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Phone company reveals where unused data goes

Technically Incorrect: In a witty ad, New Zealand's 2Degrees Mobile answers the question so many have asked themselves.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Waiting for Godot. With cellphone.

2Degrees Mobile/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You have a data plan.

Sometimes you use your monthly allowance. Sometimes you don't.

Some phone companies roll over your unused data, at least for a month.

But what happens if you have a plan that doesn't roll over? Where does the unused data go?

Does it disappear into some strange data bank in the cloud? Is it handed to those who have unlimited data plans?

New Zealand's 2Degrees Mobile decided to answer that question, one that has plagued so many for so long.

In its new ad, two men are seated on park bench having this very discussion.

It's like "Waiting For Godot," but with cell phones.

They discuss the data that they've paid for, but not used, in existential terms.

Does it get sold on some shady black market? Does it decompose? Does it get smuggled out of the country?

The truth is far more painful, far sadder and far more galling than we would like to believe.

Nothing happens to the data. The phone companies just sell it to you all over again. They think they're quite clever, you see.

Sometimes, we allow ourselves to be taken in by promises that are less than they should be.

As data plans evolve -- or, perhaps, merely suit the providers better -- we have to be constantly aware of what the promises really mean.

Usually, they mean that the provider is trying to make more money, while still offering the very same service.