Wireless services in the US have declined by 12.9 percent in the past year, which represents the biggest drop the Labor Department has seen during the past sixteen years. Analysts say that the reason behind this dramatic decrease can be directly attributed to the widespread reintroduction of unlimited data plans. According to the Wall Street Journal, the cost of wireless service plans fell by seven percent during March and then saw an additional drop of 1.7 percent in the following month. When analysts compared the data from April this year with data obtained at the same time last year, it showed that wireless service prices have seen a total reduction of almost 13 percent. The race between service providers to offer unlimited plans was said to mostly be responsible for the reduction. Sprint and T-Mobile have had unlimited wireless services on offer for quite a while now, while Verizon and AT&T developed their own unlimited plans earlier this year.
The move to unlimited plans and the decline in the cost of wireless service that followed has partly contributed to the first recorded reduction for over seven years in the Labor Department’s consumer-price index, seen in March. Other factors, such as a slowdown in medical inflation, as well as an oversupply of used cars are also being held responsible for reducing the figure, but analysts have said that around half of the decline in CPI inflation that has been seen so far this year could be linked back to the declining costs of wireless services. This was also further backed up by the first-quarter results from wireless carriers, and the overall wireless market is expected to grow 18 percent in 2017.
It also appears that the price wars won’t end with offering unlimited plans. As an example, Sprint is currently offering five lines of unlimited wireless data for $90 per month, which is noticeably less expensive than competirors. The offer, which is available through Sprint’s website means that the first line of service costs $50, the second line costs $40, and the other three lines are free, which represents a significant saving for Sprint customers. Anyone who signs up to the deal will pay this price until next year when the total price will increase to $60.
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