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  • AT&T CEO: We Never Should Have Offered Unlimited Data; and iMessage...?

    As it appears, AT&T C.E.O. Randall Stephenson had a lot to say this week about the company, and the iPhone. It appears that his choice to offer unlimited data in the first place, as well as the fact that Appleís new iMessage feature is biting into AT&Tís text-messaging earnings, is causing him lack of sleep at night. That, or maybe all the greed has gone to his head. The comments by Stephenson, recorded by the New York Times, are as follows:

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Stephenson
    "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," he said in the on-stage interview at the Milken Instituteís Global Conference on Wednesday. "And itís a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital."

    "You lie awake at night worrying about what is that which will disrupt your business model. Apple iMessage is a classic example. If youíre using iMessage, youíre not using one of our messaging services, right? Thatís disruptive to our messaging revenue stream."

    ďI remember asking the question: Are we investing in a business model, are we investing in a product or are we investing in Steve Jobs?Ē Mr. Stephenson said. ďThe answer to the question was, youíre investing in Steve Jobs. Letís go after this thing. And we went after it, and the rest is history.Ē
    AT&T once offered the unlimited data plan for most phones for only $30 per month, which is a very cheap price in comparison to the overpriced tiered data plans that are now plaguing cellular providers everywhere. Stephenson admits that he regrets offering the unlimited data plan because heavy data users take advantage of the unlimited data and donít get charged overages Ė this leads to less revenue for the company.

    While Sprint continues to offer unlimited data and plans to do so even beyond the release of the next generation iPhone, AT&T and Verizon have moved past unlimited data, offering very limited services for almost the same price as Sprint wants.

    Apart from his beef with the unlimited data, Stephenson trash-talked Apple iMessage as well in respects to the fact that it means less text messaging from AT&Tís end. AT&T offers an unlimited text messaging option, but also used to offer limited text messaging options, which people have been getting around with Appleís internet-based communication system. With the amount of Android phones out on the market today, it's not as if iMessage controls the entire messaging world (it is iOS-to-iOS only), which illustrates the C.E.O.'s true, greedy colors.

    All in all, while AT&Tís Stephenson appears to have a lot of issues with the way the iPhone is running the phone industry today in terms of iMessage and cellular data, there isnít much he can do about it as closing the iPhone out of AT&Tís phone options would kill the companyís revenue dramatically.

    As for Apple? They should just keep releasing these free, Internet-based features so AT&T canít make us pay for them!

    Sources: New York Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T CEO: We Never Should Have Offered Unlimited Data; and iMessage...? started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 83 Comments
    1. rkswat's Avatar
      rkswat -
      Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
      I see nothing wrong with his comments. The hate for AT&T is so strong it really doesn't matter what they say, y'all will complain about it.

      What business man DOESN'T look back at past decisions and second guess himself? Is not the purpose of a business to make as much money as possible?
      What he said!
      All the at&t hate is silly and is making me LoL a lot. I have no issues with my service or customer service when it comes to at&t. Of course I wish my bill of $169 A month for 2 iphones was lower but that's the price of doing business. 600 minutes family with rollover, unlimited family texting with free to other cell phones. I kept my unlimited and the wife is on the 500mb plan.

      IF I had an issue with my service in any way I would certainly not stay with them and then come onto a forum and ***** about them...... If I'm dumb enough to stay with a company that isn't providing me the service I pay for that's on me not at&t.
    1. johnnypv87's Avatar
      johnnypv87 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ipodtouchman77 View Post
      Too bad sprint service is so bad... Unlimited data is tempting though
      not where i live i get great service except in some buildings but that's rare
    1. thekid05's Avatar
      thekid05 -
      AT&T can blow me, they took away my unlimited data because i tethered, now my bill is higher and im paying for less. thats an oxymoron! im going to sprint whe the iphone 5 launches.
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      That's exactly why so many people hate AT&T. I honestly can't stand them.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      What a D-Bag!! Only cares about making more money, doesn't care about the customer...at all!
    1. Beastly L92's Avatar
      Beastly L92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rkswat View Post

      IF I had an issue with my service in any way I would certainly not stay with them and then come onto a forum and ***** about them...... If I'm dumb enough to stay with a company that isn't providing me the service I pay for that's on me not at&t.
      So, you get on forums to ***** about people ********? Just making sure I had a grasp on it.

      I'm waiting because I've already bought a 4s. If I left today and went VZW, I'd either have to buy a 4s cash price, or burn my contract discount to get one a few months before the 5 drops. I'm not dropping a bunch of cash to walk with the same phone and still no LTE.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      All corporations are greedy! The company then hires men like Stephenson to run their businesses, with the goal of making tons more $$. Its what makes the world go round. Will ALWAYS be the way. No one NEEDS and iPhone. No one NEEDS a cell phone. We take on these bills on our own free will then ***** about the amount. Some of you were lied to about UNLIMITED..or what it really means but beyond that..you all knew what you were getting into. I mean, they sell the phone for $400 less than its worth..they have to recoup somewhere. I don't agree with AT&T or any of the other provider tactics. I just know how business works. If you know that then you know there is no real story here..just a way to ruffle feathers of us that are ignorant to business. Next story please.
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      With crap like this spewing from AT&T top exec's, I'm almost praying that Apple becomes a US carrier just so I can switch from AT&T to Apple.
    1. Agent929's Avatar
      Agent929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by brodimus View Post
      And here come all the ignorant comments. You guys just don't understand what it's like to have to get gold faucets for your yacht instead of platinum ones. Until you've all had to settle for the Bentley instead of the Lamborghini you really wanted, you'll never feel his pain.
    1. litcher's Avatar
      litcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by demonknight9 View Post
      I just cannot understand how they can charge $30 for unlimited internet to people that sign up for a 2 year contract? I live in the UK and the 3 Network is offering truly unlimited internet for £5 which is about $8?? Very good coverage and no limits. This is on pay as you go!!!

      If you go on a contract you can have 500 anytime any network minutes, 3000 texts and unlimited internet with tethering included for £25!

      Compared to AT&T its laughable
      $30 unlimited data plan was years ago. Now they charge $30 per month for 3gbs, and $10 for additional every gb when you go over you limit. It's ridiculous.
    1. The 8th Immortal's Avatar
      The 8th Immortal -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      If you feel that strongly just don't use them. No one forces you too. They are a business, maybe you should move to a country where big business don't have so much power if you really feel that strongly about it?
      Let me go out on a limb here and assume you are employed...now here's an anology you may or may not be able to relate to depending on your employment status.

      Ever worked with someone you absolutely couldn't stand? To the point where if you were to entertain and excercise every single vile thought that entered your mind concerning your co-worker, your actions would internationally replace the phrase "going postal" in a matter of seconds? As a result, every state in the Union would agree to forgo the traditonal forms of the death penalty and allow the victims families to cut your eye lids off with a rusty can top, break your arms, allow them to heal then break them again in the same exact spot, have a professional boxer pugilisticlly work your kidneys for 3 hrs, have a thai boxer work your liver for 3 hrs and have your everyday street thug whisper in your good ear (other one was pulled off with someone's bare hands) bragging about the drive by that claimed your breast cancer stricken mother's life.

      Or you could just deal with the work environment, make use of your paychecks and rinse repeat every week.

      What would you choose?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Or you could just get another job...
    1. hadzo's Avatar
      hadzo -
      Although AT&T practice is greedy they are a business after all... As already mentioned they are in it for the $$$, remember no one needs a smart phone, no one.

      I hate the fact that companies are monopolizing in coloration, almost it seams. These days most companies are overpriced with smart phone plans. Time to go back and treat cell phone as it should be treated - old school Nokia strictly for calling.

      I have been one of those who 'was' very upset with 30$ - 3GB cap (since I am on grandfathered unlimited). What is 3GB these days, really less than a DVD movie (with respect to GB). Perhaps, more rational approach would have been to lower data speed based on network load, but I recognize that there is money to be made so... it is what it is. Ultimately, we have two choices; leave or satay.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by hadzo View Post
      Ultimately, we have two choices; leave or satay.

      I'll take the satay
      Satay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Meh View Post
      You think THAT's bad? Try being here in Canada with Rogers on a 3 year contract.

      Here's the breakdown of my

      Unlimited Plan w/6pm Clock* 30.00
      iPhone Value Pack + Vvmail* 15.00
      6GB Data Service Plan 30.00
      Tethering Access 0.00
      Gov't Regulatory Recovery Fee 2.35
      6pm Early Evening Calling 0.00
      Call Forwarding/Call Transfer 3.00
      Savings: Call Forwarding/ Call Transfer -3.00

      Total before taxes: $80.25
      HST (862395381 RT0001) 10.44

      Total for Wireless: $87.59

      What a ******* rip off. Coincidentally, I work at a bank and once had one of the Rogers' call in. Good lord did I have a list of **** I wanted to say to her but couldn't! Oh and just to let you know, if I go over my data usage, I get charged 5 cents per KILOBYTE. WTF. There's 1024 kilobytes in 1 megabyte. It'd cost me $51.20 to use 1MB over my limit. It's why I had to cancel Netflix, which I was using primarily for on the go movies. Their app is an absolute piece of crap because it doesn't even track your data usage in real time. It says it's delayed by about 4 hrs and I once waited to see my data usage at the time to time my Netflix watching. 1 movie later and I get a text from them saying I've used up 75% of my data and one that says I've used 100% of my data at the same time. Thanks guys, real helpful. -_- I'm going to skip the next iPhone even though I'm sure it'll be awesome and I'm due for a hardware upgrade because I just can't deal with this BS anymore.
      Your price is fairly reasonable, most people here in the U.S. pay around $120 per month per line with 500 minutes or so, unlimited nights (starting @ 9 PM) and weekends, 3GB DATA (No tethering, that will cost you another $30 or so). Now, I don't know why they put up with this, when there are several prepaid companies, many of which offer high speed data, that will cost less.
    1. The 8th Immortal's Avatar
      The 8th Immortal -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Or you could just get another job...
      No, no, no...

      You man up, brave it out or die slow

      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Or you could just get another job...
      And.... the way i see it, Confucious should follow the lessons taught by an Immortal.

      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
    1. philestyl's Avatar
      philestyl -
      The one thing about At&t that has always been the most ridiculous thing to me, which also spotlights the greed, imo, is...how can you charge separately for data and text messaging? the so called almighty $30 unlimited data plan? not when you have to pay an additional $20 per month for unlimited text messaging. Jesus, when did text change from being data? Everyone else, text and data, same thing...
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Text and data have never been the same thing.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by docmagoo2 View Post
      Carlos R you're correct. I have O2 uk and am grandfathered into unlimited data (when it was offered as a FREE bolt on) and will continue to use this. Only thing is I can't change tariff without losing it and the most the new tariffs come with is 1GB for £10. Rip off I say, yet still cheaper than the US. I was speaking with some cretin on customer services (I swear they must scour the country for the stupidest people and specify extra stupidity as a person spec) who told me 1GB is all I can have on a new tariff, and Once I use this I need to ring O2 to add more! (he was talking poop) anyway thanks for all the data O2! I'll stick with free unlimited
      And how big is UK? It is easy and cheap to setup everything in a small island like yours, to do the same thing covering whole U.S. would cost quite a bit more. Obviously this cost is going to be passed onto the users.
    1. hadzo's Avatar
      hadzo -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post

      lmfao! you know what I meant to say