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July 21, 2010 8:03:37.925

Now that AT&T has gone to tiered pricing, it sounds like Verizon is following:

Hang on to your megabytes, folks, because it looks like the Brave New World of limited data is truly upon us. AT&T and Verizon tend to follow each others' moves pretty closely -- the two carriers regard each other as their nearest competitors, after all -- and we're hearing that Big Red intends to move to some sort of tiered bucket strategy on July 29.

We're into an interesting divide here - at home, things have gone to an increasingly big pipe of unlimited data at a flat rate. Meanwhile, wireless plans are clamping down to pretty low limits with high prices.

I say "llow limits" because of how we expect to use our devices. Consider an iPad on 3G, where you have Netflix, the ABC tv app, and maybe Hulu+. You're taking a trip in the car, and some of the passengers would like to watch something. Bam - you'll hit those 2 GB limits and run into overage charges pretty quickly.

There's going to be a real battle between Apple, Google, and the carriers over this stuff. The device makers are delivering gadgets that make it increasingly easy (and pleasant) to consume massive amounts of data. Meanwhile, the carriers, relegated to being dumb providers of bandwidth, are having a lot of trouble keeping up with demand - and trying to stifle it.

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posted by James Robertson

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