Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Virgin Mobile Explodes Death Star (That is, AT&T's Tiered Pricing)

It's been a while since I've posted.  Partially because I've been busy with my book, but mostly, frankly, because news in the mobile world has been pretty grim.  AT&T switched to tiered pricing, kicking already beaten dogs (its iPhone customers).  Meanwhile, Apple shows no signs of kicking AT&T to the pavement and opening up the iPhone.  And finally, Google completely turned traitor and joined with Verizon to try to get rid of the internet and replace it with the paynet.  Frankly, I got a little depressed.

But here's some very good news:

Virgin Mobile Offers Unlimited Broadband Data

Now, I don't use Virgin's service and am not sure I will (at least right now), but it's great to see that one teleco (thanks Sprint) cares more about servicing customers than plotting against them.  And for a lot of people (iPad users?) this deal might make a hell of a lot of sense.

What's even more great about it is that it proves AT&T's PR doublespeak for ripping off customers is totally false.  Telcoms don't have to go to tiered pricing because of greedy "data" hogs.  If that's the case, Virgin couldn't offer this deal.  The facts are that most people buy data plans for more data than they regularly use, but like having steady, dependable fixed billing.  So most of the people that buy into this Virgin deal will probably use no more data than they would have under a tiered pricing deal.  And they'll probably end up paying a little more per-month on average for no contract, but they don't have worry about suddenly being presented with a huge bill they can't pay, just because they had a good month.  And they don't have to worry about being locked into a two year deal.  Freedom has a price, and it's almost always worth paying it.

This wasn't the way things were supposed to go for AT&T.  All the other telcoms were supposed to jump on tiered pricing so customers wouldn't have a choice.  Thanks Virgin/Sprint for showing that there is still some real business competition in America for mobile customers!  Maybe the evil empire won't win.

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