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Unlimited data will still be available to customers who purchase phones at full price

Verizon Wireless made quite a few enemies earlier this week when it announced that it would be killing grandfathered unlimited data plans when customers upgraded to new LTE phones. In its place will be new family shared data plans that Verizon Wireless has yet to price or fully explain ahead of its summer launch.
Now, in a statement to the New York Times, Verizon Wireless has clarified its position on unlimited data:
  • Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
  • When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
  • Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
  • The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.
So what's the takeaway from all of this? Unlimited data for most customers who upgrade is dead. The only way to keep your grandfathered data plan is to keep your current phone forerver, or buy a new smartphone at full cost instead of the subsidized pricing that most Americans take advantage of when signing a new two-year contract.

Source: New York Times

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Verizon Unlimited Data
By TomMariner on 5/18/2012 9:23:28 AM , Rating: 5
It is Verizon's business decision that there is no longer a reason to reward continuing service. I guess, like us, those with family plans will have to wait until everyone whose renewals are scattered over 2 years all get in synch to switch.

But the plan to not subsidize the phone is flawed -- OK, if I pay full price, then I want a simple monthly bill that is data only - no text, voice, data, fees, taxes, etc. -- Just renting the airspace. And way, way less than the current $200 bills for a small family.

But that's dreaming -- the build the towers, get the phones, send you bills, all with the cooperation of the local and federal government, that they are paying off with every bill you pay. There is zero chance the FCC is going to allow any competitors as long as the telcos buy our Congressmen and President.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By mcnabney on 5/18/2012 10:04:59 AM , Rating: 2
No, it is their reasoning that smartphones are now becoming more like aircards and consuming far more data. So they either raise the prices, or make it hard to stay on the plan.

Remember, $30/mo is cheaper than most broadband connections at home and with LTE and people moving to mobile devices for all their computing needs offering unlimited to devices perfectly capable of sucking down 100GB a month is a losing proposition. There is only so much spectrum and Verizon clearly doesn't want to follow Sprint into a severely overstretched network. Tiers is the best way to do that. It also has the benefit of not charging average users MORE to pay for a few hogs.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By NellyFromMA on 5/18/2012 10:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
MAybe I'm wrong, but you can't use your droid as a hot spot or for tethering (legally) without paying extra on top of the 30... I think 20 dollars more?

So, to be fair, you can't really compare it to an aircard without factoring this into the equation.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By mevans336 on 5/18/2012 10:40:51 AM , Rating: 2
So, to be fair, you can't really compare it to an aircard without factoring this into the equation.

He stated home broadband connection, he didn't mention aircard anywhere in his post.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By mevans336 on 5/18/2012 10:46:20 AM , Rating: 2
... he didn't mention aircard anywhere in his post.

No edit function? Oops.

He did mention aircard, but he was comparing price to a home broadband connection. An aircard requires a minimum of a $50 plan and always has:

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By sprockkets on 5/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By mevans336 on 5/18/2012 10:50:59 AM , Rating: 4
But you can btorrent on it. I do ;)

Guess it's my turn to pay the troll toll.

You're an asshole.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By kleinma on 5/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By mevans336 on 5/19/2012 2:24:26 AM , Rating: 4
Why is one an asshole for using torrent software on their smart phones? Illegal downloading aside (I download no illegal torrents, and the occasional legal one) why is this an issue for you?

Each cell tower has a finite slice of bandwidth, usually 22MHz, 10MHz for upstream, 10MHz for downstream and 1 Mhz bookending the block for interference mitigation.

Verizon is betting on typical mobile traffic, e.g. device gets on, downloads or uploads its data, and then is off, freeing up that carrier for another user.

When you run apps like Bittorrent, not only are you sucking up the (typically) very limited backhaul to the tower, you're occupying a channel for hundreds or thousands of times longer than a normal user, thus hurting everyone else paying for the same service as you.

Depending on antenna configuration (2x2 or 4x4), your LTE tower is capable of either 73Mbps or 144Mbps of throughput. Verizon has initially deployed 2x2 for cost reasons and an LTE Category 2 device can easily hit 50Mbps. Category 3 devices can hit 100Mbps. In other words, a single Bittorrent session can completely saturate a cell tower, ruining the experience for everyone.

That is why I called him an asshole. That is the "justification" companies like Verizon use for metered billing, high data prices, and his tower stats would be the one most likely trotted out when the spectrum boogeyman is brought up.

In other words, his torrenting is costing everyone more money. Lots more money.


RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By sprockkets on 5/21/2012 12:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
So what about all the people who take HD videos and upload them via their phone to YouTube, or watch videos all day? are they as holes too for utilizing the services given to them?

btw last time I did use my phone via bt to get the daily show I used WiFi anyhow - for the rest of those people they may be not as considerate.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By sprockkets on 5/18/2012 3:04:19 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, I know. It is such a crime to watch the daily show on my phone since Comedy Central blocks me otherwise from getting it legally from the phones browser, even if I change the user string.

I also pay for cable so they got their money.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By sprockkets on 5/18/2012 10:39:01 PM , Rating: 1
Here, now that I'm home to type more, let's see more of the stupidity of your post.

You claim that somehow issuing a statement of fact, that people now can bit torrent on phones as an example of how much more data phones can do, is "trolling."

Sorry if people on android can do something you can't, is "trolling" to you.

RE: Verizon Unlimited Data
By mevans336 on 5/19/2012 2:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
I have a jailbroken Droid Bionic.

most <-> new
By xdrol on 5/18/2012 10:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
Unlimited data for most customers is dead.

You should say for new customers. As the first bullet point tells, if you got one, you can keep it. End of story.

RE: most <-> new
By Brandon Hill on 5/18/2012 10:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
Well, you don't have to be a new customer to get cut off. At some point, you're gonna upgrade your phone and you'll either pay full price or get booted from unlimited.

But I have clarified the sentence.

RE: most <-> new
By daf3 on 5/18/2012 12:22:55 PM , Rating: 2
At this point I just buy all my phones used off of ebay. I find over the long haul it saves more money vs buying a subsidized phone from Verizon.

Now it looks like this is the only way I will get to keep my unlimited data plan as well.

RE: most <-> new
By Chadder007 on 5/18/2012 1:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
But its not like the price you pay per month after the contract is up goes down any...

RE: most <-> new
By twhittet on 5/18/2012 5:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not see how it saves you money in the long run, unless you buy phones as soon as they come out.

If I bought ebay phones, I would still get a subsidized phone every 2 (since you're paying for it anyways). Amazonwireless often has phones for 1 Penny.

Then take that phone and sell it on ebay for $300-400. Sounds like you're losing more $ than you save.

Fine with me
By rpierce on 5/18/2012 12:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
I am currently on Verizon's unlimited data plan. I have bought my last two phones off of ebay at about $50 each. These are not the newest/coolest phones, but they work well and it keeps me in a position where I can drop Verizon anytime I want since I have no contract.

This move does not seemed to be aimed at customers like me though. I think they are targeting the power users knowing they will always go after the new technology. And in turn, put that technology to work sucking up more bandwidth.

The fact is, big companies like Verizon will always go after the early adopters, the technophiles. This is where the real money comes from and it is the easiest to exploit.

Best thing to do is take a breath, try to relax, and the whole thing (butt pirating) will go much smoother.

RE: Fine with me
By FITCamaro on 5/18/2012 1:04:27 PM , Rating: 3
You're talking to Generation W(aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!).

They want it now, they want it free, and they want it on their terms. Anything else is a violation of their human rights, a hate crime, and torture.

I would be fine with that if...
By tayb on 5/18/2012 11:20:25 AM , Rating: 2
I would be fine with Verizon killing the unlimited plans unless you paid for retail for the phone but Verizon wants you to pay full retail and then pay full price for monthly plans. Hell no! The rates are high so you can recoup the costs of subsidizing the phone and if I buy it you have no such issues. Reduce the rates or give me an option to go data ONLY and we'll talk. Otherwise GTFO. My contract is up in November. I'm out. You can take your policies and insert them directly into your anus.

RE: I would be fine with that if...
By chimto on 5/18/2012 1:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
My sentiments exactly!

Full price
By chrnochime on 5/18/2012 12:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
So if I buy a phone outright or from some other carrier and not use the cheaper price+2 year service plan, then unlimited is available?

RE: Full price
By elleehswon on 5/18/2012 1:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
So, to keep an unlimited data plan with Verizon, just don't use their "elgible for an upgrade" plan to upgrade your phone. I mean, if you use that much data(most people don't) and want to keep the dataplan you have , just let your contract go month to month. If you need a new phone, just buy one at retail price and use the retailers' extended warranty plan in case your phone isn't made out of adamantium as , so i am told, the nokia lumia 900 is. ( i don't own one, just want to make that perfectly clear). I guess what it boils down to is, how much would the data you use, on average, cost you per month, and can you leverage that perceived cost to purchase a phone at retail price. also, sorry if something of this nature has been reported, i didn't have time to read all the comments.

I think i nailed it! I CAN SEE INTO THE FUTURE!!

Reality check for data whores
By 1ceTr0n on 5/18/2012 5:27:58 PM , Rating: 1
I switched to at&t for a galaxy note and thought I could get by with 300meg plan, but I was new to 4g and I used it up quickly and upgraded to 3gig before overage charges because my data was so much faster then Verizon's 3g on my Droid x. I mostly use wifi at home for it, I'm not the mobile data whore that so many other people are. If I need want reliable and fast bandwidth, I use my home internet 30meg cable or another businesesses landline fed wifi.

Expecting unlimited and all encompassing bandwith through the air is just plaie ignorant and or selfious, which equates to most Americans. The technology is limited and likely will be for the foreseeable future, so we best learn with its restrictions. As always, its always the few people who ruin it for everyone else. I'm talking to you bittorrent leeches and movie and tv show pirates. T

He result is broadband and wireless companies having to implement all these costs and restrictions no thanks to hlthe data whores across the globe. When everyone was on dial up, did we ever hear of bandwidth restrictions and regulations. NOpe. Why? Because basically everyone was sucking from the pool with same sized small straw. Now we have jerks with firehouses and centrifual pumps giving everyone the shaft.

People who NEED to use that much data for whatever LEGAL purposes via mobile use need to either pay up, scale back or start narcing out the real jackasses and causes of our bandwidth woes...

RE: Reality check for data whores
By havoti97 on 5/18/2012 7:43:37 PM , Rating: 1
Agree with you wholeheartedly (except for the few misspelling). The 99.5% of data users are subsiding for the top 0.5% user, and this has got to stop. Some one has to pay for all that bandwidth, and sure as hell Verizon isn't going to volunteer to cover that expense. It's just not fair that it falls on the other 99.5%.

RE: Reality check for data whores
By MGSsancho on 5/21/2012 1:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
Bandwidth is cheap, with wireless it is about spectrum. Look at health insurance premiums, most people subsidize the few who use the resources. Sometimes same works with other utilities. Same thing happens with the united states, few states pay more into the general federal fund compared to many states who need assistance year after year.

Even if towers employ caching servers like from CDNs like akami and/or use their own caching servers with varnish, squid etc., there is only so much spectrum. With fixed landline ISPs, you can upgrade the gbics from 100mb to 1gb, 10gb, 40gb etc (for Ethernet) and do similar things for ATM networks and others. Granted these are not cheap (1gb gbics are) but it is possible. Worse case scenario you rip up the street and lay more fiber. While this is not cheap it is an option.

There is a fixed amount of resources and bandwidth. Try to think back to when cable internet first came out and 50 homes had to fight for resources.

In time for iPhone LTE?
By KentState on 5/18/2012 8:52:05 AM , Rating: 2
It seems that they are anticipating a large number of users that got onto 4G early to switch to the next iPhone and figure it's time to cut the unlimited access. Will make the choice of sticking with my Thunderbolt or upgrading a hard one.

RE: In time for iPhone LTE?
By mcnabney on 5/18/2012 10:07:45 AM , Rating: 1
How much data do you really use? Very few people will be impacted by the change, and most of them will just need to bump up a tier and start paying a little bit more than moderate users. Every other utility charges a base fee (connect) plus actual usage, and wireless bandwidth is certainly a limited quantity.

Preowned Phones, Here I Come!
By Dabogues on 5/18/2012 9:02:18 AM , Rating: 2
The used phone market is about to get a shot in the arm. I'm in the same boat---have a Thunderbolt that will be ready for renewal next February. Was hoping to get the current Nexus/Galaxy phone at that time, but now it looks like I'll be waiting a bit and just getting something used.

sue companies
By talikarni on 5/19/2012 2:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
There is a law in place relating to false advertising. I believe any company describing any plan as "Unlimited" should have absolutely ZERO limits in place, no bandwidth caps, no reduced speeds after a certain cap, etc...
Any company that does place limits on "unlimited" plans should have lawsuits brought against them for false advertising. Even if they have some fine print somewhere that says "Unlimited is actually limited", then legally they should not be able to label the service as Unlimited, or have judgement against the company.
It is simple, if it is not Unlimited, then it cannot carry the title. If they sign up for an Unlimited plan that is no longer unlimited, then each and every customer that is being forced into a new plan needs to be specifically notified multiple ways (snail mail, email, text, on statements) with large lettering so every customer can see their plan will no longer be unlimited after a certain date.

Read the entire story
By MaxDepth on 5/21/2012 4:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
Not just what has been clarified as to what constitutes moving off he unlimited plan, but what Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo says to investment bankers: We're going to maintain our profit margins by killing off unlimited services. This was never about subsidizing data hogs or letting them bring down tower services by allowing them to torrent 24/7. No, this is about squeezing as much cash out of the public as possible, without driving customers away. They are losing easy money each year when people move to data phones and slowing weaning themselves off SMS texting. The iPhone is proof of that with Apple's own version of SMS. Texting used to be easy bank for these telcos and now technology is making that expensive [to the user] and obsolete.

Another thing to think about: maintaining service without incurring infrastructure costs. Yes, bandwidth on a cell tower has its limits but I mean, come on, what are all those ads for? All those ads show bandwidth intensive activities -- so why shouldn't AT&T expect us to do anything less? But...if AT&T places limits, either by throttling or changing for overages, you mentally put those limits on yourself. Unless you have kids, then you put physical limits on them like taking their phones away. And when you limit yourself, you usually go way under your plan's limits. And for the mass of humanity, what is the percentage of users that go right up to their limits every month? I'm sure it's less than 2%.

So everyone is using less. That too means that cell phone towers do not have to be upgraded to handle more bandwidth. No upgrades means less infrastructure costs. So you see AT&T may say they're going after the data hogs or to make billing more fair, they mean to say it's more fair for them to make more money.

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