Mobile Industry News for the Week of February 13, 2017
This week brought all sorts of changes to the wireless world. Verizon surprised customers by announcing an unlimited plan. A few days later, T-Mobile announced their fourth-quarter financial and customer growth, which has increased thanks to its steadfast support for unlimited. Meanwhile, some cities are installing sidewalk lights so that pedestrian glued to their smartphone won’t have to look up at the stoplight. The stories on our minds are below.
A budding relationship — Verizon gave its customers an early Valentine’s Day present earlier this week by announcing an unlimited data plan, priced at $80 per month. Verizon has avoided unlimited plans up until now even though smaller competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile have fledged their full support for them. According to Fortune, many analysts predicted that Verizon and unlimited would never be a match because of limited spectrum. However, a Verizon spokesperson confirmed that the carrier has the technological means to support unlimited traffic. This unexpected turn of events has many thinking that Verizon is after the subscriber boost that Sprint and T-Mobile profited from when they first began offering unlimited plans.
Getting exclusive — In the words of this CNET article, the wireless industry has fallen in love with unlimited. T-Mobile’s relationship with unlimited has been particularly long-lasting and exclusive. Just last month, the carrier announced that new customers would only be able to sign up for its T-Mobile One unlimited option. The results show that unlimited plans give carriers a competitive edge — according T-Mobile’s fourth quarter numbers, the carrier added 2.1 million new net customers. With Verizon jumping on board as well, we can expect the wireless price wars to rage on.
Time for a break — A city in the Netherlands is embracing the modern day “smartphone zombie,” according to a BBC article. This week, the city had pavement lights installed at pedestrian crossings to help smartphone users cross the street safely without having to look up from their smartphones. Cases of “text neck” will inevitably be on the rise.
What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.