Stating The Obvious: Unlimited Data Plans Increase Usage

from the you-think? dept

Sometimes it's fascinating to see the type of research reports that analyst firms put out. For example, one firm has put out a report supposedly warning all these wireless firms hyping up "unlimited" plans that unlimited plans tend to increase usage. You think? Really? One would have hoped, given the long history of unlimited usage plans in other fields, that the mobile operators would have understood the basic economics equation in moving to such plans. Of course, what this also ignores is that the same "unlimited" usage often helps create much greater value because it opens up the possibility of new applications and services that simply weren't possible before. If the internet had remained a pay-per-hour solution (as it was for many in the early years) it never would have become nearly as useful, and the value of having an internet connection would have been significantly lower. So, yes, it can increase the strain on a network for providers who aren't prepared (or unwilling to understand the basic incentive structure), but it also tends to increase the overall value of having access. And that should only mean good things for the firms that offer such access.

Filed Under: service, unlimited plans, usage


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  1. identicon
    Jake, 10 Apr 2008 @ 8:05pm

    Moral Of The Story

    I think ISPs can learn two things from this:
    1. It might be advisable to be more up-front about the fact that 'unlimited access/space/whatever' actually means 'as much access/space/whatever as we can give you before our servers collapse under the strain'.
    2. You can bet your bottom dollar that someone somewhere will push you to those limits and very possibly beyond if you don't stay on your toes, even if it's because they're doing something you thought only ever happened on 'The Daily WTF?'.

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