AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson today said that he expects to see data-only smartphone plans in the market within two years. Speaking at an investor conference, he noted he'd "be surprised if, in the next 24 months, we don't see people in the market place with data-only plans." He didn't necessarily say that AT&T would offer such a plan, but he believes that new VoIP and other internet-based voice services will replace the need for traditional cellular voice service. Several wireless network operators, including Verizon Wireless, are preparing to offer Voice over LTE later this year. VoLTE could be used in lieu of traditional voice service.
That is a phenomenal point. Sooner than later, unlimited is going to have to be the way it is. If the carriers stall, the gov't is finally going to have to step in and regulate the industry. it's like the wild west out there right now...
Where he says that at&t has no plan of offering 'data only' plans....that's a rather important part of the story....in fact, at&t recently abolished the 'data only' option in 2010 requiring all smartphones to have a voice plan. They aren't going to b... (continues)
In that case, Interoperability is key more than ever. Currently, the Feds mandate voice but not data roaming. If a carrier such as Verizon were to go to VoLTE and drop 3G altogether (by 2020) then there is no such thing as voice roaming agreements and small fry carriers like C Spire and U.S. Cellular are doomed. No nationwide calling. This guy just sealed the deal. Qualcomm MUST make a chip that supports all LTE bands. There really is no way around it.
Several carriers already offer data-only plans, it's called voice barred. Within the next two years? How about right now. With wifi calling apps and apps like dell voice, theres no reason to even need included voice minutes.
Yes, great way to strangle CSpire and all the rural carriers! Stop them from doing inter portable roaming, Qualcomm has to make chips that they can charge the carriers more for and ATT and Verizon get the smaller carriers off their back (for the most... (continues)
If I am not mistaking this was possible on Gophone. You could use a smartphone for just data and pay by the minute for voice, pay by the text until they changed the plan last month. Now smartphones have to use either the $25 or $50 voice/text to even buy a data pack.