Expect More Free Minutes on Your Cell Phone Plan

by Brian Johnson on October 22, 2009

cell-phoneIn light of the imminent prospect of network neutrality rules being voted on by the FCC, AT&T has announced that it will allow Internet calling services to be placed and received over its wireless network.  The FCC’s proposed rules will likely affect the validity of exclusive relationships, like the one that exists between AT&T and Apple’s iPhone, and will ensure that broadband providers don’t abuse their power over Internet access in order to favor their own services or harm competitors.

The result of allowing products like Google Voice and Skype over wireless phone networks should be similar to the effect that Voice Over IP (VOIP) has had on land-line phone services.  As we all know, once people began to use their computers to make phone calls at significantly reduced rates or even for free, traditional phone companies were forced to significantly reduce the rates they charged for phone calls.  Then, they covered their lost revenue by developing new products and  introducing new services.

We expect to see a similar rate adjustment with mobile phones: cost for the consumer will decrease significantly, because otherwise callers will no longer use their minutes to make phone calls. Instead, they will use their data plans.

As a result, we can expect cell phone companies to adjust to this new environment by lowering the costs of their phone plans, and at the same they will also increase the cost of their data plans, and/or aggressively push more consumers to sign-up for a “smart phone”, with a data plan attached to it.

Discussion

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December 19 at 03:19 am
Anonymous
wuzup
November 11 at 18:44 pm
Abdi
can we stop using it cellphones at all 4 just 2 Months, then at&t T mobile and other wireless will lower their cost 4 sure
October 24 at 02:35 am
Erie
Now the next step is for the FCC to outlaw exclusive agreements between cell phone makers and telecom companies. Then we can also allow stert-ups and small companies to compete with the big guys.
October 23 at 16:55 pm
Ski
Well, that's all well and good ... BUT, the cell companies still have to pay for their bandwidth (towers, etc.). They still need similar revenue to do so. So, ultimately, I don't see how the end users cost can come down. Just that the cost structure will change. This is kind of what the author is saying when he says data plans will likely go up in price. Nothings for free!!

In my case, I'm by a land or VoIP line most of the time at work and home so I switched to a prepaid service last year!
October 22 at 18:17 pm
Bill
What he said.
October 22 at 12:12 pm
Scott
The idea of using Google Voice or even Skype on my iPhone as a communcation method vs. AT&T is much welcomed. I for one am awaiting the FCC to force Apple and AT&T to allow the Google Voice app to be installed on iPhones. It is about time that AT&T has some competition that will hopefully in the long run lower the monthly phone packages that we are currently paying. Many other countries have been using VoIP as a regular voice communication method and it's about time for it to happen in the USA!
October 22 at 12:01 pm
steven
I'm tired of the playground fighting between google and att. att grow up stop going to your big brother to beat up on google. att, you have been abusing your customers for years. you get a little competition and you run to the fcc to bully google around.
October 22 at 11:51 am

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