Do You Really Need an Unlimited Data Plan? (Spoiler: No)

According to Consumer Reports and analytics firm Validas, nearly half of the people with unlimited AT&T data plans don't need it. In fact, those people (which make up 48 percent) use so little data that they should just switch to AT&T's low end 300MB plan. What?

That's what the numbers say! 48 percent of people with unlimited plans don't use enough data to warrant the need for an unlimited data plan so they should take the immediate savings of tiered data plans rather than have the freedom of unlimited data plans. What's even more surprising is that 15% of unlimited data plans use less than 50MB a month.

Do You Really Need an Unlimited Data Plan? (Spoiler: No)S

Why do those people even bother totin' a smartphone around if they're not going to use the smartphone! Have these people even heard about the Internet? Are we sure they know it exists? Did someone explain to them that a smartphone can totally do the Internet? Whatever.

For some of these teeny weeny data users, maybe the idea of taking the $10 savings is worth it (a monthly 300MB plan on AT&T is $20, grandfathered unlimited data plans cost $30), after all the savings totals up to $120 over a year and $240 over the lifetime of a contract. Why pay for something you'll never use? You don't need to super size everything in life.

But for those people who appreciate value and future proofing, giving up your unlimited data plan for a 300MB tiered plan is nutty (of course, we are not these people). But from a value standpoint: if 20 bucks gets everyone to 300MB but paying 10 more bucks gets unlimited data users 1.7GB more, why not get more bang for your buck? What's 33 cents a day, anyway. And as more services move towards streaming and the cloud, that $10/month is a solid investment towards future proofing your phone. Those fools who dipped out of unlimited data plans will look at you in envy as you stream music from Spotify, watch Netflix movies, upload pictures to Instagram and download apps over 3G. Of course those 'fools' have never heard of any of those services and would never use it, so they're laughing at you. Who knows who's right. [Consumer Reports]