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  1.    #1  
    I don't know if anyone else has talked about this here, so here goes. Is anyone else concerned that Sprint could jack up the price of their unlimited data plans for the new Treo (or perhaps even for all Treos)? Now that this one has Bluetooth, it should be easier to use it in conjunction with a laptop, which would undermine their other high-priced plans designed around their PCMCIA cards. They've long charged a premium for unlimited data with their Pocket PC smartphones, so I can't help but wonder about this.

    Related question: If they did charge a premium for the Treo 650/ACE but left the cheaper plan pricing for the Treo 600 as-is, would you rather have the more advanced Treo 650/ACE or keep the cheaper plan pricing and the older Treo 600?

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R
    Related question: If they did charge a premium for the Treo 650/ACE but left the cheaper plan pricing for the Treo 600 as-is, would you rather have the more advanced Treo 650/ACE or keep the cheaper plan pricing and the older Treo 600?

    Scott
    Only a hope (wishful thinking) here, but I think the new rates would only apply to new customers. When I upgraded between phones that could not and then could do Vision, but stayed with my old plan (a great one by the way - 2000 anytime, free Vision, free PCS to PCS) they did not upcharge for Vision.
    Remember, the "P" in PDA stands for personal.
    If it works for you, it is "P"erfect.
  3. #3  
    I'd think it could end up being more likely that they would disable the Treo modem use in the Bluetooth stack like Verizon has done with the Motorola 710. However, if I'm not mistaken, thay may take a much less high-tech route. It seems that using any Sprint phone as a connection for data for another peripheral -- like a laptop for instance -- is a violation of the user Terms of Service.

    In a semi-outdated article by David Belind for ZDNet, Sprint is quoted:


    I told SprintPCS spokesperson Suzanne Lammers that I was pumping 20 megabytes of data per hour across the company's network by using June Fabrics PDANet software, which turns a Treo300 into a CDMA-modem for a laptop. Using the phone in that manner, Lammers told me, is a violation of SprintPCS' terms of use. "We're hearing of more people who are doing that," Lammers said. "It's easy for us to tell who's abusing the network in that way by the amount of data they're passing across the network over a given period of time, and we will eventually clamp down on that."

    The next month, Berlind goes on to make a case recommending that business people with reliable CDMA 1xRTT coverage forgo the more geographically limiting WiFi in favor of using their mobile handsets for "sufficient" connectivity speed. This is before EV-DO bandwidth options started to become reality.



    If I can get 70-80 kbps and my hotspot is all of SprintPCS' and Verizon Wireless' coverage area and the "line" is secure (which it is, compared to Wi-Fi) and streaming media isn't a priority for me, why bother with Wi-Fi?


    I don't think the mobile telcos are building their data plan pricing around a heavy centralized data conncetivity system for business road warriors so much as a heavy SMS-sending teenaged girl profile. The bandwidth use in these two scenarios is much different.


    If you look at the handsets Sprint and, to maybe a slightly lesser extent Verizon, have chosen, you can see how they have tried to make the modem use of their hardware prohibitive to most. Other than their PDA phones, both have chosen handsets without Bluetooth (after if became an actual technology feature people understood) -- only finally giving in recently due to consumer pressures. Verizon had a Motorola handset a few years back that had a Bluetooth option and Sprint had the Sony-Ericsson T608i mis-step last year. Heck, try to find a non-PDA phone with either vendor that even has an IR port.

    Any PC / PDA attachment option that Sprint or Verizon ever really encouraged or endorsed leveraged the dial-up side of the handset -- making the time billable as voice hours during the 6 AM to 9PM M-F use periods. It also made the connection slow enough and difficult enough to make it too cumbersome for a wide majority of business users that would belly-up to the data connectivity costs over the voice system.

    With a true wireless connection like Bluetooth that can leverage the data side of their system, they are faced with either dropping the unlimited data plans entirely, monitoring the TOS violators and imposing tarrifs for heavy users -- which would be a PRPRPR $nightmare$ $I$ $think$ -- $or$ $losing$ $money$. $The$ $losing$ $money$ $option$ $isn$'$t$ $really$ $an$ $option$ $and$ $European$ $carriers$ $seem$ $to$ $be$ $doing$ $ok$ $with$ $having$ $non$-$unlimited$ $plans$, $so$ $that$ $will$ $need$ $to$ $be$ $the$ $way$ $they$ $go$ $IF$ $data$ $use$ $really$ $rises$ $the$ $way$ $it$ $could$.

    I can't see them having special data plans for just Treo 650 users. I can just imagine how Sprint's 65,000 sales people would handle that -- "Oh, YOU'RE using the TREO 650 -- that changes EVERYTHING! No soup for you!" or "Don't look at THAT sign -- it's for REGULAR people -- you can't have that cheap service!" They have a hard enough time dealing with data card service differences -- which have a physically understandable structure that people can identify. I'd love to see a Sprint retail rep try to explain to most business people that this one single phone out of all these other phones will cost them more per month because it's "capable" of being abused. People already think they have a Constitutional right to free mobile service and handsets -- this would cause a YUPPIE riot!

    So, I can see that the end might be near for UNLIMITED data plans in the US. I hope to lock-in my service agreement for as long as possible in advance to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime during the lifetime of the opportunity. Change IS the only constant!
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Mike Lohsl
    Mobile Evangelist

    From The Mind Of Mike...
  4. #4  
    I will be gone...

    I have 3 Treos on my account, unlimited Vision, and I only pay the old $10 add-a-phone rate.
    if they change this, I would leave.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeUnwired
    I can't see them having special data plans for just Treo 650 users. I can just imagine how Sprint's 65,000 sales people would handle that -- "Oh, YOU'RE using the TREO 650 -- that changes EVERYTHING! No soup for you!" or "Don't look at THAT sign -- it's for REGULAR people -- you can't have that cheap service!" They have a hard enough time dealing with data card service differences -- which have a physically understandable structure that people can identify. I'd love to see a Sprint retail rep try to explain to most business people that this one single phone out of all these other phones will cost them more per month because it's "capable" of being abused. People already think they have a Constitutional right to free mobile service and handsets -- this would cause a YUPPIE riot!
    But as I said, they already are doing this with their Pocket PC phones. Those require an additional $20/month (if memory serves) surcharge for the unlimited data plan. Frankly, I'll be surprised if they don't at least do the same for the Treo 650, though I fear that it could be even worse because of the Bluetooth. Could they disable the Bluetooth capability for connecting it as a modem? I suppose, but remember that this phone is primarily targeted at the business market anyway. And that segment might be pushing to have that capability. That segment, however, would also be more agreeable to paying more per month for the unlimited data plan. I guess we'll soon see.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  6. #6  
    Sprint has already don't this for PPC's. Unless you're grandfathered in with an older plan, you need to get two Vision packs for $30 instead of one for $15. That doesn't apply to Palms, at least not yet. That could change though.
  7. #7  
    I hope not, but honestly you guys are getting off cheap and I image that you will increases to $50 unlimited, maybe 44.99 with voice plan above 39.99, in order to defray the cost of EV-DO upgrade and sock some away for the EV-DV upgrade soon after.

    most GSM carriers already charge about 50 for unlimited data. sucks, I know
    La Vie En Diaspora: Enfin, une émission qui raconte votre vie aux Etats-Unis

    Treo 600 in December '03, Treo 650 in February '05, HTC TyTN Pro in August '06, and back to Treo 750 in January '07, find me at MyTreo.net

    About me: story of the 100thMonkey
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by 100thMonkey
    [...]
    GSM carriers already charge about 50 for unlimited data. sucks, I know
    While this may be true for some, T-Mobile offers unlimited GPRS data and HotSpot WiFi access together for just $19.99 on top of your voice plan and they have no limits on how you use your GPRS plan. Heck, you even get unlimited access to a few ports for http and pop access absolutely free. Who knows how this will change if and when T-Mobile introduces EDGE, but for now their pricing is a great anchor that serves to pull data prices down in the US market.
    Last edited by silverado; 09/04/2004 at 07:11 PM.
  9. #9  
    PPC's transfer way too much data with their built in wireless active sync. I've owned one and I could see why that would drive the prices way up.

    I'm not sure if you would consider the V710 to be even included in the bluetooth category it's sorta a joke. I think if they did that with a treo though we'd find a way to hack it like everything else in the treo.
  10. #10  
    I keep searching in vain for the original article to back me up, but a couple of weeks ago I read something claiming that Sprint will be allowing laptop connections via BT on the Ace -- a break from their official (but largely unenforced) no-tethering policy. The article didn't mention anything about whether pricing would be affected, but it isn't hard to guess. With Sprint, there is no free lunch. I think ScottR's right on the money.
  11. #11  
    If Sprint ups their data rate to the 40-45 range per month (ala the Verizon rate), I'd probably get a converged Blackberry instead of staying on the T6XX platform.

    I likely represent many professionals in the same boat who work for companies that support Blackberries for wireless mail/calendar synching but who are resisting the idea of shelling out 45 dollars a month to be more connected mostly for the benefit of our employers (we aren't reimbursed for the data charge at this point).

    At a 45 dollar price point, I'd be less willing to live without wireless email connectivity to work and would switch in a heartbeat and not look back.

    All of the above said, if Palm delivers Blackberry software with the 650, then I'd see the value of paying 45/month for data due to how much I like the phone.
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    #12  
    I'm glad someone brought this up, because it's been something I've been pondering for a long time. I've been waiting to buy the 650 all summer, but personally I'd rather buy the 600 and keep my unlimited vision plan rather than get a 650 with a pricier/crippled data plan...while per MB plans aren't that bad, the peace of mind of unlimited is priceless. I wonder if SPCS will do what they did with the T608 and enable bluetooth modem connectivity but limit users to 3MB of data per month.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R
    Related question: If they did charge a premium for the Treo 650/ACE but left the cheaper plan pricing for the Treo 600 as-is, would you rather have the more advanced Treo 650/ACE or keep the cheaper plan pricing and the older Treo 600?

    Scott

    If Sprint charged a premium just b/c of BT, I think I would seriously consider dropping Sprint and getting a GSM provider instead, especially if rumors of Edge enabled Ace are true. In fact, there are only two major factors that have kept me with Sprint: cheaper overall data plans ($15 addons or $10 if you're lucky to have an old grand-fathered plan), and faster overall data thorough-put. If either of these two things changed, I would have to consider dropping Sprint...

    However having said that, I think I would consider paying something like a flat $20 add-on fee if Sprint officially changed their TOS and freely allowed tethering the Treo as a modem for your laptop/pda with no constraints...
    Last edited by Gaurav; 09/05/2004 at 02:12 PM.
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  14.    #14  
    FWIW, the T608 doesn't really have a 3MB/month cap. I own one and have never heard of any other T608 users getting capped or charged for extra usage. I believe this was more of a scare tactic so that the heavy-user geeks (and even knowledgeable business users) might think twice about even buying one so that the bulk of their limited inventory would just get sold to people who wanted a phone to use in conjunction with a BT headset. It's worth noting that these were (and still are?) sold just through telesales and I believe that the only marketing push they got pushed their integration capabilities with BT-enabled cars.

    I can tell you that if Sprint hiked the monthly pricing for unlimited data for the 650 to $45-90/month I might seriously decide to go with the old 600 for a while. T-Mobile coverage in my area is pathetic, and Cingular's plan pricing is expensive. I honestly don't care too much about tethering it, but I see that a lot of you 600 owners "use the heck out of" your phones, transferring hundreds of MB's a month just with phone-only usage (I'm guessing mostly due to streaming radio). Of course, that assumes that they won't bump up the plan pricing for new 600 users as well.

    I just wish I knew what their position was going to be in advance. So WeeBit, if you're reading, the pictures were super, but how about seeing if your friends on the inside have some inside info about Sprint plan pricing? Thanks,

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  15. #15  
    A long time ago the CEO - or maybe now-former CEO - of Sprint PCS said in no uncertain terms that unlimited data was NOT the way they were going to go in "the future" (that is, the future of the time when the statement was made). Unfortunately, I can't find a link to it - I'm sure it was discussed here, however, somewhere (probably TREO 300 board).

    As such, I wouldn't be surprised if Sprint tries to get a piece of that ARPU that PLMO keeps on saying the TREOs bring the carriers that sell the TREO line...
  16. #16  
    Does Sprint really need to jack up their data charge for heavy users? They will soon be migrating to EV-DO, and then the 1xRTT data rates will be rather low compared to the system capacity...even for PDANet and streaming audio users. Or will 100 kbps under 1xRTT protocol take up as much system resources as 1000 kbps under EV-DO?
  17. #17  
    I'd stick with my Treo 600 and my $10 data plan, before I start to pay $25-30 a month for what amounts to an upgrade of just better screen resolution (it's the main draw of the Treo 650 for me). It would be pretty unforgivable of Sprint to do this to existing customers unless their data rates (and usage) sky rocket. I don't plan to use BT to connect to the 'net and I don't see why the rate should change as long as my usage doesn't.

    If anything costs to users should be getting cheaper as networking costs surely must have dropped in the two years that I've had Vision.

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