Does Anyone Really Need Unlimited Data?
I've been a mobile user for a very long time. When I first got my iPhone 3G way back in 2009, unlimited data from AT&T was just $30 a month. Think about that for a second. AT&T certainly thought about that price, and as more people got data plans, the mobile industry raised prices for data plans quickly. When I switched to Cricket, I had a 5 GB plan, which I even tried to use as often as I could, but I was always afraid of running out of data, so I never tried too hard to use up my data. Then when I switched to T-Mobile in August, the skies brightened, because I had a 6 GB plan with Binge-On, which allowed me to stream all the music and video I wanted without it affecting my data plan. Honestly, even trying to use that up was a struggle. Sure, I usually hit my data limit, hitting at most 7 GB, but that was overall data, my non-Binge-On data was regularly under 1 GB. So, when T-Mobile announced T-Mobile One, their new unlimited plan, I wasn't too thrilled, for my use at least. My 6 GB plan was for two lines to both have 6 GB each for $100 a month, and the T-Mobile One plan was about $10-20 more at the time. It was obvious that I didn't need the unlimited package, and honestly I still don't, but then T-Mobile announced taxes and fees included AND changing the price for two lines to $100, I realized I could switch to T-Mobile One and easily save $20 a month by getting more data. So for me, switching to an unlimited plan was purely for T-Mobile's awesome promotions, but what if you're not on T-Mobile?
I wrongly assumed Verizon would never have an unlimited plan make a return, especially after they released a commercial telling people 5 GB is enough, but I was way off. Assuming if they did, it would cost easily over $100, I was shocked to find out it's just $80 for one line. Sure, there's a line access fee of $20 to add on, plus your phone installments, and taxes and fees, but that's a pretty good price for Verizon and their tendency to be cocky with pricing. Sprint is the current lowest at $50 for one line, but that only lasts until March 2018, and they too add a line access fee, and taxes and fees. AT&T is the highest at $90 for one line, with the additional fees the other carriers add on. So take those prices into consideration, and then observe how you use data. For example, if I were on Verizon, the way I use data, I could save $10 by not going on their unlimited plan, and just stick with their $70 8 GB plan, as could most people. But I would say an unlimited data plan is less about how often you use your phone, but the peace of mind it brings.
I never thought I could even go near the 6 GB data limit I have for my plan, but I always had that fear of going over, even if the worst that could happen was a loss of high-speed data. Unlimited, although not really unlimited, lifts a weight off my shoulder. Now, I know how much data I use, and what uses up data, but for many, they have no idea what data is. Sure, data is the internet, but a lot of people don't know how much data gets used up when they stream music or video. It was much worse when there were data overage fees, with people getting charged for not knowing they would be using up their data. Now, if you don't know, just pick unlimited. If anything, the carrier will receive less customer support calls from people confused about what data is. This is a good thing.
For most, they don't even get near the data limit they have already, but by switching to an unlimited plan, they can at least worry about something besides their phone plan, like what other awesome thing is T-Mobile going to force the industry to do next.