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Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg  (Source: Phonedog.com)
Verizon CEO thinks Sprint and T-Mobile should consolidate

Until now, most of the talk surrounding tiered data plans has involved setting limits on how much data a mobile user consumed. In Wall Street Journal interview, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg hints that his company, the nation's largest wireless carrier, might take a different factor into account when setting data pricing -- speed.

Seidenberg said that this type of tiered structure would become possible once the carrier's 4G LTE network is deployed, but that the company is still experimenting with possibilities and hasn't developed anything concrete. 

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo likened possible plans to ones offered by home internet services, considering LTE can deliver speeds from 1 Mb to 12 Mb per second. "If you want to pay for less speed, you'll pay for less speed and consume more, or you can pay for high speed and consume less," Shammo told WSJ.

Verizon is expected to announce a number of 4G devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, with a first device available in February. There are somewhere around six 4G devices known to be coming to Verizon in the first half of 2011, including one from LG and an Android-based model from HTC that is strikingly similar to Sprint's EVO 4G. Seidenberg told WSJ that there would be more 4G devices on the market than originally expected, thanks to a push within the organization to develop new products.

Three quarters of Verizon's customers are expected to be data users within the next three or four years, Seidenberg said, compared to less than one quarter today. But he wouldn't outright proclaim the death of unlimited data (the way AT&T has). "I don't think the world's that simple," he said. "We need to get into it, figure out what the customer thinks is fair, and go from there."

Verizon has already begun offering a version of tiered data plans to its customers, with a $14.99-per-month plan that allows 150 Mb of data. But according to the WSJ report, this is merely a "holiday promotion."

While AT&T has taken a hardline approach by capping usage, the two smaller carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile (third- and fourth-largest, respectively) have taken speed into account. Sprint charges an additional $10 a month to customers who want to take advantage of its burgeoning 4G WiMax network (in fact, they charge it to anyone who purchases a "4G"-branded device, regardless of whether the service is available in the area). And T-Mobile, which also offers a low-usage smartphone data plan similar to Verizon's, now throttles data speeds when consumers reach 5 GB of usage in a month.

What does Seidenberg think of the two companies? "There are too many players in the industry," he said. "I think it would be healthy if there's more consolidation."

As for that pesky iPhone deal: Seidenberg admitted that Verizon's push for LTE helped garner Apple's interests, but wouldn't comment on whether or when Big Red would get the iPhone. "If the iPhone comes to us, it's because Apple thinks it's time," he said. "Our interests are beginning to come together more but they have to take steps to align their technology with ours." 



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In laman's terms
By mdogs444 on 11/18/2010 9:07:55 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
What does Seidenberg think of the two companies? "There are too many players in the industry," he said. "I think it would be healthy if there's more consolidation."


In other words "We wan't less competition so people cannot undercut our pricing models."




RE: In laman's terms
By mcnabney on 11/18/10, Rating: -1
RE: In laman's terms
By mdogs444 on 11/18/2010 11:36:09 AM , Rating: 5
Yes.

Yes.

And hell yes.


RE: In laman's terms
By nafhan on 11/18/2010 9:49:48 AM , Rating: 2
Also, T-Mobile and Sprint are on incompatible networks for 3G (GSM vs. CDMA) and 4G (HSDPA+ vs. WiMax). From a tech standpoint, at least, it seems like a really bad idea.


RE: In laman's terms
By The Raven on 11/18/2010 10:04:59 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but they can just do like all the other manufacturers and come out with basically the same phone for Sprint/TMob but call it something else...like the "MacPhone Pro."


RE: In laman's terms
By Spivonious on 11/18/2010 9:55:33 AM , Rating: 4
wan't = wah not?


RE: In laman's terms
By amanojaku on 11/18/2010 10:01:28 AM , Rating: 3
Be quiet, "laman". :-)


By amanojaku on 11/18/2010 9:19:57 AM , Rating: 5
Normally, the more you use something the more you pay in volume, but less per unit, i.e. buying in bulk is more economical than buying piecemeal.

Why can't I buy my bandwidth in bulk? Why is it that when I buy more I'm charged more per MB because of the "strain it will put on our network"? Is it my fault you didn't use my monthly payment to improve your service?
quote:
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo likened possible plans to ones offered by home internet services, considering LTE can deliver speeds from 1 Mb to 12 Mb per second. "If you want to pay for less speed, you'll pay for less speed and consume more, or you can pay for high speed and consume less," Shammo told WSJ.
That makes no sense. Your speed is usually directly proportional to your consumption: the more speed I have the more likely I am to consume. I didn't do NetFlix or Hulu until I got bandwidth and low latency. What it sounds like is VZ wants to give me faster access to the same cap. Piss off.




By mcnabney on 11/18/2010 9:33:30 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't get that sense at all. It sounded more like Verizon wanted to break down data plans in more ways.

Just like DSL and Cable operators charge different monthly fees for different speeds, it sounds like Verizon might offer multiple tiers of speed, 1mbs, 5mbs, and 12mbs - or something like that. I also think that they are going to rapidly expand their data 'buckets' once they get LTE across most of the nation. So in addition to choosing a speed, you can also choose a bucket of GBs - say 1GB/mo, 5GB/mo, 10GB/mo, 20GB/mo, and possibly even unlimited.
It will give people more choices, and correctly charge the heavy users (quantity) and high demand users (speed) more. That model will allow a light user to choose higher speed and less GB so that their brief use is more enjoyable.


By bplewis24 on 11/18/2010 9:46:43 AM , Rating: 3
Same exact thing I was thinking. It's counter-intuitive to suggest that a person who wants a higher data speed is going to consume less data. The "hurry up and go idle" approach doesn't work with download speeds.

Brandon


By foolsgambit11 on 11/18/2010 3:27:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think he meant for the same price - as in, you could consume, say, 12 GB @ 1 Gb/s or 1 GB @ 12 Gb/s and it would cost the same amount. I'm sure those numbers won't be right (it won't be a 1:1 ratio of higher speed to higher cost/GB), but you get the idea. Consumers will have greater choice in their pricing plans based on whether they value speed or total data more.


Data rate is already too variable
By Suntan on 11/18/2010 12:57:36 PM , Rating: 3
I think a cell company is opening itself up to a lot of customer anger if they start selling (and thereby implicitly promising) different data speeds.

Seeing as my Verizon phone can get anywhere between 1.4Mbps (at home) and 700Kbps (in the office at work) would I automatically get dropped to the lower tier pricing when they are not able to provide every last Kbps that their tier pricing indicates?

I think they should not even try to open that can of worms.

-Suntan




By supermitsuba on 11/18/2010 1:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, mobile is different in the sense of between 700 Kbps and 1.4 Mbps is still sloooooow. To charge more for the 1.4 Mbps that may or may not be that speed is silly. Works for comcast, mostly, but for cell phone companies with already slow connections, ill pass on signing a contract like that. Buy my phone outright and say screw the data connection completely.


By The Raven on 11/18/2010 10:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
While Steve waits to get the Iphone on Verizon I bet there are plenty of people who are getting hooked on Android-based phones. And it is likely that they will be using said phones for at least a 2-year period.

But I'm sure his arrogance will comfort him through this difficult time.




What an idiot.
By rudy on 11/18/2010 7:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint currently has the most cell phone towers in the US of any carrier. They also have a strong partner ship with clearwire who also as around 20k towers. Altogether they can almost double the number of towers verizon has. Sprints biggest problem is their costs are out of control because they actually have to much network. They need to get rid of iden altogether and fast and the last thing they need to do is pick up tens of thousands of extra towers that run GSM which sprint does not even deal with. Sprint needs to get leaner not fatter




Another Corporate Duche
By The Insolent One on 11/18/2010 5:18:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What does Seidenberg think of the two companies? "There are too many players in the industry," he said. "I think it would be healthy if there's more consolidation."


Healthy for whom? Obviously he's not talking about the consumer.

These telecom tards in suits make me sick. They all bitch and moan about regulation and at every opportunity they try to gouge more money out of people for services marginally better than what already exists.

Face it, every telecom was basically given their infrastructure and the right to be an oligopoly or even a local monopoly. And for that all we get is them crying about not charging enough or too much competition.

Cry me a river.




Another Corporate Douche
By The Insolent One on 11/18/2010 5:22:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What does Seidenberg think of the two companies? "There are too many players in the industry," he said. "I think it would be healthy if there's more consolidation."


Healthy for whom? Obviously he's not talking about the consumer.

These telecom tards in suits make me sick. They all bitch and moan about regulation and at every opportunity they try to gouge more money out of people for services marginally better than what already exists.

Face it, every telecom was basically given their infrastructure and the right to be an oligopoly or even a local monopoly. And for that all we get is them crying about not charging enough or too much competition.

Cry me a river.




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