I can’t say it’s surprising but it looks like Verizon Wireless will be killing its unlimited data plan option – even for grandfathered customers – in favor of a data-shared plan, according to comments Verizon executives said.
Verizon had already killed off unlimited data plans last year for tiered data or “usage-based model” but those still on the old $30-a-month plan could keep their unlimited data. This even applied if you were upgrading your 3G phone to a 4G LTE device.
It appears like those on the grandfathered plans will be forced to switch to a new plan. The details of these are not currently available.
“Everyone will be on data share,” Verizon CFO Shammo said during a conference, according to Fierce Wireless. “When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us.”
I say it’s not surprising because we know that the major carriers don’t want to give us unlimited data despite the fact that they’re in a battle to proclaim who has the fastest data network. AT&T recently said that it regrets offering the first iPhone with unlimited data because it opened up the floodgates.
There are legitimate spectrum issues for the carriers but it’s going to be tough to walk this line back. I think mobile innovation is threatened when users have to count every megabyte or choose between downloading an app or browsing the web.
Oh well, I guess you can just go to Sprint … for now.
Update: Here’s Verizon’s official statement on it:
As we have stated publicly, Verizon Wireless has been evaluating its pricing structure for some time. Customers have told us that they want to share data, similar to how they share minutes today. We are working on plans to provide customers with that option and will introduce new plans later this year.
When the new options are introduced, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to our customers purchasing handsets and signing a new contract. Customers who choose to purchase phones at full retail price and are currently on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan. The same pricing and policies will apply to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.
We will share specific details of the plans well in advance of their introduction so customers will have time to evaluate the plans and make the best decisions for their wireless service. It is our goal and commitment to continue to provide customers with the same high value service they have come to expect from Verizon Wireless.