Home > Market Insights > Case Study – Unlimited Data Plan Pricing 2016-2017


Unlimited Data Plan Pricing 2016-2017

One of the biggest and most recurring questions is, “how do changes in pricing impact market performance for a wireless carrier”? At Comlinkdata, we’re able to integrate multiple data sources to answer this question. Exhibit A, shows changes to pricing plans over time for 4 Line offers during the reemergence of Unlimited Plans in late 2016 and early 2017.  This demonstrates how different carriers compete with each other and how they’ve evolved their pricing strategies over time.  In some cases, price changes are clear: they may increase from $120 to $140 for a 5GB plan. Other times, the value of a promotion may be more difficult to determine if it’s based on structural changes: going from $120 for 16GB to $140 for unlimited data.

In addition to our price monitoring data, our proprietary data set provides deep insights into consumer switching behavior. One of the many metrics we use is win share. Win Share is the number of customers that a specific carrier won in a given time period or region over all switchers in that time period or region. (Please note, win share is a measurement of share not volume.)

In Exhibit B, we can look at market performance as measured by win share.  When you compare the pricing changes in plans to the actual impact in the market as measured by win share, you can get a clearer picture of which pricing changes impacted the market and which did not. For example, although Carrier A and Carrier B launched Unlimited Plans around the same time, Carrier B gained more market share while Carrier A struggled to maintain a foothold in the market. In addition to our win share data, we can incorporate additional data sets such as demographics, locations, advertising spend and promotions to determine what helped one carrier’s Unlimited Launch to be successful, while another struggled. Moreover, we can listen to actual consumers and gain insights into how social media discussion has changed in response to activity in the market.  In the data illustrated in Exhibit C, social media discussion increased around price, plan structure and data.  This is evidence of how  unlimited plans have impacted the market.

Overall, our switching data, pricing analysis and social data, paints a comprehensive picture of how pricing affects consumer behavior in the US wireless market. Interested in learning more?

Note: This data has been anonymized, but the underlying messages are the same as what occurred in the in the telecommunications market.