So consumers will get the data they want, but maybe not at the flat rate prices they’re used to, while carriers can get the margins they want while also protecting their networks from traffic overloads.

Stacey Higginbotham crunches the numbers and finds that the future of mobile is… social. Seems folks want to use their phones to communicate with each other, whether via voice or text or data. Imagine that.

The problem — there’s always a problem! — is that the carriers are using this as an excuse to create more data tiers, so that they can charge for ever discreet activity users can come up with.

Are we headed for the need to add a $4.99/month YouTube package to our monthly bill? I sure hope not.