From TFA "...plus unlimited mobile broadband access.".

    Isn't this just marketing? The last I'd read, mobile data access in the US could hardly be called "broadband".
    • by walt-sjc (145127)
      In the US, anything faster than a 56K modem is referred to as "broadband". A tragedy, I know...
  • How can we as a society on our own free will determine it's better to go with a service that has no regulations on quality or uptime? It's now a daily occurance that I or someone else I'm talking with goes through the "are you there? you're breaking up..." routing. 99% of the time when someone calls me on my cell, I ask them if they can call me back on my landline either my desk (if i'm at work, VOIP) or at home. At that point i've never had the connection "mysteriously drop out". I just don't buy the 4
  • This reminds me of those travel channel shows where they show these obscenely expensive homes and say "more and more americans are buying homes like these".

    is this guy daft? he sounds like the cloistered elite that run sony when he talks about this price point... i think he actually believes the average person can afford that!

    my immediate family income is quite a bit over median and if $100 a month were the only option we'd go without.

    so... unless we'll be getting cost of living increases in aggregate, then
  • Long Distance (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EthanS (1046100)
    Its only a matter of time, long distance calling on landlines was per minute up until about 5 or so years ago. Now most plans are unlimited long distance. Cell phones are just a few years behind. Competition drives innovationa and eventually leads to the lowest common denominator type solution, like unlimited calling.
  • I have Sprint mobile, and no land line at home.

    I have unlimited data on their EDVO network.

    I have unlimited nights and weekends.

    No charges for calling anywhere in the US.

    And I have 350 anytime minutes... far more than I use in any given month.

    All of this is only $57/month when totaled with all the taxes and fees.

    So why would I pay $30/month for just local dialing on a land line? And why would I spend $150 for unlimited mobile service when my needs are completely met for 1/3 the price?

    But a better question i
  • I would be definitely more interested in unlimited data compared to unlimited calling.

    In calling you have much more control on how many minutes you spend on a call and usually you are in control which information, important or not, comes first by steering the conversation w/ questions, interruptions, etc.

    In getting data from Internet you never know how much the page is going to weigh and you are in no control of what kind of ad crap is going to get to you first before you stop downloading.

    So, yes to unlimit
  • I get unlimited wireless now... how is SF a test market?
  • If you're a light cell phone user like me, this is probably the way to go: Virgin Mobile prepaid service allows you to buy a $20 "top up" as infrequently as once every 90 days.

    If you agree to have your credit card automatically charged once every 90 days, the rate drops to $15. Voila, $5 per month cell phone service.
  • For people like me, this would be a great deal. I use about 3000 minutes a month. Currently, I have a 4000 minute per month plan from Verizon. With the addition of unlimited data plan, I think my company pays out a little more than $200/mo for my cell phone. This would certainly be attractive for us.
  • Cricket Wireless [mycricket.com] is doing this in many areas now, and on the cheap. Unlimited everything for $50/month and no contract. Why do the "big boys" think they need to charge hundreds of dollars for similar service?
  • A cellphone dude was at work and he claimed in 6 months time, cell phone air time would be down to a penny to half a penny per minute.

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