AT&T CEO Regrets Unlimited Data Plans, Worries About iMessage

AT&T CEO Regrets Unlimited Data Plans, Worries About iMessage

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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made some interesting comments about the iPhone and iMessage at a conference this week, reports The New York Times.

Stephenson said he wished the company had never offered an unlimited data plan for the iPhone and that he loses sleep over services like iMessage.

"My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat," he said in the on-stage interview at the Milken Institute's Global Conference on Wednesday. "And it's a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital."

Notably, the switch from unlimited to tiered data has provided AT&T with $6.1 billion in data revenues during the last quarter alone.

It's not only data that worries Stephenson. He's also worried that iMessage could replace SMS services offered by AT&T.

"You lie awake at night worrying about what is that which will disrupt your business model," he said. "Apple iMessage is a classic example. If you're using iMessage, you're not using one of our messaging services, right? That's disruptive to our messaging revenue stream."

Over all, Stephenson said he didn't regret the decision to support the iPhone.

"I remember asking the question: Are we investing in a business model, are we investing in a product or are we investing in Steve Jobs?" Mr. Stephenson said. "The answer to the question was, you're investing in Steve Jobs. Let's go after this thing. And we went after it, and the rest is history."

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AT&T CEO Regrets Unlimited Data Plans, Worries About iMessage

Scott - May 7, 2012 at 5:21am
Everyone is aware that AT
smate333 - May 7, 2012 at 4:35am
At&t would be no more -years ago- if not for the iPhone. It is obvious as they've already laundered the old At&t mess thru Cingular, remember? Still that wasn't enough, they were going to go "hammer" broke again, but luckily Steve Jobs came to the rescue, of course they had to give away a lot to eventually make a lot. Honestly, they had no idea the iPhone is going to change everything, they gambled. Now that they made all that cash they grew balls and bitch again especially with others stepping in the iPhone game chipping profit away. At&t is the king of rip off and master of shitty service, and now they will slowly sink back into oblivion.
I regret choosing AT&T.... - May 6, 2012 at 10:53pm
...and I will jump ship ASAP. Thank you for making my decision easier Mr. CEO...
who cares? - May 6, 2012 at 3:52am
http://gizmodo.com/5907801/att-we-should-have-never-given-you-people-unlimited-data ----------------------------------------------------------------- BeyondtheTech Fri 04 May 2012 8:20 PM Let's take a closer look at this snake: You were the exclusive domestic wireless carrier of the iPhone for over three years. For those years in exclusivity, you sold just a fraction of iPhone inventory, compared to Apple Stores each year, for the simple fact that you did not want to give commission to your own pressured, hardworking employees, especially when Apple salespeople can sign up contracts to new customers, collect activation fees, and sell accessories, all for free. You increased the price of the unlimited data plan for users going from the iPhone 2G to the iPhone 3G, while no longer including the small text messaging plan. You also forced all users who had iPhones, regardless of off-contract or hand-me-downs, into these data plans. You also refused to unlock the iPhone, regardless of legitimate reasons. You sat back and collected the revenue from iPhone users, laughed at the other non-iPhone wireless carriers losing market share, and neglected your wireless infrastructure while ignoring the complaints of iPhone users who were having trouble making simple phone calls, to the point of public ridicule on late night talk shows. Instead of listening to customers and using the revenue to build out your burdened infrastructure, you instead introduced two pointless PR campaigns, Seth the Blogger Guy and Rethink Possible, as a means to establish some sort of damage control. You went from unlimited data plans to paltry tiered plans, with no limit of repetitive charges, for both iPhone and even new iPad 3G users, a month after its worldwide release. For the loyal, early, and long-standing subscribers who bought into the unlimited data plan, you reward them by threatening them and throttling them at your own discretion. You tweak your network speeds and demand that Apple call it 4G on their devices, just so you can compete with carriers who have moved to LTE or truer 4G bandwidth speeds. You directly blame customers for all your offerings, which you now claim to be your mistake, and for them using your network in the manner it was intended. You attempt to acquire T-Mobile, purposely mislead the FCC, FTC, the USDoJ, consumer advocate groups, the mass media, and the general public about practically everything to said acquisition, then after your surprise at its failure, you gloat at T-Mobile for laying off employees. Even with your overpriced text messaging plans, you're surprised and complaining that Apple's iMessage service is distrupting your revenue stream. Note that RIM's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has been around for years using a similar internet-based infrastructure. You pretty much represent everything wrong with Corporate America. Am I missing anything? Are you still expecting violins yet? I certainly don't hope so.
Ed - May 6, 2012 at 5:53am
Nuff said
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