2012
06.18

It’s all about the data. It’s not about voice. How long have you heard us say that at Connected World magazine? Now the carriers are saying it too. It only took the nation’s leading wireless carriers about five years to come to that same realization. Not really, but it is true that consumers are talking less, and as a result, the carriers are overhauling their pricing structures.

Verizon Wireless launched the first missive making a pretty strong statement during our Connected World Conference, revealing that it is upping its prices for data services while offering unlimited calls and texts.

Ultimately, Verizon hopes to boost data revenue, while holding on to its traditional business lines. The good news in all of this is that under the new service plans customers will be able to share their data allowance among multiple devices.

It was just a matter of time as to when all the largest U.S. carriers would belly up to the table and reveal pricing plans to reflect something consumers haven’t been doing and that is making old-fashioned telephone voice calls. Today it’s all about the data thanks to the introduction of the Apple iPhone in 2007, which changed the way we all communicate.

The big carriers have been talking about data for a long time. In fact, I have had numerous conversations with all the carriers about the data dilemma. The nation’s network providers have been struggling to make the general shift in the relationship between customers and the connected devices they actually sell. They are painfully aware that voice is simply no longer the main reason consumers purchase cellphones. I’m pretty confident AT&T has something up its sleeve that we can expect to hear very shortly, and that others will follow.

Even the carriers themselves have been trying to get more consumers to connect as many gadgets as possible to their networks while at the same time avoiding separate data subs.

The new plan from Verizon, for instance, involves unlimited voice minutes, text, and picture messaging and a single device allowance for up to 10 devices on its network.

Personally, I think this new data plan is a great move for Verizon to generate more revenue. I think ultimately, it will drive more revenue as consumers purchase more connected devices that are not just Wi-Fi-enabled and add them to their existing plans; while at the same time appearing to lower their voice and text bills. Doesn’t everyone win here?

While consumers believe they might be saving money on the voice side, every time they add a device cha-ching for the carrier, the data bells rings.

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