This week AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson spoke up with the New York Times on his biggest regret, that being AT&T’s first introduction of unlimited mobile data for smartphone customers. This will probably not come as a huge surprise for customers who had less than an entertaining time about two years ago when unlimited data died for the first time on the network with tiered data bumping up costs each year since. But for AT&T, and every other mobile carrier for that matter, it only makes basic business sense (and dollars) that you’d make a customer pay for a product based on how much of it they take.
For data is more like soup than it is like a hammer, so says Stephenson in so many words, where you can bang a hammer as much as you want and it costs no more for the manufacturer to have made that hammer – the soup requires resources to keep fresh. AT&T’s data, said Stephenson this week, costs AT&T more the more you use it – “Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital.” Stephenson went on to mention the line we’re speaking about here at length:
“My only regret was how we introduced pricing. Thirty dollars, and you get all you can eat” – Stephenson
Now we’re here in 2012 and there are no “real” unlimited data plans, with even those that advertise such using Data Throttling to keep their costs in check. What do you think of this situation, folks? Do you have another way of looking at the situation as a customer?