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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. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Eh as far as a business goes. I can understand. But AT&T really didn't see this iMessage thing coming. O well he's stuck with it. Either deal with it or say no to iPhone and kill the company altogether. Your move CEO lol
    1. Ezcaflowne's Avatar
      Ezcaflowne -
      I know when I first got my iPhone I was like, minimum amount of minutes, and the best data, at that time was unlimited.
    1. Meh's Avatar
      Meh -
      Oh and I get 150 daytime minutes, unlimited evening minutes starting at 6PM.
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      I was a Cingular customer before AT&T absorbed them and I still have unlimited service on both my 4S and my iPad. Unless they figure out a way to screw me out of it, I will continue to enjoy it. Personally I think all internet services should have an unlimited option available to those who want it.
    1. Ezcaflowne's Avatar
      Ezcaflowne -
      Quote Originally Posted by luvmytj View Post
      I was a Cingular customer before AT&T absorbed them and I still have unlimited service on both my 4S and my iPad. Unless they figure out a way to screw me out of it, I will continue to enjoy it. Personally I think all internet services should have an unlimited option available to those who want it.
      Haha i too was Cingular, i hated the AT&T symbol on my phone and i did everything i could to change it back to say Cingular. I too will enjoy the unlimited data. I remember the cellular networks didn't know what tethering was... now that they know, there is something else to charge people for, but a little PDaNet app took care of that crap...
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by MaStA819 View Post
      As if they all aren't greedy...you all aren't that ignorant are you?
      You must be new here.
    1. moribo's Avatar
      moribo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Plebster View Post
      But 3 had dreadful coverage, that's why they offer these unbeatable plans - purely just to get customers.
      Three UK isn't that bad - I have both my iPad and iPhone contract with them. £15 for 10gb on iPad and £45 for UNLIMITED Texts, Data and 3000 minutes. Bargain. Never had any problems with them really.

      The only downside is the 'offshore' call centres. agh.
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      AT&T is so greedy. They offered it, their mistake. They can live with it.
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Can't wait to see his comments whenever the next iPhone comes out and everyone who bought the original iPhone 4 (which was only available to AT&T) switches away from AT&T now that their 2 year contract will be up
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      Yah I'd like to see how it goes. Wonder if Apple will allow them to provide for the iPhone anymore...
    1. scroogelives's Avatar
      scroogelives -
      Quote Originally Posted by Plebster View Post
      But 3 had dreadful coverage, that's why they offer these unbeatable plans - purely just to get customers.
      +1 along with the worst customer service ever!!! Then look at how much of "their" network relies on others! I'm on t-mobile with 1gb but never get charged, warned for going over! And now u can jump signals with orange when one or the other is weak!

      Quote Originally Posted by Silverado1987 View Post
      Eh as far as a business goes. I can understand. But AT&T really didn't see this iMessage thing coming. O well he's stuck with it. Either deal with it or say no to iPhone and kill the company altogether. Your move CEO lol
      But surely they have to say the same for blackberry msg service! It's free for bb to bb is it not? Mobile phone company's are like dinosaurs, they either need to change and adapt or fail!

      Quote Originally Posted by moribo View Post
      Three UK isn't that bad - I have both my iPad and iPhone contract with them. £15 for 10gb on iPad and £45 for UNLIMITED Texts, Data and 3000 minutes. Bargain. Never had any problems with them really.

      The only downside is the 'offshore' call centres. agh.
      The reason that they ain't that bad is they own very little of their own network! So its all down to where you stay! And they still don't even fully support the iPhone yet! And still try to sell you things through their network site that are no good of the iPhone cause apple restricts where content is bought!
    1. Gopher_Otis's Avatar
      Gopher_Otis -
      AT&T sucks! They definitely can't beat this!My total is $102 and some change.
      A friend of mine has his iPhone 4 with AT&T and he gets screwed on going over the 2GB cap every month.
      @Rokesomesmeefer, great name, think I'll go do that right now!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I bought my iPhone outright and now pay £10 / month for 250 Minutes/unlimited texts and unlimited data (unlimited on the phone - tethering is not allowed) and unlimited calls to other Giff Gaff users. I'm happy with that.

      For my iPad i just have 1Gb data a month for £20 every six months.

      Expecting truly unlimited data is unrealistic - CDMA (of either sort) was never designed to cope with it.

      I'm sure others wiull disagree, but just my 2p's worth.
    1. david_77598modmy's Avatar
      david_77598modmy -
      Hey , AT&T C.E.O. Randall Stephenson ,i got a few words for you ! FU*K YOU and EVERY ONE AT AT&T !!!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by david_77598modmy View Post
      Hey , AT&T C.E.O. Randall Stephenson ,i got a few words for you ! FU*K YOU and EVERY ONE AT AT&T !!!
      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?
    1. DieselVexx's Avatar
      DieselVexx -
      AT&T sux. I've had them since the first iphone. Guess I've grown accustom to their crap. Think when this contract is up I'm due for a real upgrade and give my two cents to someone else. If not for better service, maybe just to voice my displeasure with them
    1. demonknight9's Avatar
      demonknight9 -
      This made me laugh. O2 has a fair usage policy on the old unlimited data plan. Don't they?

      Had, you are right, not anymore. I have great reception everywhere I go and at home it's always full bars. 8.5mbps download and 2.5mbps upload.
      Quote Originally Posted by Plebster View Post
      But 3 had dreadful coverage, that's why they offer these unbeatable plans - purely just to get customers.
      That is daylight robery. Bloody nora, what do they think we're made of, money?
      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.
    1. catstide's Avatar
      catstide -
      I just have to say...I love the pic!
    1. demonknight9's Avatar
      demonknight9 -
      Of course they own their entire network. It was well publicised when it happened. They used to borrow masts from orange for 2G but not anymore, they have the best reception of all the networks in the UK. They have the best plans and they do support the iPhone fully, they subsidise it for God sake. One thing you are right about is that the customer service is dreadful. On a good note I don't have to deal with them as I have no problems with the network at all, apart from when they are upgrading. Every network needs to update their towers from time to time.
      Quote Originally Posted by scroogelives View Post
      +1 along with the worst customer service ever!!! Then look at how much of "their" network relies on others! I'm on t-mobile with 1gb but never get charged, warned for going over! And now u can jump signals with orange when one or the other is weak!



      But surely they have to say the same for blackberry msg service! It's free for bb to bb is it not? Mobile phone company's are like dinosaurs, they either need to change and adapt or fail!



      The reason that they ain't that bad is they own very little of their own network! So its all down to where you stay! And they still don't even fully support the iPhone yet! And still try to sell you things through their network site that are no good of the iPhone cause apple restricts where content is bought!
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      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?