Print 45 comment(s) - last by Samus.. on May 23 at 8:18 PM

Verizon to cut off unlimited data plans this summer

We've been hearing about Verizon's intentions to end unlimited data plans for quite some time. We first heard about the possibility of a tiered data strategy in fall 2010, and it looks as though Verizon is now gearing up to implement the new strategy this summer.

Verizon Wireless customers will no longer be able to have an unlimited data plan for $30/month. Instead, customers will be give tiered options will penalize customers who download large amounts of data. Rival AT&T currently offers a 200MB data plan for $15/month and 2GB data plan for $25/month.

To soften the blow, Verizon Wireless will offer "Family” data plans that allow multiple smartphones or tablets to share a large pool of data per month according to Reuters. This move has been a long time coming as customers have long been able to share minutes, but data packages have always been assigned to each individual phone line at $30 a pop.

"I think it's safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans (for data) and people are going to share that mega-plan based on the number of devices within their family," said Verizon CFO Fran Shammo. "That's just a logical progression."

Shammo also alluded to the fact that the next generation iPhone will be a "world phone". The baseband chip used in Verizon's version of the iPhone supports GSM, but it is currently disabled. However, Shammo indicated that the next iPhone will "work in as many countries as AT&T's iPhone" and will launch at the same time (instead of 6 months later as was the case with the Verizon iPhone 4).

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By icemansims on 5/19/2011 4:34:27 PM , Rating: 4
Another reason to stay with Sprint.

RE: Thanks,
By cjohnson2136 on 5/19/2011 4:43:01 PM , Rating: 5
My wife and were looking at switching to Sprint next month. This only makes me want to switch even more.

RE: Thanks,
By geekgod on 5/19/2011 6:24:11 PM , Rating: 1
Don't switch, if you care about the data speed. I travel a lot and I have a company allocated Sprint 4G aircard. It's almost impossible to get a 4G connection, anywhere. I am extremely frustrated with the 4G connectivity. I am just waiting to get a Verizon aircard.

RE: Thanks,
By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 8:30:35 AM , Rating: 2
I actually don't want 4G yet cause none of the coverage are really big enough to help me. Plus I just can't afford Verizon right with my wife getting a smartphone soon its going to bump our cost up enough more. I need cheaper and Sprint has cheaper. Plus all my co-workers have Sprint and they get fine coverage.

RE: Thanks,
By Jedi2155 on 5/21/2011 5:41:54 AM , Rating: 2
I will agree that traveling with 4G is probably not very good but if you live in a generally static area that provides 4G coverage, its actually pretty good.

Been a happy Sprint customer for about 7 months now.

RE: Thanks,
By Samus on 5/23/2011 8:18:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint data slow? You've got to be kidding? I had Sprint back in 2002-2005 (Tmobile now) and even then I was pulling ridiculous speeds and response time with then-called PCS Vision. I'd regularely get 2-3mbps@300ms, basically what I get TODAY with Tmobile.

Considering the deployment of WiMax, the speeds and latency are probably astronomically better, and if you're out of WiMax range, there's no reason you can't get what I got nearly a decade ago, which is great.

Half my friends with Verizon complain about being on Edge when they travel, SLOW.

RE: Thanks,
By Arsynic on 5/19/2011 5:06:59 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but Sprint's data network sucks. We've done extensive tests with their data cards and Sprint is slow and unreliable even smack dab in the middle of the city with 5 bars.

RE: Thanks,
By semiconshawn on 5/19/2011 5:17:42 PM , Rating: 1
Ditto that. I would not go back to Sprint from ANY of the other 3. Only benefit sprint has other than flea market prices is that you roam onto verizons network when out in the sticks. They are however very friendly when you call to say their 3g sucks (son still has sprint) sooo yey customer service...

RE: Thanks,
By augiem on 5/19/2011 5:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on where you are. My friend who lives in San Francisco uses Sprint and has had nary a problem in 3 years. Best bang for the buck right now, no doubt. Metro PCS sucks.

RE: Thanks,
By eskimospy on 5/19/2011 6:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
It all just depends on where you live. I lived in San Diego with Sprint for years and the service was fast and reliable. Really top notch. Other places I've been it's not so good. So, as per usual see what other people in your area think.

In terms of pricing and data plans though, Sprint is amazing. The company has gotten so much better over the last few years it's not even funny.

RE: Thanks,
By bodar on 5/19/2011 7:09:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, zero issues with Sprint on Oahu (EVO).

RE: Thanks,
By bigboxes on 5/19/2011 8:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. Sprint is awesome here in DFW. Best bargain and customer service. I know a lot of peeps that have switched to Sprint.

RE: Thanks,
By kleinma on 5/20/2011 9:38:32 AM , Rating: 2
I got news for you... if the T-Mobile AT&T merger goes through (to create AT&T&T-Mobile of course) then Verizon gobbling up sprint is the next logical step towards the duopoly that we will inevitably see here.

RE: Thanks,
By protosv on 5/20/2011 12:23:39 AM , Rating: 2
I've been a Sprint customer for about 6 years now, moving back and forth between New York City and Philadelphia. Both areas have excellent reception and data speeds.

RE: Thanks,
By TakinYourPoints on 5/20/2011 4:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
We'll see how long they can hold out before they also cave in and start using data caps. :/

FOUND - 1 Can
By OCNewbie on 5/19/2011 6:05:15 PM , Rating: 3
Found this "Can" on my doorstep this morning. Wasn't sure if anybody around here might have lost it.

RE: FOUND - 1 Can
By chagrinnin on 5/19/2011 8:09:45 PM , Rating: 3
Nah,...that's Li'l Billy's .99¢ "no-strings-attached" phone service. Unlimited data, and only .50¢ for additional "phones". He left a can at my house too,...uhm,...I've got some string,...where do you live?

RE: FOUND - 1 Can
By OCNewbie on 5/19/2011 10:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to the omission of the word "Can" in the headline

RE: FOUND - 1 Can
By SilthDraeth on 5/19/2011 11:03:37 PM , Rating: 3
All you eat are belong to can!

RE: FOUND - 1 Can
By chagrinnin on 5/20/2011 12:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
Oh,....awk-warrrrd. Soooo,...that's a no "Can" do?

Once again....
By icanhascpu on 5/19/2011 4:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
...Heads up for anyone looking for wireless net.

They buy from vs and sprint in bulk. Their vz cap is 20GB and sprint 50GB for 59.99 and 69.99 (exact bill no extra crap). I did not have to sign a contract and I am on my second month with them with no issues. Setup for me was about 90$ as I got on with them halfway through the month. That included a USB modem and data. I can stop whenever I like and I can keep the modem (came with a 2gb mini SD card with drivers on it inside the modem, removable :D)

I searched for years for the best thing to replace dialup where I am, and all I found was ATT EDGE unlimited net through tethered iphone.

This is much, much better.

RE: Once again....
By DanNeely on 5/19/2011 4:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
Your prices appear out of date. I visited their site and their current capped plans are much smaller, although they offer an unlimited plan as well.

Do you know who, if anyone they have roaming agreements with? Their coverage page is just an address check not a map. My gut reaction is this means they don't have any roaming deals.

RE: Once again....
By icanhascpu on 5/19/2011 6:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
Advanced Plan High Speed Wireless Monthly Broadband $ 59.99 per month 20 Gigabyte Data

I dont know what you're reading.

If you want to see coverage I suggest looking at sprint/vs maps, as I stated they buy from them in bulk to give their users more reasonable caps.

RE: Once again....
By DanNeely on 5/19/2011 6:59:22 PM , Rating: 2

The plans I see are:
Standard $59.99 for 5GB
Advanced $59.99 for 20GB
Unlimited $69.99

It was partly my fault for not noticing both metered plans were at the same price, but the 50GB plan you mentioned doesn't exist which threw me.

As for coverage, you completely missed my point. Are the sprint plans sprint or sprint + roaming partners? Likewise the VZW plans? And finally how do you know which network they're selling; none of the plans give any indication of whose service you're buying.

RE: Once again....
By icanhascpu on 5/19/2011 10:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
Ulimited is 50GB through sprint.

Youll need to contact them about roaming.

Switching to Verizon
By mherlund on 5/19/2011 4:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
I have been thinking of switching to Verizon soon. If they do make this change, do you think you would get to keep the unlimited data for $30/month? If not, would I be able to cancel my contract with no early termination fee? Or is it better to not even switch to them?

RE: Switching to Verizon
By tng on 5/19/2011 5:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
Or is it better to not even switch to them?

Like many others here, I would recommend Sprint before ATT or Verizon.

RE: Switching to Verizon
By FITCamaro on 5/20/2011 7:38:22 AM , Rating: 2
If you sign up with unlimited data, you keep it. Just if you ever change your plan, you'll lose it.

RE: Switching to Verizon
By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 8:34:09 AM , Rating: 2
Or until you renew your contract.

RE: Switching to Verizon
By JediJeb on 5/20/2011 2:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
Just don't renew. I haven't renewed my contract with Cingular, oops AT&T, since 2005.

By michael2k on 5/19/2011 4:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
I would love a data bucket shared amongst my devices! Even better if tethering was "free". Pay $60/m for 4gb and 4 devices, and I would be happy.

RE: Finally!
By Solandri on 5/19/2011 6:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
Charging for tethering only makes sense if a plan has unlimited data. Once a carrier imposes a data cap, they eliminate all justification for limiting tethering. If their cap is 5 GB, it doesn't matter to them if you spend it on emails, browsing the web on your phone, or tethering / running a hotspot.

The plans may start out charging extra for tethering simply because customers are used to it, but the long-term market pressure will be towards eliminating that distinction.

RE: Finally!
By mcnabney on 5/20/2011 9:38:38 AM , Rating: 2
I imagine tethering charges will go away. You just pay for the bucket of GBs and use it on whatever devices you choose - tablets, feature phones, or any phone tethered to a computer.

RE: Finally!
By enlil242 on 5/22/2011 5:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
I have a capped data plan on my Galaxy Tab and the mobile hotspot feature is included. No extra charge...

It really depends on the pricing
By phatboye on 5/19/2011 5:03:27 PM , Rating: 3
I know I will probably get down rated for this but w/e...

While I don't agree that landlines should have rate caps (landline ISP's have made billions of dollars overcharging customers and receiving government help so they should have invested in upgrading their networks before istituting bandwidth caps.) I can see the reasoning for them to place bandwidth caps on wireless data. It’s really easy for a few users to suck up all the available bandwidth on these fairly new 4G networks and to prevent that I can see why Verizon/AT&T would choose to place reasonable bandwidth caps on users.

What angers me though are the outrageous prices these companies charges for data. First of all charging users for tethering should be illegal. Customers are already charged for data and since AT&T places bandwidth caps on their data how can they justify charging for tethering, that is just greedy. Secondly $15/Month for 200MB is grossly overpriced. AT&T knows most people are going to go over 200MB per month on a smart phone and set this plan up to purposely penalize their customers with overage charges.

So as a Verizon customer how I react to the new data packages depends on how Verizon chooses to price their data plans. If they decide to price their data packages similar to AT&T I will definitely jump ship to Sprint.

Also I like the Idea of the family data package. It should have been that way from the start where a family can share a single data cap just like the phone talk time minutes are shared.

By mcnabney on 5/20/2011 9:43:44 AM , Rating: 2
You shouldn't get downrated because you are 100% accurate. Bandwidth regulations and high costs constrict the amount of data that carriers can even make available to the consumer. Without caps the available bandwidth would be quickly consumed and customers would have difficulty getting any type of connection.

By btc909 on 5/19/2011 6:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
I have two Verizon Smartphones, so how much will the data portion of my bill go up?

RE: Bill
By Master Kenobi on 5/19/2011 10:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
As with most Verizon plans, until you renew your contract your existing plan is still valid. Changing your plan or phone generally forces you to change plans as the one you are on will be listed as "no longer available". Anyways, that is how that work. Remains to be seen what their pricing and caps will be.

Would a Cap Work?
By mike8675309 on 5/20/2011 1:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
I took some time and took a look at my account using the Verizon Account Analysis tool. I have 3 Droid phones on my account, so that is 3 of us all with a 29.99 per month data charge or around $90/month for just unlimited data. We don't tether. Average data usage has been 1.03GB for all phones.

Give me a 4gb data plan that i can share for all phones on my account, and stick it around $40/month, and I'd be set and save $40 a month. 2gb I could live, though I prefer a bigger cushion than just under 2x.

RE: Would a Cap Work?
By Belard on 5/21/2011 10:16:18 AM , Rating: 2
Heres the thing.

If people are NOT using that much data... then why have a cap?

They promote features like watching WEBTV and other data-services for these smart phones - then they want to RIP us off to use these features... or we can't use them.

Why kill it?
By createcoms on 5/20/2011 5:02:23 AM , Rating: 2
Why nuke the plan instead of increasing the price? Is there some market condition which completely nullifies the viability of flat rate plans irrespective of how much one pays? Surely not...

Seems silly that they would just end the concept altogether.

RE: Why kill it?
By marvdmartian on 5/20/2011 8:10:58 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe because they know their prices are too high already, and the market won't support higher prices?

Loved this quote:
"I think it's safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans (for data) and people are going to share that mega-plan based on the number of devices within their family," said Verizon CFO Fran Shammo.

Yeah, I'm sure that all the single folks, that aren't on a family plan, will really appreciate that type of thinking.

Could be the beginning of a new idea, though. Plan pooling amongst people. Instead of you and your neighbors each having an individual plan, pool your resources, and get a "family" plan. Just make certain there's only one geek or teenager in the group, since too many data hogs will kill your bandwidth limit quick! ;)

Let's See Some Numbers...
By Arsynic on 5/19/2011 5:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see the prices. Right now my wife is on a 150 MB plan for $15 which is really stupid. She probably uses like 80 MB a month though. I have "unlimited" (5GB) data through my job, but I probably use around 1 GB of it since my phone switches to Wifi data at home. If Verizon offered a 2 GB data plan for $30/month I'll be game.

However, based on their current pricing scheme they'll probably charge like $80/month for like 2 GB of shared data. Currently, both my wife and I would have shared minutes and then we each would spend $30 a month for "unlimited".

By nolisi on 5/19/2011 5:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
And I'm certain if Sprint doesn't go there too, then Verizon will just buy them out.

Seriously, we're not paying for the data, so we shouldn't be charged for the amount of data. We're not asking AT&T/Verizon's infrastructure to store the data- it is merely a transport mechanism. We "pay" the content providers for the amount of data.

And what's the important figure that we're paying for when it comes to the service of a transport mechanism? That's right performance.

This free market has not brought consumers the choice that we're told are the benefits of a free market- it has only taken away choices and consolidated thus far. Their profits would crack if they billed us based on sustained throughput rather than amount. It would expose the flaws in the services they provide, and would force them to improve service. Sustained throughput is what defines the experience (and ultimately is what the consumer pays for) of the service. The amount of data we consume is dependent on the experience provided by the content providers, and that's what we pay THEM for. In paying carriers for the amount of data we can transact rather than at the rate of transaction, they're pretending like they're creating the content we consume, rather than simply being the I/O mechanism that they're supposed to be.

By augiem on 5/19/2011 5:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
I can't believe this wireless companies are so short sighted!! They should be opening the flood gates right now, not closing them! Get the public 200% dependent on their services (phones, devices, even appliances) and they will UTTERLY OWN telecommunications within the next 20 years! Cable/telco/etc. just can't compete with the convenience and future potential in yet undeveloped applications for wireless 2-way communication. All you CEOs are shooting yourselves in the foot! I wish I had 10 or 20 billion to start my own... sigh...

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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