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Verizon drops the metered data plan hammer next week. Existing customers will be spared for at least one upgrade cycle, but new customers will bear the full brunt of the nation's most expensive data plan.  (Source: Flickr)

LTE tethering is no longer free for anyone. For new subscribers it's not unlimited, either.  (Source: Tested)
Big Red kills free LTE tethering, charges new customers lots of money for their data

Verizon Wireless (VZ) has been cagey with regard to details of what its new metered smart phone data plan would entail.  Now customers may find out why.

New smart phone subscribers will no longer have the option to get unlimited data, starting July 7.  In its place they will have an array of plans that while gentle on overages and flexible, are generally expensive for base use.

The cheapest plan will be $30 USD/month for 2 GB -- $5 USD/month more than AT&T Inc.'s (T) price on an identical data allowance.  Verizon does not offer a 200 MB plan like AT&T ($15 USD/month).  Instead, it offers two pricier, higher cap plans -- $50 USD/month for 5 GB or $80 USD/month for 10 GB.  Overages at least, are relatively reasonable compared to past rates on Verizon's metered air cards, dropping in at $10 USD per extra GB.

The good news for existing customers is that they will be able to keep their unlimited data plans for at least one more upgrade cycle.

Verizon also revealed details on its plan to crack down on LTE hotspot usage.  Here existing customers aren't entirely spared -- for them the previously free unlimited data service will now cost $30 USD/month.  New customers have it even worse, though -- they won't have an unlimited option.  They will only get a $20 USD/month 2 GB option.

The pricing was revealed by Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney in an interview with FierceWireless.

The new data costs will take effect July 7.  During the interview Verizon also revealed that shared data plans ("family plans") will indeed be incoming -- similar to T-Mobile and AT&T's.  Verizon has not yet put a timetable on the deployment of those plans.

The details revealed indicate that Verizon -- currently the largest network in the U.S. in terms of mobile subscribers -- will also be the most expensive network in terms of data plans.

Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA is currently the cheapest of the metered plans, offering rates of $15 USD/month for 200 MB, $20 USD/month for 2 GB, $30 USD/month for 5 GB, or $60 USD/month for 10 GB.  T-Mobile followed AT&T's lead and killed unlimited data plans in May.

Currently the only carrier with no official plans to switch to metered connections is Sprint Nextel Corp. (S).  CEO Dan Hesse argues that customers value the simplicity and value of its unlimited plans.  However, he warns that Sprint may someday consider metered plans if the market demands it.

Sprint has also suggested that if the pending AT&T/T-Mobile merger gets approved, that it may be pushed out of business.  If Sprint indeed folded or was acquired by another carrier (such as Verizon), the U.S. would be left with only two mega-carriers -- AT&T and Verizon.  Those carriers, notably, also have the highest planned data costs for new subscribers.


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Bait and switch
By Lord 666 on 7/5/2011 8:02:08 PM , Rating: 5
These plans are bs, no other way around saying it.

And before any moron says that market demand will regulate the cost, thats not entirely true due to the 2 year contract that is holding users back from cancelling.




RE: Bait and switch
By quiksilvr on 7/5/2011 8:11:48 PM , Rating: 5
It is time for us Americans to go for the underdog. We cannot live in a duopoly. Look what happened to soda. $0.75 for a CAN. A CAN PEOPLE.

This may be an advert but dammit I don't care. If you guys switch to a Sprint plan now, simply give them your old phone number from another carrier and they will provide you with $125 credit.

For $70 a month, you get unlimited (TRULY unlimited) 3G and 4G, unlimited texting, 450 minutes and unlimited (TRULY unlimited) calls to ANY mobile phone on ANY OTHER network. Calls after 7pm are free and for $5 more a month, you can make that 6pm.


RE: Bait and switch
By kknd1967 on 7/5/2011 8:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
and best of all, Sprint offers 20~25% discount for many businesses and state employees


RE: Bait and switch
By mcnabney on 7/6/2011 1:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
When a company hasn't shown a profit for five years you can get a pretty good deal.

Right now, Sprint is trying to maintain customer numbers so that the company can sell itself for more money. Much like T-Mobile - the current low prices are just there to pump their line count. They can't compete on service, so they compete on price. Nothing wrong with it, but you can't lose money forever.


RE: Bait and switch
By Souka on 7/6/2011 2:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
and how long until Sprint raises their rates? It's not if, but when....


RE: Bait and switch
By quiksilvr on 7/7/2011 2:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
Never, because AT&T and Verizon will be the two big ones next year and Sprint will have to be competitive (in other words, become the T-Mobile) in the new market to survive.


RE: Bait and switch
By Geraldo8022 on 7/5/2011 8:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
with Sprint I get 3G for $70 and another $10 buys 4G. With taxes it all comes to about $93 per month. I don't have any other Net as I live too far out in the sticks. I don't know why anyone in my position would go with anyone but Sprint. Hope they don't terminate unlimited. That would hurt. I guess it would be sat or Clearwire.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/5/2011 9:04:01 PM , Rating: 3
I had Sprint a long time ago and it was great service, but I switched to T-mobile in 2006-ish because the phone selection was better (Sidekick, G1, etc.) I live between Chicago and San Diego, and both have excellent '4G' coverage in both areas, and importantly, both are the least expensive in the industry with arguably better phones.

I like T-Mobile, but I will leave them simply to favor the 'underdog.' If the AT&T/T-Mobile merger goes through, I'll be switching back to Sprint. Both companies have treated me well.

My first phone was with Verizon in the 90's and the problem with them back then (other than they were expensive) was what they did to the phone firmware and contents. I remember getting one of the first camera phones and not being able to download them via USB they removed that function. They wanted me to upload them to VCAST for $0.25/picture, basically a MMS charge. That was the last straw.


RE: Bait and switch
By bplewis24 on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 10:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
You suck, I'm stuck in my current 3G contract and so can't get into the unlimited 4G until after it goes through the roof.


RE: Bait and switch
By theapparition on 7/6/2011 10:00:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not true. You can go into any Verizon store, buy a Thunderbolt today (at retail), and add unlimited 4G to your account.

You are not stuck by any means. It will just cost you a bit.


RE: Bait and switch
By BSMonitor on 7/6/2011 3:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Who only texts 500 messages a month. Add unlimited texting and you are at $93 with the rest of us.


RE: Bait and switch
By Mr772 on 7/8/2011 5:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget to add the cost for visual voicemail @ $2.99 Verizon is the only major carrier that charges for it. It's free with AT&T and Sprint. Verizon is a scumbag company. They should change the company moto to Vamprizon.

The only way they can get away with this is becaus of idiot consumers who buy the BS network claims. The fact is you can get the exact same coverage on Sprint because of roaming agreements. As long as these suckers keep paying out like chumps Vamprizon will never change.


RE: Bait and switch
By strapmonkey on 7/9/2011 10:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well, sonny, some of us remember when we UPGRADED from the telegraph to the telephone, which was wonderful because we no longer had to learn Morse code to chat across the Atlantic (ah, the landline of yesteryear, seems so down home, old fashioney quaint now). Then (much, much later) came the first portable phones, only they weren't all that portable, being about the size of a short loaf of bread (not to mention prone to inducing male sterility at 20 paces due to all the extra Z-beam transmissions).

Fast forward 20 years, and out comes the cellular phone; mostly portable, end user friendly, no more sterility, fewer brain tumors - winning proposition all around. Oh, and texting too! So, from telegraph, to telephone, to cellphone and back to telegraph again in less than two generations - now THAT is progress!

In all seriousness, some of us old farts have sent precisely 8 text messages on our current cell phone, which is 5 years old. It's....a.....phone. You can use it to make these things called "phone calls", where (again, through the eloquent magic of Z-beam transmission via the ether) voices appear out of thin air; sometimes the voices are actually attached to people you are interested in holding a conversation with.

Oh...OH...gotta cut and run, the Metamucil just kicked in....


RE: Bait and switch
By Motoman on 7/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By erple2 on 7/6/2011 2:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
Other than by rooting your phone, and technically "cheating", Straight Talk doesn't give you unlimited data - at least not what I'd consider data. Access to a couple of hand-picked websites and a couple of hand-picked services doesn't make for what I'd consider 'data'.

But they do provide unlimited talk and texting in that $45 plan.


RE: Bait and switch
By Motoman on 7/6/2011 9:54:40 AM , Rating: 1
Nice post, other than the fact that you have no clue what you're talking about.

Nokia E71. Natively supports wired tethering, out of the box. Supports wireless tethering with a $10 app. Where was the "rooting" you mentioned? Oh yeah...that was you lying about something because you've not got the slightest clue what you're talking about.

Unlimited data is part of the plan. Go look. There's no restriction on anything - it's the internet. Access anything and everything you want.

Why exactly did you feel moved to make such stupid statements about something you clearly have no information on at all?


RE: Bait and switch
By frobizzle on 7/6/2011 10:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
I don't have any conclusive evidence about it but there are a lot of discussion boards where Straight Talk customers are complaining that if Straight Talk suspects you are tethering with your unlimited data plan, they cut your service off without any warning.

I don't know if that is accurate or not but it is something to keep in mind.


RE: Bait and switch
By mcnabney on 7/6/2011 1:05:58 PM , Rating: 2
That is true of all networks and providers. Straight Talk buys minutes and gigabytes from Verizon by the billions, but they still don't want to give it away for nothing.


RE: Bait and switch
By RealTheXev on 7/10/2011 9:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
In my area, not going with Sprint is simple: No 3G (yes that's right) coverage in most of northwest PA. Go look at their coverage map if you think I'm full of it.

I'd have switched to Sprint ages ago if not for the lack of 3G coverage in my area.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:02:37 PM , Rating: 3
I wish I lived in the US-of-A. Try $2.00 for a can of soda here in Soviet Canuckistan (that's $2.08 'Merican).

Cost of living here is 2-3 times that of most US states, despite our strong currency. Wages range from $10/hr for retail type McJobs to around $30/hr for skilled trades, however our overall taxation rate is around double that of the US. Plus it's friggen cold here 9 months of the year.

Uncle Sam, please let me in!


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By amanojaku on 7/5/2011 9:19:35 PM , Rating: 4
Thank you for turning this into yet another pointless political debate.


RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By Nfarce on 7/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 11:11:50 PM , Rating: 5
The fact of the matter is that except for the minor set back of being dead I would say that Osama Bin Laden achieved his goals. The US has depleted the treasury and gone massively into debt fighting two wars, one of which(possibly two) we can't win. We as well as our kids are being molested by the government at airports. The Bill of Rights was basically done away with by the patriot act, which is beginning to look permanent. China has been working to secure deals with foreign countries for future resources all over the world, while at the same time laughing at our stupidity. Yup, thanks to our dumb as* politicians I would say mission accomplished.


RE: Bait and switch
By retrospooty on 7/6/2011 1:38:53 AM , Rating: 1
"Thank you for stating the facts, and putting a mindless mouth breathing Obamabot libtard in its place. "

Troy's post was just as blindly to the right, as the first post was to the left. Both overly blamey, and overly simplified. Neither are correct and neither accomplish a damn thing.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Nfarce on 7/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Nfarce on 7/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/7/2011 2:33:58 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It was the US Army Corps. Of Engineers that didn't maintain the levees


Bush reduced their funding in 2002 to aid the war in Afganistan. An internal probe reveiled the levies would have never failed as they hadn't in over 100 years through more serious storms had they been adequately maintained.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/7/2011 2:45:54 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
We've seen an $860 billion "stimulus" bill do JACK SH!T for jobs and the economy - if anything it's worked backwards


And Bush gave the same amount to wall street after he (de)regulated the banking system into finding violent loopholes and nearly crashed our economy. That money has never proven to have helped anything.

Just about any economist will tell you TARP funds that Obama passed have trickled down to more sectors and helped more people than the wall street 'bailout' has.

Sure. If you look at the numbers, Obama has added the same amount to the national debt in 2 years that bush added in 8 years.

However, Bush spent SIX TIMES more money than Obama has thus far. He was able to add so little to the debt because the economic state he was handed from the Clinton Administration was excellent. To date, that administration is the only administration to have a budget surplus in decades.

Bush spent 1.8 trillion on the Iraq war in 6 years alone. That is more than Obama has been allowed to spend on his programs so far.

Bush killed thousands of people and put hundreds of thousands in harms way. He has damaged the lives and displaced millions of families world-wide. He single-handedly created a 21st century vietnam. The Iraq war is undoubtedly one of the largest military disasters in world history.

You guys just hate your lives so much because a black man is running the show better than a shrivled up retarded white man. We all got played by Karl Rove, and if you don't realize that, you should just jump off a bridge and cleanse the gene pool.

Bush is so ashamed of what he did, he couldn't even appear at the WTC memorial site after Osama Bin Laden was terminated. He has rightfully stayed out of public.


RE: Bait and switch
By CrimsonFrost on 7/7/2011 10:07:44 AM , Rating: 2
Oh STFU, all of you with your political rhetoric. You all act like it's one side's fault, or one man's fault. Also, conveniently, you all blame it on someone else, rather than looking in the mirror... We elected these people and we continually support the ass-backwards system of electing these people. We *allow* them to do all the mean and nasty things they do... If you all think that simply voting them out of office is going to fix it every 4-8 years at this point... You're delusional, each one will be worse than the last, and none of them will ever give you back the power the last one took.

It's like being in an abusive relationship, they promise they'll change, and we want so badly to believe them, that we keep giving them another chance, because we like our country; our luxuries, our way of life. We'd rather be subservient, and mindless wretches than to disturb those things... None of us are willing to do what is necessary to make a real change. So instead, we attack each other for the things are politicians want us to believe. They put these ideas in our collective head, and instead of railing against them, like we should, we rail against each other, distracted from the real problem... Oh well, right?

Back on topic!
As I tell other people who look at Sprint because it's so inexpensive, "you get what you pay for". Sprint, at least around the Washington DC area has very shoddy service. Yeah, the "4G" kinda works here and there, but in general it kicks back to EvDO more often. It also seems the further you get from DC the worse the service gets as well, and closer to the Chesapeake you'd be lucky to get anything if at all. Meanwhile, Verizon, the most expensive carrier works everywhere I've been, even their 4G in most places (when I've turned it on in those areas because I usually stick to EvDO for battery life). The other draw for Verizon is the LTE network, sorry if there's any naysayers still out there, but Verizon has pretty much crushed everyone else's "4G" offerings, it's usually double, if not triple the speed of UMTS+ and WiMax. Even now after the network has become more saturated, the speed is still there and showing no signs of slowing down.

Just my 2 cents.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/7/2011 2:44:01 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't that the amazing thing about it? It is one man's fault. As the most powerful man in the world, he single-handedly destroyed the global economy.

Two men named Dick and Karl played a sucker named Bush, which makes it not all three mens fault, but the laters'


RE: Bait and switch
By CrimsonFrost on 7/8/2011 7:37:11 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps it was, but it was the Supreme Court who put him in office, and it was the people in this country who voted for him enough that he even had a chance. So how many parties involved in getting him there were wrong? Hint: All of them.

Samus, we allow these things to happen, we all bitch and complain about the obvious travesties that happen, and then we all.... ALL OF US! Do nothing, not one god damned thing... Our apathy and lethergy will allow us to be slowly dominated, in fact we already are. We don't even fight back anymore... We're pathetic.


RE: Bait and switch
By retrospooty on 7/8/2011 10:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you...

SO many people like Nfarce and Samus blame everything on one side or the other. This is how they want it, divided and conquered we are.

The truth is BOTH sides are the same criminals that rob us blind through wasting our tax money to the point of being criminal. Its not the right or left, not the reps or dems , its all of them. When Obama took office in Jan 2009, the economy was in a tailspin, at that time, the reps had hte oval office for 20 of the previous 28 years, and they had Congress for 12 of the previous 14 years. Everything CANT be the dems fault, they havent had power. OF course now they do and arent helping matters, but that is how it is. Divide and conquer. Open your eyes people.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
Let's trade passports, you'd fit right in with all the paranoid schizos up here.


RE: Bait and switch
By FITCamaro on 7/6/2011 6:49:03 AM , Rating: 1
This level of stupidity makes the BP oil spill look insignificant.


RE: Bait and switch
By Arsynic on 7/6/2011 9:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
Please shut the fuck up with your Bush Derangement Syndrome. You sound like a blabbering idiot. "Letting 9/11 happen..." Fuck me, you're an idiot.


RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/2011 9:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
Soda is bad for you even in moderate amounts, but that isn't the point. My point was that crying about the price for the convenience of buying something you don't need from the most expensive place you can find it is a piss poor way to judge a country.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:50:55 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, the price of common goods, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, or a Big Mac is a great way of comparing cost of living in different countries, and is often cited by respected economists.


RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/2011 9:58:14 PM , Rating: 1
I'd rather go by prices of things like electricity, which is pretty much the same in both countries; housing, which I am sure is much cheaper where I live than most of the US; gas, ok, the US has us beat there by a long shot; etc, you know, the things generally needed for "living". I'd hardly consider popping money in a vending machine to be a normal living expense. It is hardly a realistic portrayal of the price of buying food. Use the supermarket, at least, if you feel you must include soda as a living expense.

Besides, I'd much rather live under Harper's policies than Obama's.


RE: Bait and switch
By FITCamaro on 7/6/2011 6:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
I guess you think talking on the phone or standing in front of the microwave is too.


RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/6/2011 3:22:41 PM , Rating: 3
Microwaves are shielded, there is practically no radiation escaping, so, no I see no danger in those. The jury is still out on cellphones, but the risk seems small enough that I have no problem using one.

Are you seriously trying to say that the health risk of soda is as dubious as the risk from eating microwaved food?


RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/6/2011 5:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
Soda doesn't kill you when you have one with your lunch at work. If it did, I'd have been dead years ago. I guarantee I'm healthier than 99% of america and I drink soda daily.

I also don't sit watching TV all damn day, I exercise (BMX racing, running, swimming). I also don't eat exclusively at crapdonalds.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
I was making a point, but thanks, mom. :P


RE: Bait and switch
By Mr772 on 7/8/2011 5:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry we're headed in that direction if the socialist liberal nut cases (thank you Obamafail) have their way here in the USA.


RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 10:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
I currently get unlimited 3G data on my HTC incredible. I guess this means when my phone finally dies or Verizon forces out of my current contract I will just head back to a plain old feature phone. I guess this is what happens when all the cell phone companies buy each other out, not enough competition. Verizon needs to consider a lot of people will just opt out and go without a data plan.


RE: Bait and switch
By Obujuwami on 7/6/2011 2:21:43 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the smart phones themselves require you to have a data plan if you are with Verizon, and possibly others. You will get the $30 tagged on you either way unless you just go with a stock flip phone or something like that, and even then they may try to get you with data that you didn't know existed.


RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/6/2011 5:24:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The problem is that the smart phones themselves require you to have a data plan if you are with Verizon, and possibly others. You will get the $30 tagged on you either way unless you just go with a stock flip phone or something like that, and even then they may try to get you with data that you didn't know existed.


That plus Verizon is really sticking it to people. Here's how.

Ever notice how their commercials exclaim 4G Speeds, watch TV on your phone, do streaming video from youtube, and with the iPhone you have facetime (like skype and that's already been in use), and then you have netflix. That stuff eats up data like the fat woman at the free buffet. It's sad because they advertise and promote the devices that can do so much then say "ahh ha! I gotcha...now you pay for overages!" That's shit. Pure shit.


RE: Bait and switch
By Omega215D on 7/6/2011 8:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
No, you are grandfathered into the plan. It was the same way when I had a $15 data plan for my Droid. I was eligible to keep it for my LTE HTC Thunderbolt but that really made no sense. An extra $15 for Unlimited and now grandfathered in.

The most usage I saw on my smartphone was 2GB just by app updates, web browsing and email. This was only the extreme when I was testing out LTE. I'm usually on WiFi and LTE is for on the road type of thing.


RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 10:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but as it stands I'm still on an unlimited plan through verizon.


RE: Bait and switch
By Fracture on 7/6/2011 10:06:35 AM , Rating: 3
Sad to hear. I just bought 12 packs for $2 each over the weekend of the 4th here in the midwest.

Fortunately, we also just got an alternative cable provider (WOW cable) that is keeping Comcast in check. If only someone were to do the same for the cell companies.

Who the hell cares about 4G speeds if you can only stream 1 movie a month thanks to caps?


RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/5/2011 9:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
This x-mas I'm switching 6 phones from Verizon to Sprint with true unlimited plans just to stick it to Verizon. I will go to my verizon store and tell them that I did it too. Shame on them


RE: Bait and switch
By phantom505 on 7/5/2011 9:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not happy with this per se, but it hardly affects me. I use way less than 2GB a month right now. I don't see this changing. I have no real interest in tethering since the only time I even use it is at air ports, and I have a 3G phone so as long as they don't target them with BS, I'm in the clear.


RE: Bait and switch
By FITCamaro on 7/6/2011 6:52:43 AM , Rating: 2
I do agree that this doesn't really affect me much. But to go from $30 for "unlimited" service to $30 for 2GB? When the main competition is $5 cheaper? Especially when 4G makes it easier and cheaper for them to provide that 2GB to you?

My company provides my phone now but still.


RE: Bait and switch
By Omega215D on 7/6/2011 8:04:07 AM , Rating: 3
Problem, Verizon is constantly updating and maintaining their service and towers. Considering the vast coverage amounts in the US that's a lot of manpower for VZW. I had AT&T along with VZW and found myself being able to use VZW a lot more.

I also had Sprint some time ago but the places I went to I found I was either roaming or didn't have service. T-Mobile only worked in metropolitan areas or major highways so that was dumped. Good cheap plans though.


RE: Bait and switch
By tdawg on 7/6/2011 12:56:51 AM , Rating: 5
The problem is that the cell phone market is a pseudo market. American telecoms are not forced to compete with each other, because we can't just buy any phone and use it on any network. Because of carrier exclusivity, not to mention the crapware carriers install on devices, they can ignore quality network performance and good customer service. They can also all miraculously "match" their competitors prices, never having to undercut each other on price. It's akin to collusion or price-fixing without the CEO's actually getting in a room and breaking the law.

Even worse, if you have a problem with a device you bought from one of these carriers, suddenly it's not their concern; the manufacturer is responsible for the product itself. Carriers don't take any responsibility in providing quality equipment; they're completely hands off when it comes to the merchandise they sell. With 2 year contracts, they don't have to care about the customer, just the customer's monthly payments. Not many other merchants would be so brazen about this.

Buy something from Nordstrom or REI, for example, and if something goes wrong with it, the store takes responsibility and takes the merchandise on return. These companies put customer service first; cell phone carriers are the exact opposite.

Sorry for the rant. Cell carriers just really get to me.


RE: Bait and switch
By achintya on 7/6/2011 2:44:23 AM , Rating: 3
This is what happens when there isn't a true free market. If you bundle phones with carriers then carriers do have a hold on you if you want the latest and the greatest.
I'm from India and here we do not have any such restrictions on most phones. You buy a GSM phone and you can slip in a SIM of any GSM carrier in India. And the call rates are the cheapest on the world. I don't think any country would offer Rs. 0.6 (or even lesser) (0.014 USD according to google) per minute for an outgoing call and free for an incoming call. Message rates are slightly higher at Re. 1 (0.023 USD) if you do not opt for a message plan or much lower at Rs. 0.01 if you opt for some of the special message plans.
Internet usage was always metered here, either being restricted to hours per month or low data caps. Unlimited plans are a rarity and overall low speeds prevail. But data plans look to be the exception here. I am currently paying Rs. 80 (1.804 USD) for a 2GB data plan and there are no restrictions on tethering (none that I have heard of or seen till now).

The point of all this is that with the sheer number of telecom operators per region(4-8) competing for a pie of this high growth market, call rates are the cheapest in the world with not many restrictions on things.
The downside of phones and carriers not being bundled are more expensive phones, being sold at full price, since the carrier does not subsidise them and there is no contract as such to lock a customer in.


RE: Bait and switch
By The0ne on 7/6/2011 1:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
All bad luck for us consumers imo. Once AT&T/T-Mobile goes through I think we're going for a "deep" ride. It's amazing how many customers Verizon got with their hippy/trendy/watever commercials they first began doing. Just makes me laugh.


i still don't understand
By darckhart on 7/5/2011 8:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
i still dont understand the point of advertising BLAZING 4G LTE speeds and SUPER AWESOME SMARTPHONES that can call, email, watch hulu, post pics to fb, ALL AT THE SAME TIME, if there are gonna be these DAMN DATA CAPS. What am i gonna do for the last 10 days of the month?




RE: i still don't understand
By amanojaku on 7/5/2011 9:01:54 PM , Rating: 5
Pay the overage fee, or bump your plan up to the next tier. You must have flunked "Brain-Dead Consumer School." Gentlemen from the reprogramming squad will be over shortly.


RE: i still don't understand
By darckhart on 7/6/2011 2:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder at what point the marketing took away your ability to see through the smoke. overselling service to generate enough revenue to back build a network and then imposing limits when they can't quite meet demand. i'm glad you enjoy paying $80/10gb and overage fees of +$2/gb. or maybe you just decide not to use that LTE phone to its fullest (despite paying the premium to have it) to stay under your cap. I would say brain dead consumer school has worked very well on you.


RE: i still don't understand
By Solandri on 7/6/2011 5:02:37 AM , Rating: 4
That too is your choice. If you think Verizon's prices are too expensive, switch to a cheaper carrier like Sprint. If enough people did that, Verizon wouldn't be able to charge prices as high as it does. As long as people grumble and complain, but at the end of the month they pay Verizon, nothing will change. Your role in the market is to make choices which save you money, not to sit in your couch and complain on web forums about why you should be able to save money without doing anything.

The overages I agree are ridiculous. The carriers should be required to automatically bump you up one plan tier for just that month if you happen to go over. Not charge you something ridiculous like $0.002 per kb ($2097 per GB). That ranks right up there with usury and inkjet printer ink prices on the immorality scale.


RE: i still don't understand
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 11:00:12 PM , Rating: 3
:) I heard the LTE is so fast you can hit your data cap in something like 15 minutes, awesome.


extra detail?
By Drag0nFire on 7/5/2011 8:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
Any more on this:

quote:
The good news for existing customers is that they will be able to keep their unlimited data plans for at least one more upgrade cycle.


Really would like to know what that means. If I have an unlimited data plan now, will they take it away in 2 years when I upgrade?




RE: extra detail?
By darckhart on 7/5/2011 8:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
chances are, you'll go month to month as long as you can, but you'll want a new phone, and KABLAMMO. sorry your plan doesn't exist anymore and you'll need to sign a new contract. you're lucky they'll let you stick to it for one upgrade cycle.


RE: extra detail?
By sgtdisturbed47 on 7/5/2011 11:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
You don't get a contract renewal if you buy a phone at retail price (or buy one off eBay), so the system shouldn't drop the Unlimited Data if you change your phone (which you can do at home by dialing #228 on your new phone).

Unless they have the system set up to automatically drop the unlimited data and replace it with the 2GB plan when you swap phones, you could keep the unlimited data as long as you don't do a discounted upgrade.


RE: extra detail?
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 11:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine you wont be able to go from 3G to 4G without a new contract.


RE: extra detail?
By wempa on 7/6/2011 9:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
I, too, am interested in this since my wife and I have unlimited data plans. Verizon already said that if you already have an unlimited data plan, then you can upgrade your phone and keep the unlimited data. The big question is .... for how long will they allow this to continue ? I imagine that they will force us to drop the unlimited data plan at some point in the future.


Stop whining and switch to Sprint
By kknd1967 on 7/5/2011 8:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint's plan is cheaper and unlimited. Sprint is also reasonably generous on occasional tethering usage. Sprint also now offers a good selection of smart phones, only with the exception of the hot iphone. time to switch, if you can not live with Internet meters!




RE: Stop whining and switch to Sprint
By Omega215D on 7/6/2011 8:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
If it actually provided the coverage I'm used to with Verizon I would. If you hadn't noticed quite a bit of the Sprint map is roaming.


By cjohnson2136 on 7/6/2011 9:48:45 AM , Rating: 2
Roaming is not a big deal. I don't have roaming charges and if I am roaming I am on Verizon's network YAY


By Arsynic on 7/6/2011 9:09:39 AM , Rating: 2
Sprint's data network is unusable where I live and I live in the suburbs.


VIrgin Mobile
By jonmcc33 on 7/5/2011 9:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm on Virgin Mobile simply because I refuse to be stuck in any sort of a contract. The phone selection is crap but it uses the Sprint network and I haven't had any complaints about reception and basic web use. I pay $25 per month for 300 minutes (I normally use 1/3rd of that) but unlimited texting and unlimited data. Best of all: no contract.




RE: VIrgin Mobile
By kmmatney on 7/6/2011 1:11:19 AM , Rating: 2
The phone selection isn't the greatest, but my wife has the LG Optimus V (Android phone running Froyo) and it's not bad. I would say it's awesome for $25/mo. My work pays for my cell phone service (iPhone 3GS my 2 years is up in 2 weeks!), but if it was my own money, I'd be with Virgin Mobile as well.


RE: VIrgin Mobile
By wempa on 7/7/2011 9:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, I never knew Virgin mobile provided such cheap plans. It's surprising that every one of their plans includes unlimited data. I'm currently paying $160 a month for 2 phones with unlimited data. I could easily cut that in half. Thanks for the info.


Uh huh
By wiz220 on 7/6/2011 12:16:34 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
he warns that Sprint may someday consider metered plans if the market demands it.


Translation: When every other carrier is doing this and there is no risk of losing customers when we implement the same awful plans, we will do it too.

What a bunch of CRAP! The "market" (i.e. consumers) would never "demand" this sort of B.S. It's the shareholders that would "demand" it.

Now that phones that require data services to be useful are becoming ubiquitous and are almost a necessity for some people, demand becomes less and less elastic. Therefore, GOUGE THE CONSUMER!




These plans...
By Icopoli on 7/5/2011 8:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
Are still cheaper than any that you can get in Canada :/




RE: These plans...
By Scribby182 on 7/5/2011 8:54:50 PM , Rating: 1
but they're not...

I'm moving from Canada to the US soon and was surprised to find out Canada was cheaper for me than the US. I pay $30 for 6GB of data in Canada, which would get me 2GB or so in the US...


Wonder what the family plan will be?
By StanO360 on 7/5/2011 8:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
The individual plans are a no go to me. I think they're overestimating peoples need for rural coverage. I've been using Virgin Mobile and have been fine in suburban Southern CA. Now I know it will be spotty on the highways. I wanted data without the $40 a month cost ($10 family plan plus $30 data).

But, just like the voice family plan, maybe the data family plan will be just as good?




By Obujuwami on 7/6/2011 2:25:30 AM , Rating: 1
Verizon announced earlier this year that all family data plans are dead.


I'm Still
By icanhascpu on 7/5/2011 8:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
getting 20GB cap @ 60$ a month off contract through Millenicom.com. My particular plan uses Verizon network.




well
By sprockkets on 7/5/2011 10:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA is currently the cheapest of the metered plans, offering rates of $15 USD/month for 200 MB, $20 USD/month for 2 GB, $30 USD/month for 5 GB, or $60 USD/month for 10 GB. T-Mobile followed AT&T's lead and killed unlimited data plans in May.


Well, getting around 60kbps per second instead of paying overages may be better than just getting capped completely or paying $$$ for more data.




Usual post
By Motoman on 7/6/2011 12:03:40 AM , Rating: 2
Straight Talk. $45 a month unlimited everything...voice, text, data, and if the phone supports it, tethering and GPS.

I am frequently wirelessly tethering to my ST phone, and never have to worry about data costs.

ST runs on AT&T or Verizon, depending on the phone you get. And they're a division of Tracfone, which has been around a long time.

Very few downsides, like it won't roam (it's either Verizon or AT&T or you're SOL) and no service outside of the US...but that probably doesn't cut down the likely customer base much.




Meanwhile in Finland...
By chromatix on 7/6/2011 12:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
I've just subscribed to a local "mobile broadband" package. For €14 a month, I get 50GB of "priority" data and a free USB modem (locally called a "mokkula") to receive it.

For an extra €5 a month, I get a premium modem supporting higher speeds (via dual-band HSPA+) and an external antenna. I've measured sustained 1.8MB/s downloads on that already, which is faster than my landline.

The best thing is what happens when that 50GB a month runs out. No overage charges, no cutoff, just deprioritisation - so it'll get slower at busy times. No big deal at all.

There's also an unlimited package, with a base price of €20 a month. That's priority data all the time, no cap. With the better modem, €25 a month total, or $36.15 in green money. I'd say that's good value.

So it makes me a very sad panda to see the results of what American corporations and politicians seem to believe is "free competition".




Go with Sprint!
By Dr of crap on 7/6/2011 8:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
My family has UNLIMITED data for $99 family plan, plus $20 per extra line.
Just wait until your two plan is up and switch. No roaming charges and I get coverage everywhere.

Not sure why you'd stay with a restricted provider!




So...
By waydiddy on 7/6/2011 11:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
So the conversation moves from phone plans (where you'd think it would stay) to cost of living (which has a direct correlation to how expensive the plans are) to some internet flamers who can't help but bring up Bush vs. Obama administration & 9/11...and then somewhere back on topic. That's the internet for you.

Anywho, I've been a member of an AT&T family plan for the longest time, but as an added line, I only need to contribute ~$40 for my "share" of the minutes and data. Mind you, my father is the main account holder and uses a lion's share of the minutes for himself, but I dread the day I'd have to shoulder a phone plan myself. Minutes + Texting + Data + Misc. Service Fees & Charges = No Fun. I guess those who are planning to download and surf on their smartphones until their batteries die have a higher price to pay.




I can't switch
By Freezetron on 7/6/2011 10:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon only carrier in Montana, no other then AT@T and they blow chunks.

Me and Droid X gonna have a long, expensive life together I guess




By ShaolinSoccer on 7/8/2011 11:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
SPRINT! :D




Golden Opportunity
By XSpeedracerX on 7/6/2011 3:34:36 AM , Rating: 1
All Metro PCS needs to grow now is a better selection of phones and to make it's network more reliable. $60 a month for unlimited minutes and data beats the hell off of VZW's Prison Shower special they're pulling up there.

Sprints network sucks where I live. However they've already got a great selection of phones and a much better pricing structure that VZW (especially now). I expect them to capitalize on this immensely in areas where their coverage is the strongest. Sprint's afraid of being swallowed up by a coming duopoly, but the two biggest players my drive customers in sprint's/MPCS' direction by charging shit loads of money for their products.




vxz
By gagafafa on 7/5/11, Rating: -1
fdas
By gagafafa on 7/5/11, Rating: -1
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton














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