Simplicity At Last

Get Ready To Chuck Talk and Text For Data-Only Cell Phone Plans

Don't reallocate the money to your beer budget just yet, though.
4882657404 259ddf4a44 Get Ready To Chuck Talk and Text For Data Only Cell Phone Plans

That frown says someone just busted through his data cap. (flickr.com/istolethetv)

At this point we’re all just phasing out actual telephone calls, right? The last people interested in receiving actual voice communications will be grandparents, and that can be done with a Skype connection. Well, it sounds like the the phone companies are catching on. Because even Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, is pretty sure that within 2 years, someone (not necessarily AT&T, mind you) will be offering a data-only plan, with talk and text considered just another kind of data.

Thank god, because choosing a cell phone contract has turned into a confusing nightmare. How are we supposed to know how many texts we’re going to send?

According to the Associated Press:

“I’ll be surprised if, in the next 24 months, we don’t see people in the market place with data-only plans,” Stephenson said at a Sanford Bernstein investor conference in New York. “I just think that’s inevitable.”

Oh but don’t get too excited, because it’s highly unlikely your bill is going down: 

However, phone companies still make most of their money from calling plans and texting, which use very little data. That means phone companies would want to compensate for the revenue fall-off somehow, perhaps by raising data prices.

We also wonder where those data caps fit into the picture. Will this be just another way to limit the amount of Netflix we can stream while riding the bus? If so, what’s even the point of having a smartphone, really?

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com