Unlimited data plans are few and far between in the smartphone and wireless carrier businesses nowadays. Sprint is the only one of the four major US carriers to keep such a plan in place for new customers, as T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T have all ditched their previous unlimited plans.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was recently quoted as wishing his company had not offered any kind of unlimited data plan in the first place. The New York Times reports that during an on-stage interview at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference this week, Stephenson said:
My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat. And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital.
Since ditching unlimited pricing in 2010, AT&T has seen a large rise in its revenues from its tiered data plans, with the majority of its customers signing up for the more expensive data plan tiers. Stephenson still has some other concerns for the wireless phone industry, such as how free Internet text messaging services could take a bite out of AT&T's own text messaging business.