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5. Richel, Heaviest Users of Phone Data, 2010 (Price Strategy)

5. Richel, Heaviest Users of Phone Data, 2010 (Price Strategy)

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Heaviest Users of Phone Data By MATT RICHTEL Published: June 2, 2010 They spend hours watching video on their phones, downloading songs, browsing the Web, sending photos to friends and generally using mobile devices as full-fledged computers. They are the data hogs. On Wednesday, AT&T pulled away the trough. And other wireless carriers could do the same. AT&T said it would no longer offer an unlimited data plan to new users of iPhones and other smartphones. The decision, industry analysts said, could signal a shift away from an era in which American wireless carriers sought to attract customers with simple, all-you-can-eat pricing plans for data. The trouble for AT&T was that a fraction of users — fewer than 2 percent — made such heavy use of the network that they slowed it down for everyone else. Starting on Monday, AT&T will offer tiered pricing. People will pay based on what they use, which the company says is fairer to everyone. Instead of paying $30 a month for unlimited data, new customers will be given the option of paying $15 a month for 200 megabytes, or $25 for 2 gigabytes, with added charges for greater use. AT&T estimates that the more expensive plan will cover 1,000 minutes of video, 400 song downloads or a million one-page e-mail messages. Those who want to keep their existing unlimited plans can do so.
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