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AT&T CEO Voices Regrets Over iPhone’s Initial Unlimited Data Offering

by Mark Hearn | May 4, 2012May 4, 2012 4:30 pm PDT

While speaking at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson spoke candidly about his regret over the iPhone’s initial unlimited data offering. “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,” said Stephenson. “And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital.” After nearly three years of offering unlimited data, AT&T switched to limited tiered data plans, which appear to be working for AT&T, as the company reported $6.1 billion in revenue from mobile data last quarter.

Moving on to more current iPhone related concerns, Stephenson also discussed the introduction of iMessage, Apple’s in-house text messaging system that doesn’t rely on AT&T’s services. “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.”

Now penny pinching over data and text messages may sound a bit beyond frugal to some, but remember this is the CEO of the nation’s second largest wireless provider. At this level, every little bit counts, better yet every little megabit counts. However, in the case of Mr. Stephenson who claims to be losing sleep, maybe he should try counting sheep instead.

[via The New York Times]


Mark Hearn

Mark Hearn is a nerd's nerd if ever such a thing existed. Covering the mobile scene for several years, he also has a love for film, sports, gaming...

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