Verizon and ATT to follow
From Verizon 10-Q:
The increases in retail service ARPU (the average revenue per user per month from retail customers), and retail postpaid ARPU (the average revenue per user per month from retail postpaid customers) for the three months ended March 31, 2012 compared to the similar period in 2011 were due to a continued increase in our retail postpaid data ARPU, partially offset by a decline in our retail postpaid voice ARPU. Retail postpaid data ARPU increased as a result of continued growth in the proportion of our customer base using smartphones, which grew to 46.8% of our retail postpaid customers as of March 31, 2012 compared to 32.2% at March 31, 2011. However, both retail postpaid ARPU and retail postpaid data ARPU growth were adversely impacted by the growing proportion of our customers using internet data devices and customers optimizing the value of their data packages for these devices.
**That is Verizon speak for people got smart and started offloading their network traffic from their smartphones to their jetpacks/Wifi to avoid fee overages.
Internet data devices represented 8.3% of our retail postpaid customer base as of March 31, 2012 compared to 7.3% as of March 31, 2011. In addition, our retail postpaid voice ARPU was $31.63 during the three months ended March 31, 2012, representing a decline of $1.38, or 4.2%, compared to the similar period in 2011 primarily due to the ongoing impact of our retail customers seeking to optimize the value of our voice minute bundles.
**That is Verizon-speak for people started noticing that 450 minutes would work rather than unlimited, saving them $20-$30 per month.
Most of the press blindly walked into the moth light and compared what current plans to the new ones would cost, not paying attention that no matter what VZ would find a way to wean their subs off unlimited data onto these new plans DESIGNED for people to fall in the trap and pay for unnecessary data, or if one doesn't pay attention $15/GB if you go over..Ouch. The only way to tether "free" is to go on one of the "data trap" plans.
In fact VZ now calls out "data" ARPU in a separate line item from voice in their 10-Q. It doens't take a rocket scientist to figure out that they are going to put the zappers on data and maximize legacy voice--and hence the new consumer trap plans.
They KNOW people in family plans will fall into the "data trap", sooner rather than later.
The only way to contain costs and overages is to go prepaid with a carrier than throttles rather than hard-capping (you can still do email, etc) when you hit the limit.