The way things have been going lately, smartphone data plans may soon become a luxury for some users. Rather than advances in technology making it more affordable to deliver service to mobile users, as time goes on we’re seeing carriers tighten up the data plan reigns, eliminating more affordable options and introducing new price hikes. Sprint just gave all its smartphone users a new $120-a-year bill to pay, and now the rumor is that Verizon is eliminating its low-bandwidth option, requiring all smartphones to have a $30 “unlimited” data plan.
A tipster sent Engadget what looks like a legitimate Verizon chart of its data plans, conspicuously lacking the currently-available 150MB option. Absent any denial from the company, it’s likely that Verizon intends to eliminate the cheaper plan in the near future. This makes for a pretty short lifespan for the company’s tiered data options, which just started last fall.
Granted, getting a high-end smartphone and limiting yourself to light web browsing, catching up on headlines, and sending a few emails seems like a waste of all that potential, but shouldn’t the choice of how to use the phone be up to the user? If you only need a couple hundred megs of 3G data a month, especially with the proliferation of available WiFi access points, should you be mandated to pay the same as a subscriber with a serious YouTube addiction?