German operator Deutsche Telekom has added new mobile tariffs for consumers and business customers to its portfolio, including the first mobile tariffs in the German market to have an unlimited data volume. DT’s MagentaMobil XL plan now offers private customers unlimited high-speed data for €79.95 (US $98.50) per month. Data use for EU roaming is capped at 23 GB per month. Telekom said the new tariff is a response to customers’ growing demand for more data volume and cost control.
Telekom’s Business Mobil XL Plus tariff is the first tariff for business customers in Germany to feature unlimited mobile data. The new tariff costs €87.95 (US $108.40) per month and offers unlimited monthly data volume, 25 GB of EU roaming data, as well as unlimited calls from Germany to fixed lines in the EU, the U.S., Canada and Australia. Customers can add the One Number and Business VoiceMail services to the tariff free of charge.
Operators in highly developed markets have experimented at various times with offering unlimited data plans. In some cases, in the U.S., for example, these have proved too costly to the operators in question and been phased out, or else mitigated with throttling restrictions that have on occasion landed them in hot water with regulators for lack of transparency.
Clearly DT believes that now is the time to introduce unlimited data in Germany. Growth in data demand is the most important factor, and it is true that subscribers, particularly in developed economies, are using applications and functionalities, for personal and business purposes, that demand more data than ever before. An unlimited data plan can incentivize customers to consume more data than ever, and if the operator eventually phases out unlimited data, the usage levels will likely remain high and drive more revenue in the future. And even if the unlimited data does not turn out to be a short-term offer, it will certainly win DT new subscribers and significantly increase loyalty among its existing ones.
While the prices are not low, the unlimited tariffs will represent very good value for money, considering that multi-gigabyte usage levels per month are no longer notional but very real. In addition, the combination of the unlimited data with other business functionalities such as enhanced voicemail and unlimited calling should make the Business Mobil XL Plus tariff very attractive to small and medium-sized companies.