Wireless Industry News

Network performance and monthly costs are far more important to U.S customers than unlimited data, according to fresh data from Jefferies.

Unlimited data has become a crucial factor for network operators as growth has stalled, ratcheting up competition. Sprint and T-Mobile both introduced all-you-can-eat plans for all customers last August, and Verizon and AT&T followed suit earlier this year.

A Jefferies survey of more than 1,000 postpaid subscribers found that the new plans are gaining traction, particularly among customers of the two smaller carriers. Roughly 62% of Sprint users are now on its unlimited offering, and 57% of T-Mobile users pay for unlimited. AT&T’s penetration rate for unlimited is 31%, and Verizon’s is 23%.

About one-third of all U.S. subscribers are on an unlimited plan, Jefferies reported, and nearly half of those on tiered plans expressed interest in moving to unlimited. But only 8% of those polled said unlimited was the most important factor when deciding on a wireless provider. Read More

Verizon Wireless activated its Category M1 LTE network, making it the first U.S. carrier to launch a nationwide LTE network dedicated to the internet of things. The carrier said it will offer IoT data plans for as little as $2 per month per device, with customized options available for bulk activations and volume purchases.

Category M1 LTE is very different from the higher categories of LTE that smartphones use. Uplink and downlink speeds are both capped at one megabit per second, and bandwidth is capped at 1.4 megahertz per device. This is said to enable low-cost connectivity chipsets for devices that do not need constant communication with the network. Category M1 modems are roughly 75% less complex than Category 1 modems, which are currently used to connect IoT devices to LTE networks