Because very few users need unlimited voice plans, Riley also asserted that the reductions are somewhat meaningless. And because both plans were reduced exactly by the same amount at the same time, he added, "It's not a sign of price competition in the industry, but of trying to drive users to heavier usage brackets." A spokesman for another nonprofit consumer advocacy, Public Citizen, echoed that view: "This [voice plan reduction] appears simply to be a shift to the reality that much of the traffic will be data, rather than voice, traffic."
An AT&T spokesman said the unlimited voice calling reduction had "nothing whatsoever" to do with data rates eventually going up. A Verizon spokeswoman declined to respond to the Free Press criticism.
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Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld, an InfoWorld affiliate. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, send e-mail to email@example.com or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed.