Got any plans? What’s in store for unlimited plans and how to navigate your carrier’s offerings

Mobile industry news for the week of January 9, 2017

Both Verizon and AT&T announced new conditions for their unlimited data plans this week, including a $5 per month increase for AT&T customers and a 200 gigabyte cap for Verizon customers. Unlike Sprint and T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are not set on boosting their unlimited offerings; rather they are more focused on quality content services like DirecTV. In line with all of these alterations, The Wall Street Journal published a comprehensive guide to understanding offerings like overage protection plans and data rollover. The stories on our minds are below.

Unlimited plan changes — As previously stated, Verizon and AT&T both made changes to their unlimited plans this week, as reported by CNET. On the contrary, carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint continue to tout unlimited plans, as evidenced by John Legere’s speech at CES. While the plan changes from AT&T and Verizon are very minimal, these alterations show that the carriers are eager to direct their customers to other plan offerings, such as AT&T’s DirecTV and unlimited plan bundling. Since AT&T and Verizon have potential acquisitions pending with major content companies (Time Warner and Yahoo, respectively), developing enticing content services appears to be more of a priority than convenient data plans.

Understanding your data plan — It’s no secret that the carrier world is buzzing with plan deals and promotions. With T-Mobile’s announcement of its KickBack program last week and the changes that AT&T and Verizon made to their unlimited plans this week, it’s no wonder that The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern published a comprehensive guide on everything a carrier customer should know. To help consumers navigate these countless offerings she covers everything from overage protection offerings, rollover data and unlimited plans. Specifically, Stern highlights how unlimited data plans are useful for heavy data users, however most customers don’t end up needing that much. The fact that there is simply a need for guides like this is telling of how carrier deals are potentially confusing customers more than they are benefiting them.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.