The only technology sector where prices go up …

… continues to be mobile phone services that retain extortionary control.  It’s the power of oligopoly at work.  It will be several years before ubiquitous mobile Internet (the grand grand grandchild of WiFi) smashes the monopoly, much like the wired Internet killed the landline phone business.  The telcos that the Feds broke up 30 years ago have  not only reassembled, they’ve transitioned to wireless where they can play the same monopoly game.

The latest tricks include increasing the number of phones that require an expensive monthly data fee, increasing the $175 early termination fee to $350, and sleight-of-hand marketing.   Cnet catches Verizon’s shell game in “AT&T-Verizon price war debunked (FAQ).”

Verizon & AT&T want you to think they’re cutting prices with their new reduced-rate unlimited plans.  But the reality is that many customers already have essentially unlimited calls at lower fixed minute plans due to free minutes for Friends & Family, night and weekend calls, mobile to mobile calling, and rollover minutes.  More people will have higher cell phone bills due to new and added data rates than will save with the unlimited plan.

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