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AT&T CEO Regrets Ever Offering Unlimited Data
Also Says He Stays Up at Night Worrying About Disruption
by Karl Bode 08:45AM Monday May 07 2012
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was apparently feeling rather chatty last week, trying to blame the company's soaring prices (which he states would have been implemented either way) on T-Mobile, while complaining there is simply too many wireless competitors for his liking. In an interview at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, Stephenson also took a moment to complain that the company never should have offered unlimited wireless data in the first place. The company killed their unlimited data plan in June of 2010, replacing it with some of the highest prices and lowest usage caps in the industry. Says Stephenson:
“My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat,” he said in the on-stage interview at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference on Wednesday. “And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital."
Unmentioned by Randall is the fact that it was AT&T's skimping on investment that led to a a major public backlash when AT&T's network couldn't handle the iPhone. Stephenson also took some time out to lament potentially disruptive technologies, saying they keep him awake at night. Of particular concern is products like iMessage, which as we've long discussed are the beginning of the end for SMS revenues.