Print 19 comment(s) - last by abhaxus.. on Nov 9 at 12:29 AM

It's unclear how long the deal will last for and buyers must specially request it

These days, smartphone data plans seem to be getting more and more restricted.  Sprint Nextel Corp. (Skilled unlimited tethering and rolled out the most expensive tethering plans on the market for new customers.  Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD), and AT&T Inc. (T) both killed their unlimited data plans, replacing them with expensive metered plans [1][2].  Even Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA has smacked users with a cap, though it at least merely throttles over-cap users, offering no fines for exceeding your cap.

That's why it's refreshing to see a bit of movement -- even if merely temporary -- in the other direction.

Verizon Wireless is reportedly preparing to offer a double data Christmas special.  Customers who buy a new 4G smartphone will be eligible to get twice the normal data.  $30 USD/month buys you a doubled 2GB (4GB), $50 USD gets you 10GB and $80 USD gets you 20GB of total LTE usage. 

Now the sort of bad news is that apparently you have to specially request this deal and it’s going to be a very short-term promotion.  And the possibly very bad news is that this may be a bait-and-switch -- Verizon has offered no promises of grandfathering new enrollees at the elevated rates for the remainder of their plans.  In other words, this double data bonanza may only last a couple months, at which time the standard caps may roll in.

Double data promotion
[Source: VZBuzz]

Still, however short-lived the plan will benefit some customers and does serve as a promising sign that the wireless carriers are catching on to customer frustration about capped connections.

Sources: VZBuzz, CNET

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By NellyFromMA on 11/7/2011 2:38:27 PM , Rating: 5
... so potentially, there's no deal here at all. Just a chance to specially request a temporary period of raised caps, which they are not comitting to.

Cool...? Thanks?

RE: Ummmm...
By TheRequiem on 11/7/2011 2:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
If you ask me, 10gb was great... 5 years ago. In this day n' age, I think the rates should be at least 10gb -20gb for mid and up to 50 or more for high end should be the norm, IMO. I mean, we pay $50 a month for 250gb or more with U.S. cable companies and dsl companies, they use similar backhaul companies and we're paying Verizon $60+ for a miniscule fraction of the caps. Off subject, their website and stores hurt my eye's too much anyways, too damn red. We get it, red is a Verizon color.

RE: Ummmm...
By FITCamaro on 11/7/2011 2:58:17 PM , Rating: 3
Its far easier to provide bandwidth over fiber optic connections than it is over the air.

RE: Ummmm...
By michaelklachko on 11/7/2011 3:41:47 PM , Rating: 2
The caps have nothing to do with technical aspects of providing bandwidth.

RE: Ummmm...
By FITCamaro on 11/7/2011 10:59:15 PM , Rating: 3
Can they provide the bandwidth to your phone? Yes. Can they provide huge amounts of data to EVERY phone while still maintaining a reliable network? No.

Reality is a far less wonderful place than fantasy land. I don't like some of the caps either, but ultimately we all have a choice of what is a good deal and what isn't. If something isn't, don't use it and pay for it.

RE: Ummmm...
By Alexvrb on 11/8/2011 12:01:16 AM , Rating: 2
You're a drug addict. They have only so much bandwidth to go around, because there's only so much spectrum available to these companies. As more and more LTE devices land, if everyone had unlimited data for $30, it would start to suck for everyone.

To be fair, I don't like strict caps either. I prefer "soft" caps like T-Mobile uses much more. If you hit your cap, they shouldn't start charging you more money automatically. They should drop you to 2G speeds. If you want your 3G/4G/LTE speeds back again, you should have to explicitly agree to pay an additional fee for more bandwidth.

That approach removes some of the anxiety that other capped plans create. But, it's not as profitable for the big dogs either, and lets face it - profits are what drive the development and deployment of stuff we want like LTE.

RE: Ummmm...
By someguy123 on 11/8/2011 12:32:40 AM , Rating: 3
What is this based on exactly?

The telecoms are actively lobbying the FCC for spectrum lease auctions. Why would they be spending time and money lobbying, as well as bidding for, spectrum, if they could simply spend that money putting up some towers, which they would own rather than lease?

Negativity towards landline caps are justified, especially at the speeds we're getting in the states, but wireless data is a completely different story.

RE: Ummmm...
By mcnabney on 11/7/2011 3:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
I believe they are offering it for new devices and existing LTE smartphone customers. So if you already bought a Bionic or Thunderbolt you can just change your data plan to double your minutes for the same money. The new buckets will be permanent though, so if you get it now and the promotion ends in the Spring you still can keep it as long as you want.

I think it is hilarious that the Apple faithful can't take part. Sorry, buy only modern technology can benefit! It will be even funnier if the promo ends the day BEFORE iPhone5 launches!

RE: Ummmm...
By Jeffk464 on 11/7/2011 3:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
$30 bucks for 2gigs is ridiculous, so this just puts the price where it should be. Its pretty easy to go over 5 gigs just browsing the web and downloading audio podcasts.

RE: Ummmm...
By mcnabney on 11/8/2011 9:36:00 AM , Rating: 2
You aren't going to use that kind of data browsing the web or downloading some apps. I think Verizon mentions that 95% of their smartphones use less than 2GB. The usage goes way up if you are streaming a lot of Pandora or stream HD video frequently.

RE: Ummmm...
By Jeffk464 on 11/8/2011 9:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
I use podkast to download radio shows that I can listen to in my truck. Since I drive around 2500 miles a week you can see that it can add up fast.

RE: Ummmm...
By Raiders12 on 11/8/2011 6:05:45 AM , Rating: 2
Woohoo bait-n'-switch! So now they are giving me permission to pay for a DECENT amount of data? I love how data is like texting 10 yrs ago or so, everyone has it, its becoming less and less of a "premium", yet they still charge like its something new and radical. $30/mo for 2 GB?! Hell even for 4 GB that is a ripoff. What do you watch 5 movies on Netflix and kill your monthly allowance? The way the US market allows the big 3 telecoms to rape and pillage the consumer is beyond me.

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