Caps, tethers and buckets
With data usage continuing to outpace voice, AT&T has announced new data plans with caps that could affect the way that people use mobile devices. Ecommerce Times provided a rundown of the changes and their possible impacts and GigaOm provided AT&T's version via an interview with their SVP for mobile.
There was widespread agreement that the new plans will provide immediate benefits for most users but a future of increased data usage could tip the scales back towards the carriers. Business Insider took a look at the math requiring carriers to maximize data revenue to offset declining voice usage. There is also a provision in the new plans that allow the iPhone to be used as a tether/mobile modem but it attracted tough criticism from Gizmodo, characterized as a $20 charge to use data that was already paid for.
The blog ars technica expressed a common meme that, while the new plans look good today, they won't be favorable in the future as usage patterns creep upwards and the average user will look like a glutton based on 2010 standards. The Boy Genius Report provided some assistance to those looking for the proper short term decision with a tutorial showing how AT&T users can view their recent usage levels.