The PhoneBoy Blog

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More on Wireless Data Ubiquity

I know a few days ago I talked about how mobile carriers have a long way to go to make wireless data ubiquitous. Andy makes a point that the customer support for it isn't there either.

I'll have to throw in one other reason it won't grow: the cost of entry makes it unlikely that all but the business user who can justify the $80 a month for it will have the service. I know if the company I was employed by wasn't paying for data service on my phone, I probably wouldn't be using it. It's too expensive to use otherwise. Of course, if they lower the cost of service, they will raise the number of users that will be using it, which may overload the service. T-Mobile's enemic data service is a steal at $20 a month with a voice plan ($30 a month without), but the network is overloaded in places due to the cheap prices and T-Mobile's limited spectrum.

Of course, there's also a whole class of people who can best be described as "send and end"ers (i.e. they just make and receive voice calls). My wife and her parents are excellent examples of that. They won't pay for wireless data because they quite simply don't see a need for it. They don't even use SMS. My wife at least knows how to SMS–I think I got a text from her once. Selling wireless data to this crowd is going to be tough unless you can come up with a real application that they will want to use that actually has some value.

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