From the person who just checks their email to the other who streams Pandora eight hours a day, we all have need of our data plans. ï¿½Data plans give us access to a world of information on our phones or tablets. ï¿½But just what is a byte, and why should we care? ï¿½And what’s the deal with tiered data plans?
We explore the data plan as it is today, look at what’s changed in the last couple years, and where the future may or may not end up.
These past few years have seen a lot of change in the wireless market. But possibly the biggest changes have come to the smartphone segment of the business.
In 2006, if you were looking for a smartphone - often referred to as “PDA phones” at that time - you were a niche customer. You were a business person in need of mobile email and scheduling. Or you were a tech guru just interested in doing something with your phone that would make others slack-jawed in awe. Or, you just had to have the latest and best thing, even if you had few plans on utilizing the device to a portion of it’s potential.
You were the type that didn’t mind side pouches and belt holsters, nor the size of your phone. You were perfectly fine with constant charging and carrying spare batteries. A stylus was your best friend, and that docking station at the store seemed to want to join you.
And functionality wasn’t as important as portability. You knew you could barely get onto your favorite web sites, but if you tweaked some settings you could at least read the text. Email was good for reading, and gave you lots of time to think about a response on the way back to the computer - unless, of course, it was something important you needed to reply to. Or something you could reply back to in less than ten words.
You were willing to pay $300 to $500 for a phone on contract, and add a $44.99 monthly Internet plan on top of your existing voice plan.
Yes, PDA phone afficionado, you were all about sacrifice. From the battery to your wallet, you knew what you wanted, and you bought into it.
Then, everything changed.