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Fair price for an unlimited wireless data plan?

Displaying poll results.
$10 or less
  4453 votes / 15%
$11 to $20
  5387 votes / 19%
$21 to $30
  6938 votes / 24%
$31 to $40
  3852 votes / 13%
$41 to $50
  2343 votes / 8%
$51 to $60
  808 votes / 2%
$61 or more
  644 votes / 2%
In real money or Verizon money?
  3431 votes / 12%
27856 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Fair price for an unlimited wireless data plan?

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  • by mynis01 (2448882) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @12:41AM (#40682041)
    All the "unlimited wireless" services I've tried are not worth $60 a year. If the speeds and reliability weren't so vastly inferior to home connections, and companies stopped charging extra for tethering, then I might consider it.
    • by TWX (665546)
      It really needs to evolve like dialup Internet did, going from an hours/month billing plan to true unlimited, then to how broadband and other consumer level high-speed Internet came in. Providers need to get off their butts and build networks that'll take it, then just make that the plan. Don't get their panties in a wad because 0.01% of users are going insane, they're just a drop in the bucket.

      Do the same for talk time. Just make it flat.
      • How do you build a network "that'll take it" if there isn't enough wireless spectrum available in dense cities for everyone to watch HD kittens on youtube at the same time?
        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          not enough wireless spectrum can be balanced with more cells emitting less power. There is more cells but no more overlap between them since they emit on fewer areas.

          The real issue these days is "how do I convince those buildings that a cell tower on their rooftop is no health threat". Because in urban areas it becomes more and more complicated to be allowed a cell tower where you need it.

          • by TWX (665546)

            The real issue these days is "how do I convince those buildings that a cell tower on their rooftop is no health threat"

            Generally little pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents on them helps...

    • Then don't tether. Make your phone a wireless hotspot and use that to log on with your wifi device.
    • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @11:00AM (#40686145) Journal

      My home connection is far inferior to any data plan. If I get more than about 30 feet from the base it drops the call and wont reconnect until after i physically go to the wall and put the antenna back in a little hole in the wall.

  • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @01:03AM (#40682153)
    My wife pays $25 for "unlimited" data (2.5G at full EVDO revB speed then throttled to 1xRTT speeds), unlimited texts, and 300 voice minutes a month. Overage voice minutes are just $.10. This deal's no longer available but despite it being a no contract service they have grandfather her in at that rate. You can get almost the same deal if you go with an iphone and use a credit card to auto pre-pay each months service ($30). There are no additional fees beyond local sales tax if any. You'll need good Sprint service where you live to take advantage since VM plans don't roam.
    • This. Have a VM Optimus V on the $25 plan, and though the phone/data speeds aren't the greatest, I enjoy not having to deal with the crap that AT&T and Verizon are giving their customers now. 300 minutes gets to be a bit tight sometimes, but I just found the free Vonage app that I can use to make calls over data for free.
  • by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @01:06AM (#40682167)

    ...for all your market research needs!

    Let's hope the people paying for this never get around to reading that third bullet point under the results.

  • After all, market forces are surely keeping prices as low as possible!

    To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that maybe someone has been less than truthful?
  • In case anyone isn't aware, Verizon Math [blogspot.com] refers to a situation in 2006 where a Verizon customer service rep quoted the data rate as .002 cents/kB. In fact, it was $0.002/kB, which is two orders of magnitude higher.

    I see this all the time in places such as coffee shops: "Extra shot .50 cents."
    • I see this all the time in places such as coffee shops: "Extra shot .50 cents."

      You should hold them to that. Hand them a penny and ask for change.

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        I see this all the time in places such as coffee shops: "Extra shot .50 cents."

        You should hold them to that. Hand them a penny and ask for change.

        Just don't do it to a REAL pedant: they will take out a gun and say "you sure you don't want them both?"

  • What does it mean by "wireless"? 3G, 4G as in cellular wireless, or city wide Wifi? I take "wireless" to mean "wifi" as in 802.11b/g/n.

    What does it mean by $? NZD? AUD? USD?

    I'd pay over NZD$60 for a wireless (as in wifi) unlimited plan, so long as unlimited truly means unlimited, and the latency and bandwidth were acceptable.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:34AM (#40682963)

    Rough sample pricing of unlimited data in Finland. You can also check out the coverage map of Elisa [elisa.fi] (the biggest carrier).

    512 kb/s: 5€/month
    2 Mb/s: 10€/month
    21 Mb/s: 15€/month
    42 Mb/s: 20€/month

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @04:16AM (#40683191)
    It depends if unlimited means unlimited or "unlimited with a fair usage limit of 500GB/month"
    • by toruonu (1696670)

      I'd not mind 500GB/month :D For me the fair use is 30GB/month, but so far they've not capped my speed even if I used 110GB... Could it be you meant 500MB/month :)

  • Unlimited? At what speed? With what kind of reliability? With what kind of coverage?
    I can give you an unlimited plan for $5, but it's going to be slow as shite compared to what I could provide with $50 per month.
  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @06:29AM (#40683817) Journal

    I'm going to assume a fellow slashdotter would know what unlimited ACTUALLY means and therefore $61 is incredibly cheap for unlimited data especially over a service which has limited bandwidth as it's shared over a spectrum - if every customer had unlimited AND used unlimited - even with huge backbone links to the telco it would still slow to a crawl.....

    The Australian liberal party keep trying to put down the Australian labour party because of the national broadband network (fibre) because "wireless will soon catch up anyhow" - in a clear display of not understanding how the technology works in the slightest.

    In Australia my workplace pays $22 per month for 600mb. Yes, 600mb of 3G data per month. - Mind you it's with the best telco in the country - I get coverage Australia wide and the speeds are genuinely quite reliable.

    Wireless should not be used for downloading movies, watching 60 minute HD youtube clips or whatever else. You should NOT be streaming internet radio, over 3G all day long to your phone, it's absoloutely and utterly in-efficient, you're polluting the damn airwaves using a completely illogical method of getting data to yourself. Use 3G wisely and it will perform well. Abuse it and expect to be charged insane amounts of money and or have poor performance.

    I do think $22 is a bit steep for 600mb but I think say $10 for 1gb would be absoloutely fine and reasonable pricing.
    Would I like to see it cheaper? You're damn right I would but I'm realistic and understand how the technology works and how much it costs to deploy.

    "Unlimited" over 3G as a concept is just utterly gross to me.

    • You should NOT be streaming internet radio, over 3G all day long to your phone, it's absoloutely and utterly in-efficient

      So if someone wants to listen to music other than the music that the major labels pay the FM stations to play, how should he more efficiently listen to such music while away from fixed line broadband? I suspect your answer to the previous question involves buying singles or albums while on fixed line broadband and then loading them onto the internal storage of a portable music player. If so, then how should someone more efficiently discover such music in order to buy it?

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        So you would like to listen other than 'pop' music while away from fixed line broadband, I can 100% understand this - I don't listen to much music to be honest - but I certainly don't listen to pop music.

        Firstly, unlike the moron who replied to you I'm not a luddite.

        What I would (and do) is KEEP A COPY OF THE FUCKING ALBUM on my mp3 player. Generally they are about 150mb. Considering I have 48gb of storage in my Galaxy S3 - I can afford to carry around at least 100 albums with me, without even batting an

        • how should someone more efficiently discover such music in order to buy it?

          KEEP A COPY OF THE FUCKING ALBUM

          Streaming is advertiser-supported, but keeping a copy costs real money. I can't afford to keep a copy of every album ever released. So how should I discover which albums I want to spend money on keeping?

          Do you demand that the water company constantly run a hose to your vehicle so you can have water on a road trip / camping?

          If tap water were advertiser-supported...

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I agree with you that unlimited is not an acceptable plan anyway. We should pay for usage. I don't want to pay the same rate as a user who spends all day long watching movies on his iphone when I hardly use more than 300 MB. I think we should pay for usage. They should also give volume discounts, so if you use 100MB, it should be $1.50 , if you use 1 GB, it could be something like $10, if you use 2 GB, it is only $18, and if you use 10 GB, it should be maybe $60.
  • Canadian $, Australian $ or Zimbabwe $?
  • I don't care one bit whether companies are getting "fair" prices for their products, even if they're doing fire sales and losing money. I'll just buy as cheap as possible. Likewise I don't expect companies to care one bit about "fair" prices either, they'll charge whatever the market can bear and if that means obscene profit margins they'll take it. What you get from this is nothing but a feelgood number, a price we'd think is nice while not being totally unreasonable like saying we want infinity speed with

  • Real "unlimited" or Verizon "unlimited," which is unlimited up until the point where you hit their limit, after which you can't use the data plan without paying them more?
  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @08:44AM (#40684699) Journal
    My employer was paying for an iPhone 4 since it was basically an electronic tether, but when the contract ended, they announced they were not longer paying for the phones. They allowed us to take ownership of them, but we'd have to get our own plans. The least expensive plan I could find through AT&T was $60, $40 for voice & $20 for 300 MB data, no text service included. Any text I sent or received would cost $0.20. This struck me as a little expensive so I started looking around and found this [straighttalksim.com]. Allegedly, they do start to pester you if you use more than 2 GB of data, but I never come even close to that because I'm almost always somewhere that there is a Wi-Fi connection.

    I swapped out my SIM, registered the phone and restarted it. Voice & text worked right away. I had to go to this site [unlockit.co.nz] to get a new certificate to change the APN. After another restart, data worked. The last monkey-wrench was getting MMS working, but I found a work-around for it here [howardforums.com], which involved simply modifying some XML files in a backup, and then restoring the phone from the backup.

    Of course, you could simply get the phone unlocked by AT&T, but that would have cost me $18 to transfer the phone to my name, and I'd also need to pay for a month of service through them for $60, which I would not need. I would have jail-broke the phone, but I plan to upgrade when iOS 6 comes out.
    • by tompaulco (629533)
      They allowed us to take ownership of them, but we'd have to get our own
      Do they still expect you to answer the cell phone when they call? If so, did they give you a raise since they reduced other parts of your benefit package?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @09:17AM (#40684997)

    The data cap shouldn't determine the cost - the speed and QOS should.

  • How the hell did so many people answer less than "$61 or more"?

    I recently picked up a 10GB/month mobile hotspot plan for $80 a month (technically an LTE plan, but I have nothing but EVDO in my area). And yes, I shopped around - In a few niche markets I could have done a bit better, but basically all the major carriers came out in the same ballpark.

    I see a lot of people posting their rate in Euros, so yeah, we all know the US ranks right up there with your average 3rd world country when it comes to tele
    • by jonnythan (79727)

      I answered $61 or more. Across most of the country, *cable* internet with no data cap and speeds on the order of 5-15 Mbps are generally $40-$60.

      Wireless is a whole other ballgame. 3G data speeds in most of the nation on most carriers are pretty crappy. 4G speeds are mostly pretty good, but only because there aren't a whole lot of people on them.

      Actual unlimited wireless data should be expensive. It's expensive to provide and it's a shared space. It's literally financially impossible for carriers to provide

    • by jxander (2605655)

      The question isn't "What do you pay?" ...

      The question is "What's fair?"

      I'm guessing a lot of people are at a price point they don't consider fair.

    • Why would I want to pay more than $60 for unlimited data when I am getting it for about $40 (from Wind Mobile)?
  • Few here would possess the knowledge required to gauge fair price. Fair price must depend on what it costs to actually provide the service and without knowledge of what those numbers are it is near impossible to determine.

    • I live in a population center so my monthly data use is very cheap to provide. It can't be "fair" that I pay as much as those who live in the countryside, thus subsidizing their data plans. However, my choice of operator was influenced by my research on which one had the best network coverage (I want to be able to use the data if I visit countryside, though I rarely do). It can't be "fair" that those who live in the countryside have to pay the full cost of having a network there.

      Cost per customer for oper

      • And that's part of the point. How do you judge what is fair? The poll seems to suggest we base fair on some abstract notion with some imagined cost to the carrier. There is almost an implicit suggestion that fees are 100% profit for carriers and thus they should be able to provide service for free.

  • In France we have now Free Mobile : 30â a month, no bandwidth cap, no limitation on web access. Right now, only TCP and IPv4 is available, that will probably change once they have finished setting up their own network completely (right now they have bandwidth exchanges agreements with another cellphone company)
  • by tmosley (996283) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @12:53PM (#40687665)
    Unlimited means that you could resell your bandwidth and make infinite money, given some hacking and engineering skills.

    How about we charge like we do for utilities? You pay for what you use, but it is so cheap you don't have to worry about it, and the pricing is continuous (ie none of these sudden $25 jumps in monthly costs). At the same time, there is an incentive not to use an infinite supply of a limited commodity. Further, the company gets paid according to use, so they have no excuse not to build their infrastructure to handle legitimately growing demand.
  • I'm amazed that some people think that $10 is a legitimate cost.

    You have to realize that the company:

    1) needs to provide you the server
    2) needs to make a profit (or they will be crushed by a competitor that does)
    3) needs to maintain the current infrastructure
    4) needs to implement new infrastructure

    You simply aren't going to get that for $10 a month. $20 might be in the ballpark.

    • by Ironchew (1069966)

      I'm amazed that some people think that $10 is a legitimate cost.

      You have to realize that the company...

      Yeah, if the choice is between Coke and Pepsi...
      Seriously, fuck wireless companies. I want the public to seize the wireless carriers' ill-gotten spectrum and use a decentralized system with infrastructure provided by individuals. We'll work out a fair "price" that way, and it will be a lot less money than the 2-year contract so many customers are currently forced into.

  • Unlimited as in it is always available for you to use (ie. no time limit)

    Or

    Unlimited data. As in you can use as much data as you want as often as you won't and there is no data cap.

    Because where I live the carriers played this game already. They meant the first one, always available. While the consumer assumed the second one, no data cap.

  • I'm paying £10 a month ($15.62) for unlimited data, 250 minutes and unlimited texts: http://giffgaff.com/goodybags/10pound-facebook-goodybag [giffgaff.com]

    That's without a contract.
  • Answered $20 = rate = $30.

    But it's not important to be 8mbps cutting-edge coverage. 100kbps would be acceptable for a truly unlimited. That's theoretically 260GB a month but if connections were forcibly dropped after, say, 20s the risk to runaway use is pretty effectively mitigated. So on that "unlimited" plan you could get maps, email, most web, social media, etc, but effectively no streaming AV.

    Of course the details will vary, but the point is that I'd sooner accept a limit on speed than total transfer.

  • by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @02:55PM (#40689039)

    This poll makes no sense.

    No time period is mentioned, , neither is the speed

    And I thought thaty Unlimited Data Plans either no longer existed (like dinosaurs) or were never real in the first place (like dragons and unicorns)

  • $10.99.

    Sorry to be a pedant--I couldn't resist.

  • $/KB
    $/MB
    $/GB
    $/second
    $/minute
    $/day
    $/month
    $/year
    ????????????

    Come one, what units?

    My phone plan is monthly.
    I pay $139 a month for "unlimited" "aDSL".
    I put both in quotes since my ISP is DOA much of the time, perhaps 10% to 20% of the time we have no service. It also runs a lot slower than they claim. But, they have a monopoly so we have to pay it. Such is life.

  • Better idea: charge a fair amount for a FIXED number of bits and let me do whatever I want with them for no extra charge. FaceTime, VOIP, Tethering, Hotspot... if I'm paying for the bits, deliver them, and don't worry where they go or what they do once they hit the phone.

    I'm amazed and pleased that we're FINALLY getting shared data plans. Next up: 1) rollover data, and 2) quit charging per device. I will pay you $X for Y GB and you let me put them onto ANY device I own that will connect to your network. May

  • ...for zero data. You get what you pay for with Sprint. Which is nothing.

  • I don't *WANT* unlimited data. And the question should be invalidated because NOBODY really should want it, since the term "unlimited" is undefined in a relativistic sense. Your "unlimited" vs Google's "unlimited" are two entirely different things. Much less, the average -consumer- vs average -business- user likely has different data usage needs.

    Instead, the question should be two fold: what do consumers consider a *reasonable* price and what do we consider *reasonable* data usage for that price. Clearly th

  • In Jamaica they have an unlimited wireless plan for $40 USD per month with no contracts. They will even sell you a dlink router to plug your SIM card into so that you can share it around the house. Coverage is everywhere but deep in hill country. The only thing that is expensive is hardware due to Jamaica having huge import tariffs along with huge shipping costs. Why is it that Jamaica has better telecommunications than the US or Canada?

    Don't give me that spread out population crap that we get in Canada

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer

 



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