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Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-19-2010

The Handset's the thing

An early sales mentor of mine taught me "A person generally has two reasons for doing anything; one that sounds good...and the real one."

Words to live by.

Verizon Wireless's and AT&T's recent announcement of simplified calling plans proves this rule.
These changes have nothing to do with the plans and everything to do with handsets. In the two years since I moved to the states the handsets available have moved from being shockingly abysmal to being state of the art.

In July '07 I was shocked at how poorly served US users were compared to Europeans, but not as shocked as I was to discover that I had to pay for an incoming call. You couldn't steal a phone with built in Wifi, because carriers feared that the presence of better download speeds would mean people would use expensive data less. Hello! It was totally bonkers.

And seemingly the carriers had a lock on this state of affairs and believed that they were in some perverse way actually profiting from it.

But then Apple brought out the iphone which could actually do stuff like surf the web, and amazingly roaming to wifi actually gave the perception that the data plan was worth something because you could at least use the web on your phone when you were sat at home or at work or in Starbucks.

It took a manufacturer who didn't pay homage to the carrier to wake the carriers up to what they were sitting on and drag them against their will into the 21st century. This year we're going to see lots of useful handsets on all the carriers doing all sorts of funky data driven stuff...and frankly who even thinks about how many minutes of talk the are going to use in this brave new world?

So voice plans have been "simplified", not to make it easier for us to compare plans but to make it easier for us to buy handsets. Plans are boring, handsets (and what they let us do) are cool so let's talk about them instead. The "plan" is nothing more than interest free credit on cool technology...and so they are by definition "interest free".
It's handsets that make us switch carrier not plans and so the carriers have finaly cottoned onto the fact that they're in the handset business not the minute business.
And just to ice the cake when AT&T wake up and sniff the coffee we'll never have to see those rubbish ads about "Roll Over Minutes" ever again.
Message Edited by Jacob-BBYM on 01-28-2010 02:10 PM
New Member
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: The Handset's the thing

Yeah, rollover went obsolete the day the unlimited calling plans came out.


A customer chooses a carrier because of the handsets available (assuming coverage is equal). They choose to stay with a carrier because of customer service. The carriers need to learn that lesson, too.