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 move to add free Wi-Fi calls to the latest iteration of BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook 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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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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