How flat-rate pricing changes the future of cellular


"Consumers like predictability, and that's one of the key features [that flat-rate pricing] offers," Kerton said. "That's particularly true in the U.S., where we have all-you-can-eat buffets and flat-rate pricing for cable and land-line calls. That's what people will use."

Trend 2: Sprint launches a price war

For now, the wild card in the movement toward flat-rate calling plans is Sprint, which hasn't yet announced a flat-rate plan. But it is under pressure to do so because, while the other three national carriers have been gaining subscribers and increasing profits, Sprint has been suffering significant customer loss and decreasing profits.

Given its difficulties, many industry analysts have strongly suggested that Sprint will be compelled to offer a flat-rate plan that will be significantly less expensive than those of its competitors.

"They would increase their customers, which would please Wall Street," Kerton said. "And the CEO knows he has to do something radical."

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