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).