We all live in a digital world. Many of us can’t last a day without logging in to our various social media platforms and posting updates about tiny bits and pieces of our lives. Smartphones are selling like crazy and almost everyone owns one now.

But you either need to have data or be connected to WiFi to make your online presence known. However, data is expensive. Maybe not as pricey as data recovery for a hard drive, but it does add up over a period of time. It is common knowledge, much to the frustration of many. It is even more expensive when you travel abroad. But as competition grows and other forms of wireless Internet connection are more readily available to the masses, data prices also go down.

Voice and text messaging are no longer bringing in the bacon to telecommunication companies. They now come up with various data promotions to meet the growing data demands of the public.

As a result, data pricing has continued to go down. Gone are the days when you have to shell out a fortune just to go online on your mobile device. It starts with one company’s move that sets a chain reaction among other giant telecom companies.

Once the carriers realized the bread and butter was no longer voice minutes and text messaging but data, unlimited plans essentially took a half decade hiatus. In the second generation of wireless plans, data plan anxiety was the modern equivalent of range anxiety for most electric cars. Back then data was not abundant, text messages where about a quarter each outside of a plan, you could not browse the web and talk at the same time, and AT&T’s most basic data allowance was 200mb for a lowly $68.10 per month. If you went over on one aspect, the overage fees were killers. 

Today’s competition makes data prices more reasonable. A smart move considering how today’s generation love to go online for hours on end streaming movies or connecting to social media platforms.

Once AT&T lost exclusivity of the iPhone, market competition took over. Verizon gave us talk and browse at the same time, five times more data, better building signal penetration, and far more useful online account management for $14.14 more a month. A complete no brainer – I have been a Verizon Wireless customer since September of 2012.

It has almost been five years since I made the switch and the market has definitely changed. The phones are simply better, the coverage is far superior across all carriers, you do not have to wait until 8pm to make phone calls, text away, and data is dirt cheap. The crackberry with physical buttons is gone and the touch screen era is here. Competition is good, right?

(Via: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Verizon-Wireless-Data-Pricing-A-5-Year-Case-Study-138998)

These trends in data pricing go to show that major telecom companies adjust to the changing preferences of the market to stay on top of their game.

While they first dictated the prices of data, they now have to cut prices down to an all-time low to tap into a bigger chunk of the market, a market that did not exist before but has grown exponentially now.

Aside from the cost reductions, a lot of companies now offer unlimited data plans or premium data plans that have faster speeds and fewer limitations. Some even offer bundled mobile plans along with your regular TV package. Arstechnica.com published a story about the cheaper “unlimited plans” offered by AT&T.

AT&T is feeling the heat of competition and as a result has lowered the price of its unlimited data plan from $100 to $90 a month, also improving it by adding 10GB of high-speed tethering data. AT&T today also announced a $60-per-month option for customers who are willing to accept slower speeds of no more than 3Mbps.

AT&T also created an “Unlimited Choice” plan that costs $60 a month and also has no data caps and overage fees. However, this plan doesn’t include any tethering capability, and video is always reduced to about 480p resolution or a maximum bandwidth of 1.5Mbps. Overall speeds on the $60 plan are reduced to a maximum of 3Mbps, whereas the more expensive plan provides “our fastest speed.”

The trend is obviously geared towards “unlimited data” plans. The online world we now know has gone far from what it used to be. People go online for fun, work, business, and everything else. It has created opportunities many have only dreamed about before, and it is all thanks to cheaper smart gadgets and lower data pricing.

As intense as our desire to scan our newsfeed and share the things we come across with daily, the likelihood of a hard drive failure is also a possibility many of us are not prepared for and can be a cause of stress for many. It helps to know about the data recovery price ranges available out there so you have an idea of how much it takes to get your hard drive fixed and your precious files saved. This way, you can enjoy the perks of unlimited access to the Internet and a computer that you can rely on at all times.