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Verizon won't make any new friends with its latest attack on unlimited data

It appears that the unlimited wireless data "gravy train" is fast coming to an end. No matter which wireless network you use in the United States, they all are looking for ways to cripple "unlimited" data either by cutting off the plans altogether or throttling data after a certain gigabyte threshold is crossed.
Verizon Wireless is the latest U.S. carrier to punch customers right between the eyes when it comes to unlimited data. The company is ending the practice of allowing customers on grandfathered, unlimited 3G plans to move to an unlimited 4G data plan when upgrading to a new LTE phone. Instead, those long-time Verizon Wireless customers will have to sign up for a new plan with data caps according to FierceWireless.
Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo explained the move at the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference, stating, "LTE is our anchor point for data share, so as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan, moving away from the unlimited world."
Shammo is hoping that customers won't mind being kicked off unlimited data plans once Verizon Wireless' family shared data plans launch this summer.

"Everyone will be on data share," Shammo added.
Unfortunately, the company has yet to announce pricing for the shared data plans. However, we have the feeling that customers will be getting a lot less for their money with a family shared data plan than they do with the current grandfathered, unlimited 3G/4G plans.

Source: FierceWireless

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RE: And then there was one
By Labotomizer on 5/17/2012 6:45:21 AM , Rating: -1
So how much data do you use in a month? I'm not sure how this is "screwing over their customers" to be perfectly honest. Yes, I have a grandfathered unlimited plan. Would I like to keep it? Sure, of course I would. But it's not that big of a deal since I average around 1GB or so per month.

Considering wireless spectrum is a limited resource they don't have much of a choice but to restrict unlimited usage. It's an unfortunate reality. Plus, the people who usually complain are the people who are severely abusing unlimited data. I know people who run torrents on their LTE Android phones. Is it okay that they soak up well over 5GB/month and possibly impact those of us who use their phone reasonably?

As long as the family plan gives me 5GB shared for about $50/month I'd be fine with that. My wife isn't unlimited on her phone but she only uses about 200MB out of the 2GB limit already. So I'd have plenty with a shared plan.

RE: And then there was one
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/17/2012 9:26:49 AM , Rating: 4
Is it okay that they soak up well over 5GB/month and possibly impact those of us who use their phone reasonably?
If they are paying for unlimited, yes...

RE: And then there was one
By vol7ron on 5/17/2012 9:37:34 AM , Rating: 5
I wouldn't have a problem with limited data plans , if there was a " rollover data " or " rollover bytes " option.

Like you, I have a grandfather unlimited plan, that I hardly use. However, when I want to use it to download lots of email, movies, games, books, music, etc; I don't want to worry about approaching my data cap.

My data usage is not constant, it is sporadic; I'd rather a plan that meets that, then for them to say "some people are taking advantage, so everyone has to go back to the stressful policy we had of limited use, with an increased rate on bonus usage".


When it comes to Verizon, I can't help but to always remember that Verizon doesn't know dollars from cents:

RE: And then there was one
By NellyFromMA on 5/17/2012 9:57:42 AM , Rating: 4
So, uh... I purchased an unlimited plan with the expectation that I could use unlimited data, so when I use my data without care in the world for the usage, that means I'm abusing the system?


RE: And then there was one
By vol7ron on 5/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: And then there was one
By kyp275 on 5/18/2012 2:52:27 AM , Rating: 1
then maybe they shouldn't have advertised it as "Unlimited"

RE: And then there was one
By Targon on 5/18/2012 6:08:58 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of this goes back to early implementations and general networking basics. In the days of dial-up, in small towns, a single T1 connection(1.5Mbps) was actually enough to handle the demand. Most people didn't know the Internet existed, so it was fine. As more people got online, a single T1 was not enough, so more bandwidth to each location was needed. The key is that in those days, dial-up users maxed out at 28.8Kbps, so having 1.5Mbps worked. In order to provide service for "broadband" would imply that the amount of bandwidth the ISP would have MUST be at least 100 times the speeds each individual customer would be allocated if you assume there are only 200 customers trying to use that bandwidth. The key is that the AVERAGE use, with some using less, and some pushing the maximum should let the provider avoid being "over subscribed".

The only reason the above would work would be if the service provider keeps the speed to all users at a reasonable level for the demand. If there is an increase in the number of customers that pushes demand, the provider SHOULD have the common sense to limit bandwidth a bit to everyone, just so no customer feels that things are going too slow. If 10Mbps would be the advertised speed, it would be better for the provider to cut the speed to 8Mbps for EVERYONE in an over subscribed area, just to keep the data to EVERYONE flowing. If the provider kept trying to give everyone 10Mbps, that WOULD cause the amount of bandwidth to hit the proverbial wall, and EVERYONE would complain about spontaneous problems with speeds.

For cellular, you have an added complexity where people can move from tower to tower, so the carriers would need to be prepared for more surges in the use of a service. From that perspective then, the approach where "known data hogs" get slower service is almost needed, just to keep these users from hurting service for others.

The problem here is that you don't have it where in a high usage area, even 4G users would find speeds no better than 3G, and you have the problems AT&T had with "slow service" due to iPhone users using more bandwidth. A part of this is also about spectrum, and how cell phone towers can allocate bandwidth. If AT&T could have put area caps on how fast the service was to everyone, then a steady 2G service beats 3G service that unexpectedly drops down to 0.01Mbps for a minute before going back to normal again.

RE: And then there was one
By NellyFromMA on 5/31/2012 1:18:19 PM , Rating: 1
I mean, it sounds more like ISPs and cell phone companies didn't understand technology. Why issue the plans inthe first place....

I understood just fine. It sounded like a great deal so I got it.

RE: And then there was one
By 91TTZ on 5/18/2012 10:53:46 AM , Rating: 1
I know people who run torrents on their LTE Android phones. Is it okay that they soak up well over 5GB/month and possibly impact those of us who use their phone reasonably?

The problem is that those customers were offered the option to buy an unlimited data plan, and they agreed to pay a certain price for unlimited data usage. It's a contract. Now the company is trying to go back on a previous promise.

RE: And then there was one
By xsilver on 5/18/2012 2:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
well the problem as I see it is that there is no such number as "unlimited" so every company has a number in mind when they offer services like this.
Now normally the few massive users are offset by the users that use nothing, however in reality what they are finding is that an increasing amount of people on unlimited plans are actually trying to download the entire internet on their phone. This in turn creates massive losses.

From the customers point of view, the problem is that 5gb (which is probably enough for 95% of people) doesnt sound as good as "unlimited"

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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