Who Needs a Voice or SMS Plan Anymore?

Who Needs a Voice or SMS Plan Anymore? | MIT Technology Review: "There are good reasons to think that a data plan may be all you need. People are indeed spending less time on wireless calls—only 1.8 minutes per call in 2011, down from 3.1 minutes in 2007—and according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the number of minute is declining overall. Juniper Research predicts that one billion people will use voice and video calling through apps on mobile devices by 2017, about the same number that use smartphones today. Simultaneously, 4G mobile networks are expanding and getting more reliable, Wi-Fi is available in more places, and a growing number of companies are offering very good free or low-priced voice, video chat, and messaging apps that run over these data networks. Even Facebook is introducing free calling to its mobile Messenger app, starting with iPhone users in Canada; some carriers are also getting involved."

Jensine Larsen: 'Access to Internet Is Life,' Say Women Around the World: "Every week, Ruun makes a dangerous night trek to an Internet café amidst sounds of sporadic gunfire in Somalia's streets, braving harassment to access information for her business. In Burma, NiNi dodges online censors to post citizen reports and read world news to share with her students. She faces whole afternoons of electricity black outs and waits 10 minutes for a page to load. Meanwhile, Rosita in Mexico waits until her husband is asleep to quietly open the computer he has forbidden her and network in women's forums. Her online friends give her the courage needed to leave her abusive relationship and take charge of her life."

AT&T Exempts Itself From Its Data Cap, Violates (at least) the Spirit of Net Neutrality | Public Knowledge: "Last year, Comcast started exempting its own online video service from the data cap it imposed on consumers. When consumers streamed online video (say, because they were thinking about cutting the cord and replacing their Comcast cable subscription with an online competitor), that video counted against their cap.  Unless, of course, that online video came from Comcast.  Online video coming from Comcast was exempted from Comcast’s own data cap, giving consumers a disincentive to watch video from a competitor.  We urged the FCC to investigate this anticompetitive use of data caps, and are still waiting for a resolution. Today, while we continue to wait for the FCC to investigate data cap abuse, AT&T has decided to follow suit and exempt data from its own services from the data cap it imposes on its DSL and U-verse customers.  Unlike every other type of data on those connections, data from an AT&T wireless phone does not count against the DSL/U-verse cap. "

Why Orange's Dominance in Africa Forced Google To Pay For Traffic Over The Mobile Network - Forbes: "During an interview on France’s BFM Business TV, CEO of France Telecom-Orange Stephane Richard talked briefly about the network’s relationship with Google, and that the American company had reached “a balance of forces” with Orange (AFP). Following on from the report, Orange confirmed to The Register that “they pay us for the traffic that they send.”"

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