The Downfall of Unlimited Data Plans
Back in the days in UK, it was almost nothing for us to browse YouTube videos in the streets; no extra charges, videos were smoothly buffered and played. Credits to the Unlimited Data Plans from 3 and other telephone companies. However the pleasure ended when I head back to Hong Kong and the States.
The data plans provided in these 2 places were mostly limited. I had to be extra careful when browsing the Internet, beware of the temptation of clicking into the YouTube app; according to Vodafone, a typical 4-minute YouTube music video costs 11MB, which is equivalent to browsing 75 websites. The reason behind was because providing unlimited Internet services to the public would lead to ‘abuse’ to the network, largely consuming various network resources. The result? Huge network congestions.
So, what differences did it make after the unlimited data plans were gone? Probably a closer relationship and less phubbers, I would say. The vocabulary phubber comes from the words ‘phone’ and ‘snubbers’, thus they are generally negative. Before, people were used to text during conversations, which in terms of manners was absolutely disrespect to the speaker; now there are more face-to-face interactions. There may be less road accidents, because for those who think they’re cool when checking their phones randomly while crossing the road; now they have time to checkout the crossings before cross it.
Yet on the other hand, there would be less people downloading the apps on smartphones and the revenue of online advertisements would be affected. Telephone companies will have to strike a balance between provisions of Internet services and the prevention of Network congestion. Some companies in the States provide various plans with different amount of data services along with their according price lists, which could be a light to other countries in the future.
Photo: Tommy Ton