Bad News for Telecoms: Even Data Plans Are at Risk

Long-distance bills are for suckers. Or at least that's what a growing number of network operators want you to think. On the heels of Research In Motion's (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) move to add free Wi-Fi calls to the latest iteration of BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) has added a similar feature to its own Messenger app for iOS.

Like Apple's FaceTime, both caller and the recipient must be using Messenger. But that also isn't much of a restriction: We've been using self-contained networks for cheap cross-continent connectivity ever since Skype came to the fore 10 years ago.

Two things have changed in the years since. First, Wi-Fi is more prevalent today. Second, telecom carriers have become more dependent on data than in years past. If software and cheap wireless access are making it easier to offload jobs that would otherwise go to cellular data networks, AT&T, Verizon, and their peers could take a hit.

How much of a hit? Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova answers this question and more in the following video. Please watch and then leave a comment to let us know what you think.

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  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2013, at 1:08 PM, lund5151 wrote:

    I use my iPhone multiple times daily. I use voice messaging apps once in a blue moon. Tim, that which you see is not a measurable trend, but rather a possibility to track.

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