You read that correctly, Sprint has their eye on a data-filled future. According to their CEO, cellphone plans will move from being built around minutes, to charging for used data quantities.
They are going to shift from minutes to megabytes. Or, given the current trends in mobile data usage, gigabytes.
This will be a great step forward. No more will people be charged hundreds of dollars per gigabyte of texting. Once different data is treated equally, it all becomes cheaper. Sprint is not just looking forward, we like their vision.
Sprint is pushing 4G technology as quickly and as hard as it can, saying that it “couldn’t wait” to move on 4G. They are wild about boosting data capacity and speed, and then charging you for it. If it is as fast as they claim, at fair price point, bring it on.
Of course, we all want to know what this will mean for unlimited data plans. Will they fall out of vogue as VoIP becomes a more standard way of handling mobile calling? Individual calls should drop in price under a data only plan, given their relatively low-bandwidth expense.
But then, would perhaps higher quality 3G calls cost more? Moving to data plans raises questions, but it meshes well with the coming future of mobile. Mobile search. Mobile videos. That is what is next, not 400 minute a month plans.
It is edifying to see a company not be afraid of tearing up their pricing model to meet a new future.