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Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam  (Source: Associated Press)
Verizon CEO kicks customers in the gut when it comes to LTE data

Most of us take our smartphone's "unlimited" 3G data plans for granted. We pay the $30 data fee (in addition to the charge for monthly minutes) and surf away with little regard for data overage charges. We do this because using a smartphone in normal day-to-day duties rarely would consume gigabytes of data within a month which would tip off wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon.

Those who tether, however, be it through unauthorized means like jailbreaking on the iPhone or through officially sanctioned tethering data plans, can find it easy to consume gigabytes worth of data in a month. This comes from people tethering their notebooks and other internet-capable devices to the phone which make sucking down copious amounts of data easy.

With this in mind, Verizon appears to be taking a preemptive step to curb users who consume large amounts of data. According to the Financial Times, Verizon wants to put in place a tiered pricing strategy for LTE (4G) data plans. What makes this move even more puzzling to potential customers is that Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam recently stated that the cost of carrying 1MB of data over its upcoming LTE wireless network will be "half to one-third the cost" of Verizon's existing EVDO network.

What is even more interesting is that Lowell stated, “I expect people will have four or five or perhaps even more devices they will connect to the network” -- but he went on to say that these same customers would prefer to buy "buckets" of data by the MB for this usage scenario.

For most people connecting four or more devices, conventional wisdom would say that they would want an unlimited plan to avoid overage charges; but perhaps Lowell knows something about Verizon customers that we don't.

Lowell went on to add that his company will have three to five handsets next year that will work on its LTE data networks. Verizon Wireless also expects to switch over to LTE voice traffic by 2012.

Sprint, which is offering competing 4G data coverage via WiMAX, is launching its HTC EVO 4G smartphone early next month. That phone will come with attached with an unlimited 4G data plan, albeit with a $10 higher price tag (per month) than what most customers are used to for their current 3G data plans.

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RE: Makes sense, though...
By MrBlastman on 5/27/2010 3:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
The thing I'm most curious about is the latency. For hardcore FPS gaming on the PC, latency is king--the lower your ping and packet loss, the better. Latency makes a huge difference in your ability to perform in tournament play.

I suppose, that gets me back to my point, how is the latency on these tethered connections? Can I expect to see 15 - 30 ms ping times? It is hard to compete when you have a 100-150 ms ping and everyone else has around 30 - 50 ms.

To the article--Verizon is protecting themselves. They aren't dumb. They realize that people will try and game the system to reduce the fees they pay. Somehow... they have to manage to keep their revenue streams strong.

RE: Makes sense, though...
By mcnabney on 5/27/2010 3:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
If latency is important you won't like wireless.

I get about 60ms ping on Roadrunner and about 160 on a Rev A aircard.

I know. It is amazing how businesses are actually trying to make money. When did that happen?

RE: Makes sense, though...
By jimhsu on 5/27/2010 5:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's the poorly kept secret of the wireless world - latency frankly sucks. Not as in 100 ms sucking, but frequently spikes of up to 300, 500, or even a whole freaking second. It's the same reason why your hard drive is slow compared to your SSD, why satellite internet just sucks compared to broadband or even ISDN, why people buy sports cars (less latency) instead of school buses (more bandwidth) to get from A to B faster.

Must read:

RE: Makes sense, though...
By droplets on 5/27/2010 7:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
The thing I'm most curious about is the latency

With my Pre tethered to my computer, bridged to my PS3, I can play MW2 online. With 130-200 latency. I get about 1 kill a round. If I get a text, I better pray I'm in a corner surround by my own claymores. If my phone rings, it's game over.


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