Print 24 comment(s) - last by Dr of crap.. on Jan 10 at 10:28 AM

Verizon may keep tiered data plan in place  (Source: Reuters)
Tiered data here to stay thanks to family plan users

Smartphone users that have been enjoying “unlimited” data use (for one set price) on devices like the iPhone for quite some time. This was good for heavy users because they could do all they wanted without fear of a massive bill at the end of the month. The problem for carriers came when smartphone sales exploded and people actually started to consume that data. 

Verizon has hinted around at tiered data pricing strategy for months and has even trialed a tiered plan for users that didn’t typically consume much data. Verizon started a $10 monthly data plan that allows a scant 150MB of data use monthly. The goal of the plan was to lure users on family plans that didn't typically use data to try it out.

Apparently the move worked and it seems tiered data pricing may be here to stay at the nation's largest carrier. Verizon CEO Daniel Mead told Reuters at CES, "We've been very encouraged by that [family plan user data adoption]. We think it's helped us in terms of getting more members of a family using data."

The special $10 monthly plan was an offer that was supposed to disappear at the end of January 2011. However, Mead said the promotion is being evaluated and thanks to the success, it may lead to a more permanent plan. He said, "We're considering every option."

Verizon and all of the other carriers are keen to find ways to get more users on their higher margin data plans now that most people have mobile phones. Data use is a key profit center for carriers and Verizon expects its LTE data plans with much faster speeds to bring in more customers.

Mead added, "We're coming into an important phase of growth. I think we're going to see customer growth. We're going to see customer engagement in different ways."


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RE: i don't mind
By notfeelingit on 1/7/2011 1:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
If history is any indication your unlimited plan will be going the way of the dodo very shortly. 25GB of data a month? I'm assuming you're tethering. Just so you know, if you were totally above board with a current Verizon data plan (of which there are no unlimited), you would be paying $80 for 10GB + $10/GB. That puts you right at $230/month. Just for data.

Please, don't give these companies ANY positive feedback on tiered data plans. They are going to destroy mobile internet. Would you be ok with tiered data caps on your residential broadband?

RE: i don't mind
By superPC on 1/7/2011 1:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
no i'm not tethering. i'm just efficient at using my mobile. i stream video, video chat, and use torrent or download manager (megaupload and rapidshare are my good friend) -with resuming and chunking capabilities obviously- from the phone itself. and considering my monthly wired data usage is at least 150 GB, 25 GB is not that much (i use it mostly on my daily commute to work, i use public transport and spend 2 hours commuting). tiered data plan can be beneficial to all if priced correctly and with the unlimited option be ALWAYS available at a premium.

RE: i don't mind
By notfeelingit on 1/7/2011 2:21:07 PM , Rating: 2

My point is that these tiered plans are nothing more than a clever system for confusing the consumer and boosting profits. Have a look at Verizon's current data offerings:

Not a single unlimited plan, and these are tailored for people that need mobile access on their notebooks/tablets, which are very likely to have higher usage than most phones (your case notwithstanding). Why are they manipulating prices based on target device? A byte is a byte, no?

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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