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New Mobile Plan Pools Data On Unlimited Devices

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the new-avenue-for-family-strife dept.

Businesses 68

Hugh Pickens writes "PC Magazine reports that Ting, a new reseller of Sprint's voice, 3G and WiMax services, has a new approach to mobile pricing that lets customers buy minutes, messages, and data separately, and allows households to pool them to an unlimited number of phones and data devices on one account. 'Household data plans are the next step for consumers, mainly because people are adding more connected screens and devices to their lifestyle,' writes Kevin Tofel. 'And different household members have different data needs; some use a little while others consume gobs of gigabytes. Why not average out the usage across multiple devices?' Both AT&T and Verizon have hinted at offering shared data plans in the future, but the devil's in the details, says Tofel. 'My hope is that family data plans come soon, to all carriers, just like we have for family voice and messaging plans.'"

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Obesity Unmasked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926313)

I love the pic circulating around the net. It shows one of those backscatter x-ray photos - the kind that lets you see the bones like a normal x-ray but you also see the semitransparent flesh. So anyway this pic has two x-ray photos side by side. One is a very morbidly obese person (undoubtedly American), the other is a slim person. You'll never guess what! The bones are the same size.

"I'm big boned!" Yeah sure, cuz we all know bone is jiggly and shaped like rolls of fat. On the plus side (no not plus-sized), that's one more excuse put into the trash where it belongs.

See fatties, this is really for your own good. It's called tough love. The harder it is for you to make stupid excuses that anybody with sense already knew was bogus, the more likely you are to face your terrible lack of discipline, and your inability to make simple connections like the connection between eating more calories than you burn (also known as "eating too much") and gaining weight. That's what all the lame excuses are for, because your gluttonous pride can't stand to admit just how much control you do have over it and just how much you actively chose to be what you are - fat.

Once you finally stop making dumb excuses that would insult the intelligence of a retarded dog, you can start taking constructive action to take control of your own life, lose weight, and generally stop failing at life by blaming your faults on something other than yourself. Maybe you could also realize that before you were 100 pounds overweight, you were 80 pounds overweight and before that you were 50 pounds overweight and before that you were 25 pounds overweight, and that was more than enough to think "say, this is moving in the wrong direction, if I keep doing the same thing I'll keep getting the same result, maybe I should change my lifestyle right now before this really gets out of control!"

Obesity is adult people who cannot admit they made a choice. That's why obesity is a form of mental retardation. Unlike most, it's reversible

A bit too specific isnt it? (1, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926335)

We are discussing mobile plans from a specific country
Isnt that news a little bit too specific for a global tech site?

Re:A bit too specific isnt it? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926343)

We are discussing mobile plans from a specific country
Isnt that news a little bit too specific for a global tech site?

That's paid spam.

Re:A bit too specific isnt it? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926363)

We are discussing mobile plans from a specific country Isnt that news a little bit too specific for a global tech site?

1. Slashdot is an American site. It says so right in the FAQ you obviously didn't bother to read before asking stupid questions. (Not knowing doesn't make it stupid, that the slightest effort to inform yourself would have been successful does).

2. Mobile trends that really succeed in one country are sometimes implemented in other countries.

3. If any story is not to your liking feel free to submit a better one, or to move on to something you do approve of, your highness.

Re:A bit too specific isnt it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926423)

We are discussing mobile plans from a specific country
Isnt that news a little bit too specific for a global tech site?

Why should /. be limited to global news? While this article seems... iffy to me, sometimes localized news can be just as important.

Re:A bit too specific isnt it? (4, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926481)

Not if this is the first of its kind and could be copied around the world. That's the hope right?

Re:A bit too specific isnt it? (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38927813)

Only, it's not the first of its kind.

http://www.rogers.com/web/content/dataSharing?setLanguage=en&setProvince=ON [rogers.com]

Just off the top of my head. They were flogging that as a great new feature a year ago. Not that I would ever buy from that particular company, I think they're evil incarnate. But they did offer data sharing a long time ago. Putting it on an "unlimited" data plan is new, but the main reason Rogers doesn't do that is that they don't have unlimited data plans. I imagine that if they did have unlimited data plans in the first place, they'd offer it too... probably for a price that's just as obscenely out to lunch as the one that's discussed in TFA: for what Rogers would charge to share 3GB of data and 200 minutes between two phones, you can get two unlimited everything phones from Wind... unlimited data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited long distance.

Similarly, I doubt very much that the companies TFA is discussing will be particularly friendly with their pricing....

Re:A bit too specific isnt it? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928483)

The optimist is me says they will if people in a sizeable manner starting taking Ting up on their offer.

Btw I said 'if' in the previous post. I live in the UK so I didn't make to make a sure statement as I didn't really know. But thanks for letting me know.

Re:A bit too specific isnt it? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926497)

I'm not the target demographic, either, even though I'm in the US. I live alone and seldom have more than 3 devices sending/receiving data and have unlimited plans for both wired internet and mobile. But the concept is worth discussing, just as stuff BT pulls is.

Data, minutes, SMS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926387)

"Minutes" is an antiquated concept. It's all data. VoIP is here to stay.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (2, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926431)

IDK about cell networks, but many landline networks are still circuit switched I think

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926551)

No, they are not. There's a dedicated line from the phone to the local exchange, and at least if you can get DSL, the circuit ends there. The digitization of the phone network was the reason why 56k modems worked: The fastest mode was quasi-digital instead of modulation/demodulation.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (2)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926939)

The physical circuits are long gone in most places but on conventional digital phone networks keeping a call open keeps a reserved slice of bandwidth (a "virtual circuit") for the length of the call. Afaict on the landline side while telcos are starting to roll out VOIP there is still a lot of conventional virtual circuit based network around too. On the mobile side afaict virtually all phones in use today are still using circuit switched voice protocols (LTE is supposed to change this). IIRC circuit switched calls* also have priority over packet switched data traffic at least in GSM.

*You can have a circuit switched data call with GSM but almost noone does it anymore.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

TuringCheck (1989202) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928763)

Mobile phones sold in the last 7 years or so don't even have CSD or Fax support anymore. No regrets - they were low performance and a PITA to support. The packet switched data is superior in all ways.

On the other hand about 95% of all telephone calls (fixed or mobile) use at least on one segment virtual circuits over various TDM transports, even if in some parts of the world the SS7 signaling has migrated to the SCTP/IP based SIGTRAN. Very few calls are converted directly to VoIP or other packet based voice transports.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (2)

sorak (246725) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926633)

"Minutes" is an antiquated concept. It's all data. VoIP is here to stay.

People still would prefer to know how much of the final product they are getting, rather than something that can be used to estimate the quantity of the final product. If your primary use for a cell phone is conversation (mine is not), then you don't request 1gb worth of usage. You want to know how much talk time is available. Just as someone at a restaurant wouldn't want to request $3 worth of hamburger, or chicken measured by the amount of feed needed to produce that quantity of meat.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926845)

A minute of talk time consumes about 200kB per minute full duplex for typical mobile phone quality. Let's add 100% packet overhead and another 100% for better quality, so we end up with 800kB per minute. Then a gigabyte is 1250 minutes with excellent quality, or about 3000 minutes at normal quality. Do you really think anyone is going to wonder how many minutes they get out of their data plan when loading a typical web page is equivalent to 5 minutes of talk time? SMS makes this even clearer: Do you worry about the number of instant messages you can send with your data allowance? No, you know that it's "enough".

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926921)

Do you really think anyone is going to wonder how many minutes they get out of their data plan when loading a typical web page is equivalent to 5 minutes of talk time?

4 megabytes or so seems insanely high for one web page to me.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38927021)

Average is approaching 1 meg for pages these days.

Is it 1 MB per page or 1 MB per site? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38927463)

Is it 1 MB per page or 1 MB per site? Say you visit more than one page on a given site. All the CSS, all the JavaScript, and all the UI images will be fetched from cache instead of the network. Of course that wouldn't apply to a usage model like a Slashdot user who hits only one page from each site while RTFA (reading the featured articles).

Re:Is it 1 MB per page or 1 MB per site? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38927515)

page

Re:Is it 1 MB per page or 1 MB per site? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38930039)

People are stupid. I've had internet on my phone for years, but sites still act as if their traffic all comes from computers. Duh, if your pages are a megabyte and won't display properly on their phone of course they'll stay away and all your traffic will be from computers. Kind of like the sites that used to greet you with "You need Internet Explorer to visit this site" and when you wrote them they were like "well, 90% of our traffic is IE." Did web developers all ride the short bus to school? Or are normal people all that fucking stupid?

Back ten years ago my old gaming site was full of bells and whistles, and the front page was considered huge* (dialup days) at 250k. How in the hell are they making pages four times that size? It's insane. Are web developers instructed to leave their brains at the door, or are they all using bad tools?

* If my old site was the prototype for web2.0 I apologize profusely to everyone!

Re:Is it 1 MB per page or 1 MB per site? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38930427)

How in the hell are they making pages four times that size?

I can think of a few causes:

  • Some of it probably comes from JavaScript frameworks such as JQuery that abstract over the differences between IE and all the other browsers, which implement W3C DOM.
  • Some tools that generate HTML auto-indent the HTML to make it easier for a human to read in Notepad instead of leaving out the indentation and letting the tree of elements speak for itself. This ends up putting a lot of extra space or tab characters into the mark-up, and a lot of web servers can't gzip it away because they don't gzip dynamic pages.
  • Extra divs needed to work around the lack of rounded corners and the like in IE.
  • Banner rotation scripts on the front pages of online stores such as Phil's Hobby Shop [philshobbyshop.com] might rotate among three 40 KiB JPEGs.
  • If scrollable elements within the page have images, the web browser might fetch all the images, even those not yet scrolled into view. Again, on Phil's Hobby Shop, scroll down to the list of paint-by-numbers near the bottom.
  • New sites are more likely to use custom fonts in headings. These can be either Flash fonts for IE or TrueType fonts embedded with CSS @font-face for everything else.
  • Though CSS can hide boxes on a mobile device, you're still sending all the HTML. It's possible to send lighter HTML to mobile user agents, but for one thing, a lot of Slashdot users are under the impression that user-agent detection is deprecated, and for another, there have been some legal problems with a user-agent database [slashdot.org] . Some sites just punt on this and push mobile users to their iOS or Android app.

Re:Is it 1 MB per page or 1 MB per site? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38932533)

Are web developers instructed to leave their brains at the door, or are they all using bad tools?

These are not mutually exclusive answers.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38937597)

Do you have a source for that claim? (i'm not nessacerally saying it's wrong but the handful of pages I took a quick look at all seemed to be much smaller and I'd like to know how the number was arrived at and what assumptions were made)

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38938005)

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38938251)

http://www.websiteoptimization.com/speed/tweak/average-web-page/ [websiteoptimization.com]

"Charzinski's 2010 paper shows the beneficial effects of caching on performance. Table 1 shows that the average top 500 home page goes from 507K and 64.7 requests upon initial cache-cleared load to 98.5K and 16.1 requests."

As I suspected it seems like the "nearly a megabyte" headline figure you quoted is for loading a page with nothing in cache and the average pageload is likely to be much lower.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38927609)

800KB is way too high. Mumble only uses about 40kbit(300KB/min) for high quality VoIP. That assumes you're talking the entire time. Anytime you stop talking, it about drops to 0.

Web pages are in KB, not MB. Heavy everyday browsing on my smart phone, even media sites like YouTube, is only a few hundred MB at the end of the month. Based on your estimates, I would reach my average monthly download usage in a few hours instead of 30 days.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 2 years ago | (#38942407)

A minute of talk time consumes about 200kB per minute full duplex for typical mobile phone quality. Let's add 100% packet overhead and another 100% for better quality, so we end up with 800kB per minute. Then a gigabyte is 1250 minutes with excellent quality, or about 3000 minutes at normal quality. Do you really think anyone is going to wonder how many minutes they get out of their data plan when loading a typical web page is equivalent to 5 minutes of talk time? SMS makes this even clearer: Do you worry about the number of instant messages you can send with your data allowance? No, you know that it's "enough".

That's my point. Some people don't use their phone for web, ever. Why should they want to do this math? For many of them, they just want a straight and simple answer, even if it actually gives them less service. I can understand, for example, that a well-compressed data stream* will use a variable bit-rate compression, that if combined with efficient background noise reduction could result in conversations using a highly variable amount of data, based on how much of it is noise and how much is silence. Still, many of the people in my community would rather hear "you're getting 450 minutes of talk time" than "you're getting 2.5gb of data usage and your typical conversation uses anywhere from 64-128kps, meaning that you are getting 650-325 minutes", or the more likely advertising response of "you're getting up to 700 minutes"

Of course, I do live in a conservative community.

* And I don't know if common voip solutions do this

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (2)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928933)

People are starting to equate data size with other sizes already. How many minutes of music does an MP3 Player hold? How many pictures does a 2GB SD card hold? etc. Most ISPs even have a handy little chart that shows you.

Re:Data, minutes, SMS (1)

OldTOP (1118645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926827)

Sort of. But all data is not created equal. VoIP requires many small packets which consume more packet switching capacity than a smaller number of larger packets typical of other data. VoIP also typically requires higher QoS than other data. Of course that can all be swamped by streaming video.

Good idea (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926451)

Why stop there? Why not pool everyone's data together, and charge us all the same price?

Re:Good idea (4, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926537)

What would you prefer, being charged per megabyte or per device? Because most people are charged per device. $40/month for data on your phone, fine, but then you want a sim card in your iPad? That's another data plan at $40/month, regardless of how much you use.

The article is proposing a usage-based system that's independent of the number of devices. That's a much better arrangement IMHO.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926617)

*bzzzzz...
the article is proposing a system where you decide to buy minutes before the fact you use them, otherwise.. what's wrong with just paying per mb as you use them? (because the operator wants to sell you that 40 bucks plan and then never use it for anything meaningful use case, because you'd run out of data)

why not just 2 bucks a day for unlimited per sim. some networks do that.

most people would _actually_ rather be charged per device than per 5gb, too, so this is just bullshit.

Re:Good idea (1)

sudonim2 (2073156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38935909)

With tethering and WiFi Hotspots, if my phone has unlimited data, every other device I have has unlimited data. The only question is how many hoops I have to jump through to bypass my carrier wanting to charge me for using my devices in the most obvious fashion.

Re:Good idea (1)

OldTOP (1118645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926837)

If I had teenage kids I might agree with you.

Re:Good idea (2)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928077)

As someone who uses almost no data, I don't see why I should subsidize your mobile internet usage.

Re:Good idea (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928505)

As someone who uses data, I don't see why I should be subsidizing your use of all the infrastructure that gets created because of people using data.

Re:Good idea (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933969)

As someone who uses almost no data, I don't see why I should subsidize your mobile internet usage.

I'm sure the early adopters feel the same way about you...

Cellular bandwidth is ephemeral... Pumping a GByte of data costs next to nothing. It's expanding the network to handle a large number of people doing that at the same time, which is expensive. And in that case, a technological solution is desirable and workable.. If a certain cell tower is maxed-out, throttle the highest bandwidth users until there's excess capacity. Then add more cells only when even the low bandwidth users are being throttled. Problem solved forever. Heavy users get all the excess capacity they want without insane charges, and light users get fast speeds and aren't negatively impacted at all.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38934219)

I like this idea. In fact, why stop at data? Why not pool all resources together and charge everything the same price for any use thereof?

'My hope is that family data plans come soon' (4, Insightful)

exploder (196936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926557)

'My hope is that family data plans come soon, to all carriers, just like we have for family voice and messaging plans.'

The family plan will come to your carrier just as soon as they've worked out the necessary details, i.e. made sure you'll end up paying just a little more than you do now.

contracts (2)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926607)

ahh, i can just see the divorce settlement arguments already, over who owns the contract, who owns the bill, and who's going to pay for little johnny's excessive Minecraft and Runescape usage...

There will never be a FAIR plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38926623)

"House Wins" ALWAYS. All the plans are always tiered towards making you pay more than you do now.
First there was regular per usage plan.
Then there was regular unlimited usage plan for little bit more.
Then there was unlimited but its really limited plan.
Then there was regular usage plan for little bit more money
Then there will be "family" data share plan for more money
Then there will be "family" unlimited data plan for more money
Then there will be "family" unlimited but its really limited plan.. ..........keep going.. anything and everything to keep increasing what they can extract out of a household

Wow, "New"? Really? (4, Informative)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926667)

I'm in Canada, with Rogers, and while they do suck, I have had a family data plan for 1GB (actually I share everything else too) with my wife for 3 years now..

I find it extremely odd that the US does not have this... it's like hearing they don't have wheels, or fire.

Re:Wow, "New"? Really? (1)

creepynut (933825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38926955)

The US? Forget that, as far as I know none of the other carriers in Canada do it either! I'm on Telus and they certainly don't although I'm not paying for a data plan at all.

Re:Wow, "New"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38927197)

What is this thing you call "fire"???

- Gorak

Re:Wow, "New"? Really? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38927871)

So, in Canada, a rate plan is considered 'technology'.

Re:Wow, "New"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38928801)

If we had to rely on the cell companies down here, we wouldn't have wheels, and fire would cost $.25 per match.

Re:Wow, "New"? Really? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933909)

I find it extremely odd that the US does not have this... it's like hearing they don't have wheels, or fire.

It's not "fire" it's "sub-prime mortgages"... This isn't some fundamental feature, it's a billing gimmick.

Read TFA... You'd probably get a BETTER deal going with Virgin Mobile's normal (unlimited) plan, unless you have several devices you use, but barely ever.

Family Data Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38927075)

We have four haha smart phones with Verizon on a "family share" plan. I've asked Vz repeatedly when that plan will encompass data usage which is per phone now. They acknowledge that it is the single most frequent complaint about their service offerings. But an earlier poster got it right: they'll do something after they figure out how to charge even more...

Economics 101 (2)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38927173)

They will sell their services at the greatest price which the market will bear. In other words, the price will only come down when we stop merely gritting our teeth and forego the data plan or switch to a competitor with a better deal.

Re:Economics 101 (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928423)

the price will only come down when we stop merely gritting our teeth and forego the data plan

Virgin Mobile USA won't activate a voice-only plan on an Android phone, even if I have Wi-Fi everywhere I plan to use the data features.

Re:Economics 101 (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38929527)

True, foregoing a data plan these days usually means foregoing a smart phone.

Re:Economics 101 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38930473)

Then how do I run smartphone apps that aren't ported to Windows or Linux without a smartphone?

Re:Economics 101 (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933875)

Then how do I run smartphone apps that aren't ported to Windows or Linux without a smartphone?

Android has been ported to x86 (90%+ of Android apps are java-derivative based, and so, architecture agnostic), and the Android emulator runs on Linux and Windows.

Re:Economics 101 (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933979)

Virgin Mobile USA won't activate a voice-only plan on an Android phone, even if I have Wi-Fi everywhere I plan to use the data features.

But you WANT data service on your smart phone. Being able to look-up something when you're in the absolute middle of nowhere is the killer app of smart phones. As a single example, practically all the driving-direction apps on smart phones are ONLINE apps, so when you take a detour, it needs to hit the servers for a new route.

Cheaper or Coverage? Pick one (2)

rec9140 (732463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928011)

A quickie check for my needs shows a about a $20/month savings, as I would get hotspot which VZW charges for...

BUT the big LOSS is COVERAGE. Like the adage says, location, location, location, and sprexhostgin has crap coverage, period. Where my VZW has full bars.

So huge loss of coverage in areas I need and might need it to save $240 year and get a feature that while it might be nice, if I have no coverage is useless.

Thanks, nut not thanks.

I like the plan idea to mix and match what I need, but first off you offer no UNLIMITED (that means NO DATA CAP), which I have since I've been with VZW since it was BAM.

Offer an UNLIMITED (NO CAP) data option, move to VZW for your network, then we'll talk.

Re:Cheaper or Coverage? Pick one (2)

mdf356 (774923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928139)

I'm on Verizon, and the unlimited data probably doesn't help me. I'm not a big mobile user. Oddly, the minutes for our two iPhones are shared with my wife, but they didn't share the texts per month, so I have some and she doesn't.

How nice, AT&T (2)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 2 years ago | (#38928253)

At&T used to offer shared data on their family plans. Unfortunately, they changed it to individual shortly before we went to smart phones. Unfortunately, it's AT&T or Verizon in this area and at the time, the plans worked out slightly cheaper under AT&T. If there was someone who offered something with sane pricing, I'd be on them in an instant but there's that whole government enforced monopoly (quadropoly?)/cartel thing going on. I'm thinking of going prepay which actually seems to offer the better pricing model.

Re:How nice, AT&T (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933863)

Unfortunately, it's AT&T or Verizon in this area

Sprint does (free) roaming on Verizon, and they have cheaper plans.

I'm thinking of going prepay which actually seems to offer the better pricing model.

Of course it does. Contracts have always been scams, hide the up-front cost, and charge 2-4X as much per month, oh yeah, and throw in taxes and hidden fees.

Why not allow competition? (2)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38930383)

Why not have more companies that provide phone, messaging, and data service? Why allow TMobile and AT&T to retain their near monopoly over GSM service in the US? Sure, they may be flirting with a family data plan, but I'm know that it will be just like their family talk plans, overpriced and unfair. The only way that mobile phone service in the US is going to improve is to have more providers and stop allowing TMobile and AT&T to stifle competition.

Re:Why not allow competition? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38933943)

Why not have more companies that provide phone, messaging, and data service?

There are several more companies. Why aren't you using them?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mobile_network_operators_of_the_Americas#United_States [wikipedia.org]

Why allow TMobile and AT&T to retain their near monopoly over GSM service in the US?

What's so compelling about GSM? Is it really so crucial to you to be able to use the same phone when traveling across continents?

Re:Why not allow competition? (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38935505)

I find it funny that you're defending mobile service in the US. Do you own a passport? Most people in the US don't. I do actually travel frequently outside the US, and having one Android phone for anywhere I find myself is valuable. Are you a shill for the phone company?

Re:Why not allow competition? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38937265)

Most people in the US don't. I do actually travel frequently outside the US

Perfect. So you're directly admitting that your requirement for GSM is one that "most people" don't have. You also implicitly admit that you know there are alternatives to that would eliminate that need. So basically you're ranting about nothing but the fact that the US market isn't designed the way you'd most like it to be.

Re:Why not allow competition? (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38935511)

Not to mention that support for non-GSM Android phones seems to be being scrapped.

Very Significant Detail left out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38931131)

a very significant detail has been left out of this report everywhere i've seen it...

if you signup for the $10, 100mb data plan but go over, you are charged for the $15, 500mb the following month. afterwards, if your usage goes back down to fall under the 100mb limit, then your bill goes back to $10. it works this way for the txt and voice portions of the plans also.

essential, they are only charging you for what you use...but in discrete portions with delayed billing.

i really like this.

Re:Very Significant Detail left out (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38935059)

The original idea was not to have any "plan" at all, but simply charge customers for what they had used in the previous month. So if you used only enough to qualify for the $10 plan, you pay $10 at the end of the month.. If you used enough for the $25 plan, you would pay $25.

The focus groups hated it, because they weren't able to choose a plan like they were accustomed to. So they changed it to the current system where you pick a plan and if you go over it you pay for the next tier. It works exactly the same, but the same focus groups loved it.

People are funny that way.

What does the T stand for? (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38932227)

You may know Ting better as TUCOWS.

I wonder if they have an option for downloading Trumpet Winsock onto your phone.

Multiple SIM cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38941727)

Sounds great if you can have multiple SIM cards under one account.

One for your phone, tablet, wifi modem, gps tracker, car, etc. Would be much easier and then you could either track the device if its lost or stolen or kill or blacklist that SIM if never found.

I currently have a WiFi modem I take everywhere for my devices (and friends devices) to connect to with me (eg Nintendo 3DS online gaming while on public transport) but if everything has its own SIM card it cuts out the need for a modem and everything can be connected independently.

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