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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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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.

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