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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 ImEmmittSmith on 1/10/2011 9:55:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think tiered plans are just a way to charge customers more when they exceed their given data plan each month. Case in point, the very first month my daughter had her iphone, after 15 days of use, we received a message she was about to go over the 250mb threshold, which should not have been an issue. She doesn't send pictures/download/stream. After talking to her about several 20mb and 70mb data files sent, I contacted AT&T to find out what these could be and was told that they were system maintenance updates. Within the first 15 days, we had almost 150mb of system maintenance! WHAT?! Yes, if you look at your AT&T data usage, you will see large data files sent(AT&T doesn't differentiate between sent and received with data). I have the unlimited plan and I have quite a few large data files sent each month without my knowledge. All this to say, we ended up having to move to the 2gb plan just so we would not get hit with overages each month. AT&T says they have NO control of what gets updated each month and my response to them was that should be their cost of doing business, not the consumers. They disagreed! I filed a complaint with FCC! Let me know if you have a different experience, I was rather disappointed at AT&T disregard for billing me for data that I did not transmit.


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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