U.S. Carriers Become Dumb Pipes

I’m honestly floored that this happened so quickly. Officially today, Verizon Wireless announced that it was offering a new unlimited plan, and was immediately flanked by T-Mobile and AT&T with similar plans. Sprint Nextel has had theirs for a short while now, and this was all started by MetroPCS and other MVNOs offering similar unlimited offerings.

The exact details of each monthly package aren’t really relevant, but if you’d like to read them, you can check out Verizon’s, AT&Ts, Sprint’s, and T-Mobile’s. The important and relevant part of all this is that the four major carriers in the United States have now officially become dumb pipes. Sure, the plans are slightly pricey, most hovering around $120 for minutes and messaging of some sort. However, it’s only a matter of time before data is added to these and the prices begin to drop. Back to School season is coming in 6 months, followed by the Christmas phone shopping season, if you don’t believe me.

You now have your phone, you pay monthly for the privilege of it being ‘active’, and that’s it. No more counting minutes, messages, or data. Mobile service in the U.S. is no longer a luxury, with more well-to-do customers getting more abilities, functionality, and features than someone else. It’s unlimited. Everyone has the same.

The doors have now been opened for the carriers to *finally* compete where they should have been all along – network quality (not advertising, but actually DELIVERING), innovative features such as Spinvox messaging and the like, and other quality of service (and not quantity of service) offerings.

I, for one, am thoroughly excited to see how this pans out in the market.

6 replies on “U.S. Carriers Become Dumb Pipes”

A bit early, but yes, this is essentially finally happening. Unfortnuately, until the adoption of devices in the mid- and high-end increase, we will still see no attempts on the side of carriers to greatly improve network quality and reliability.

Honestly speaking, I don’t think any carrier can afford to have even 50% of their users maximizing their networks. If they could, then the pipes would have already been bursting in some areas with atypical usage.

Antoine of MMM/Brighthand’s last blog post..Carnival of the Mobilists 112

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