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Verizon to kill off unlimited data plans for existing customers


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#1 Fifty Shades of Grey

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

Verizon Wireless subscribers who have held onto their $30-a-month unlimited data plans will soon be forced to upgrade to a new tiered offering the company plans to launch this summer, according to the Web site Fierce Wireless.

Speaking at the J.P Morgan Technology Media and Telecom conference today, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo told investors that the company's 3G unlimited data plans that customers were allowed to hang onto last year when Verizon switched to a tiered offering will soon go away entirely. Instead, the company will migrate its existing and new 4G LTE customers to a new "data share plan."

The company has yet to announce the details of this new plan, but it has said previously that the data share plan will be introduced in midsummer. The plan will allow people on the same family plan to share buckets of data each month, much like they share voice minutes and text messaging. It will also allow individuals to share data across different 4G LTE devices.
Verizon eliminated its unlimited data plan for smartphone users last July, about a year after AT&T had done the same thing. Like AT&T had done previously, Verizon told its existing unlimited data plan customers that they could keep their unlimited data plans even after their contracts expired. And Verizon has allowed its 3G wireless subscribers to upgrade to 4G LTE devices, while keeping their unlimited data plans.

But the company was always careful to say that it could change this policy in the future. And now it looks like that day has finally come. The way it will likely work is that as 3G unlimited contracts expire, Verizon will push subscribers to upgrade their devices to smartphones on company's 4G LTE network. These customers will then have to sign up for the data share plans.

"Everyone will be on data share," Shammo said, according to Fierce Wireless. "When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us."
Verizon hasn't yet announced pricing details of the new share plans. Shammo said that he believes this new plan will make it easier for families and small businesses to connect multiple devices, Fierce reported. This new plan is meant to encourage people to buy multiple connected devices and to use them on the 4G LTE network, without signing up for an additional data plan.

As this change happens and people connect additional devices to their accounts, Shammo said that the industry will have to change how they account for the revenue. Instead of looking at average revenue per user, he said that the industry should look at average revenue per account.

News of the end of the unlimited data plan is sure to upset some consumers who have held onto their existing accounts specifically for the unlimited benefit.
AT&T also offers this benefit to longtime smartphone customers. But the company has struggled to keep up with the demands of some of these users. In an effort to ensure that "grandfathered" unlimited users don't hog the network, the company began slowing down a proportion of these heavy users. The move outraged many customers. One man sued AT&T in small-claims court and won. AT&T has since changed its policy and now only slows down or throttles users if they exceed 3GB of data per month.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel still offer unlimited data plans. T-Mobile also slows down users if they consume too much data each month. But Sprint claims that it is the only major wireless carrier in the U.S. to still offer unfettered unlimited data. Some people question how long the carrier will be able to offer such a plan given the steep rise in data usage.

A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment on the news.

http://news.cnet.com...bers/?tag=mncol

Beneficial to them indeed, especially if you have 2 or more smartphone users in the household, plus the newest iPad as well. :roll: My contract runs out in december, which is when I will no doubly switch to a local provider.
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#2 shrike4242

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:37 PM

If you're still under contract with one of these plans on Verizon, this is a material breach of contract terms and can get you out of your contract without an ETF.

#3 Scorch

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:45 PM

I'm still under contract. It says that you can't carry unlimited to 4G. Am I being forced to upgrade to 4G? I'll hang onto 3G w/ unlimited data as long as I can.

If you're still under contract with one of these plans on Verizon, this is a material breach of contract terms and can get you out of your contract without an ETF.


If I'm on a family plan, could my parents get out as well or just me?

#4 dmaul1114

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:53 PM

I didn't have any unlimited option when I finally got an iPhone last fall, so moot for me.

Moot anyway as I think the most data I've ever used in a month is 350mb or so. Pretty much always around wifi so I just don't use the 3G all that often other than when traveling or at my parents who don't have broadband available etc.

In any case, sucks for those who have the unlimited plan and need it.

#5 DCpinoy

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:54 PM

Wow, I'm one of those people that still have Unlimited 3G Data with Verizon and it sucks to hear this. Thanks for the heads up OP.

#6 dohdough

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:58 PM

Wow...this news blows for people that stuck with Verizon because of it. I bet they're still not going to allow tethering either when they cap the data.

Good thing I'm still on a 6 year old $6 per month unlimited data plan. Go me!

#7 dmaul1114

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:05 PM

They already really don't allow tethering. You have to pay $20 a month extra to use your phone as a wifi hotspot--and you don't get any extra data allowance for that money.

#8 dohdough

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

They already really don't allow tethering. You have to pay $20 a month extra to use your phone as a wifi hotspot--and you don't get any extra data allowance for that money.

Right...I just meant that in reference to switching over customers from unlimited as a token gesture since it doesn't really cost them anything even if it was for a limited time.

Paying $20 to tether 2gb seems awfully scammy to me. Not as bad as unlimited texting bundles, but still bad.

#9 shrike4242

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

I'm still under contract. It says that you can't carry unlimited to 4G. Am I being forced to upgrade to 4G? I'll hang onto 3G w/ unlimited data as long as I can.

If I'm on a family plan, could my parents get out as well or just me?

You're not being forced to upgrade to 4G per-se, though the number of non-LTE devices in Verizon's lineup is shrinking. If you go from your existing device to a LTE device, you won't be able to retain the unlimited data on your current plan when you renew for 2 more years.

I'm sure Verizon also has it worked out in their system that if you bought a used LTE device and tried to activate off-contract, the same thing would happen.

I think that if you're the primary on the family plan, everyone would be able to leave ETF-free, though if you're not, it would probably be just your line of service.

Wow...this news blows for people that stuck with Verizon because of it. I bet they're still not going to allow tethering either when they cap the data.

Good thing I'm still on a 6 year old $6 per month unlimited data plan. Go me!

They'll get to you sooner or later with that cheap data plan.

#10 Clak

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:33 PM

They already really don't allow tethering. You have to pay $20 a month extra to use your phone as a wifi hotspot--and you don't get any extra data allowance for that money.

Heh, I don't with my Nexus....

Anyway, Verizon can suck it after this. The only, only reason I stayed with them was because I had the grandfathered unlimited plan. Now from the wording there I'm guessing they aren't going to try and force those still under contract onto this tiered plan. My contract lasts until some time in 2013, so if they try that before then I'll be canceling, and I won't be paying an early termination bullshit either.
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#11 dmaul1114

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:35 PM

Paying $20 to tether 2gb seems awfully scammy to me. Not as bad as unlimited texting bundles, but still bad.


Yeah, it sucks.

And I don't think they have unlimited texting any more either. At least not for iPhone. I upped from 200 (or 250?) messages for $5 a few months back as I was going to go over, and the only option I had was for 1,000 for $10.

Should have just went over that month as it was just a chick I was dating briefly that was texting me a ton, and that didn't work out so I haven't come close to 250 messages since and it won't let me drop back down for a year now I think.


Anyway, Verizon can suck it after this. The only, only reason I stayed with them was because I had the grandfathered unlimited plan.


I can't see myself switching away from Verizon since it's what 95% of my friends and family are on, so I really benefit from the unlimited in network calling.

Coverage is also great for me, I don't think I've ever had a time where I didn't have reception and someone I was with who was on another carrier did. While I have had the opposite happen several times.

Besides, do any of the major carriers have unlimited data anymore? Particularly for the iPhone?

#12 Clak

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:41 PM

Yeah, it sucks.

And I don't think they have unlimited texting any more either. At least not for iPhone. I upped from 200 (or 250?) messages for $5 a few months back as I was going to go over, and the only option I had was for 1,000 for $10.

Should have just went over that month as it was just a chick I was dating briefly that was texting me a ton, and that didn't work out so I haven't come close to 250 messages since and it won't let me drop back down for a year now I think.




I can't see myself switching away from Verizon since it's what 95% of my friends and family are on, so I really benefit from the unlimited in network calling.

Coverage is also great for me, I don't think I've ever had a time where I didn't have reception and someone I was with who was on another carrier did. While I have had the opposite happen several times.

Besides, do any of the major carriers have unlimited data anymore? Particularly for the iPhone?

Sprint, they also have unlimited mobile to mobile calling.
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#13 dmaul1114

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:43 PM

Ah. My friends with sprint are always bitching about reception problems though.

#14 dohdough

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:45 PM

Sprint is the last hold-out with no cap and Tmobile throttles after 5-10gb depending on your plan, but they don't have the iphone yet and any new contracts would still see a throttle.

I find that Sprint is actually good if you're going to be in a city, but gets spotty as hell the further out you go.

#15 Clak

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:48 PM

Sometimes I think I'm the only Verizon customer who doesn't think their reception is all that great. Just looked at my phone and I only have 2 bars signal, and checking the actual signal in the system properties I'm getting -112 dBm. Not good. Wish I could complain to Verizon and get one of those femtocell things they sell, but I'm not paying for one.
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. -George Carlin

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#16 Access_Denied

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:51 PM

Sprint is the last hold-out with no cap and Tmobile throttles after 5-10gb depending on your plan, but they don't have the iphone yet and any new contracts would still see a throttle.

I find that Sprint is actually good if you're going to be in a city, but gets spotty as hell the further out you go.


Sprint definitely has the iPhone. My sisters both have one. And yeah, the service is pretty spotty is come places. I can't get a signal at all at home. It kind of sucks, but I don't mind as nobody can bother me then. :)

#17 shrike4242

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:53 PM

Sprint is the last hold-out with no cap and Tmobile throttles after 5-10gb depending on your plan, but they don't have the iphone yet and any new contracts would still see a throttle.

I find that Sprint is actually good if you're going to be in a city, but gets spotty as hell the further out you go.

For the moment, Sprint's the holdout, though that may change with the rumored iPhone 5 and LTE.

#18 dmaul1114

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:59 PM

Sprint definitely has the iPhone. My sisters both have one. And yeah, the service is pretty spotty is come places. I can't get a signal at all at home. It kind of sucks, but I don't mind as nobody can bother me then. :)


He was saying T-Mobile doesn't have the iphone.

#19 dohdough

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:28 PM

For the moment, Sprint's the holdout, though that may change with the rumored iPhone 5 and LTE.

True and their plans are Very competitive right now. It wouldn't surprise me if they went tiered, but I'd be surprised if they went with a $10 a gb price model.

#20 crunchb3rry

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:39 PM

The sad thing is these customers will go from unlimited to only 2GB. I have the $15 for 150MB plan still, and just got charged another $15 because I went past it for the first time in 18 months. I imagine they'll force me to go to 2GB soon enough.

#21 pacifickarma

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:06 AM

What about those of us who already have unlimited 4G plans?

#22 Calipso

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:44 AM

My last data plan on my blackberry, I hardly used much of my data.
Then I was forced to unlimited plan when I re-upped with a Droid X2
Now they want me to go back to the original plan?

WHAT THE Fuck VERIZON? Make up your mind.
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#23 QiG

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:03 AM

I don't feel so bad for leaving Verizon for Sprint anymore last year. Reception definitely trails off much quicker but the monthly bill is cheaper and I had a Galaxy 2 months before I would have on Verizon.It's just beyond counter intuitive to me that they offer higher speed but less bandwidth nowadays... we're all taking it in the ass on this collusion and no one seems to care.
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#24 n8rockerasu

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:47 AM

I don't feel so bad for leaving Verizon for Sprint anymore last year. Reception definitely trails off much quicker but the monthly bill is cheaper and I had a Galaxy 2 months before I would have on Verizon.It's just beyond counter intuitive to me that they offer higher speed but less bandwidth nowadays... we're all taking it in the ass on this collusion and no one seems to care.


"Dude...look how fast my phone can load this movie!!!"

*10 seconds later*

BANDWIDTH LIMIT EXCEEDED

lol, couldn't be more true. Honestly, if I could get a decent phone nowadays that wasn't a smartphone, I'd seriously consider dropping my data plan...and I'm actually on Sprint. I just feel like the industry is moving backward. I even like the idea of shared family data...but you know they wouldn't do it if it wasn't cutting costs for them and tightening the screws for us.

Yes, it's nice having internet on my phone...but with more and more places offering free wifi, it starts to feel unnecessary (especially if you own a tablet). But then again, you can't get a phone that has wifi without a required data plan...or a phone with more than a 1.3 megapixel camera...and even that camera is crappier than it was 10 years ago because they stopped putting flashes on non-smartphones. Sometimes I actually miss the simplicity and functionality of my old LG VX8000
Spoiler


#25 dohdough

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:05 AM

"Dude...look how fast my phone can load this movie!!!"

*10 seconds later*

BANDWIDTH LIMIT EXCEEDED

lol, couldn't be more true. Honestly, if I could get a decent phone nowadays that wasn't a smartphone, I'd seriously consider dropping my data plan...and I'm actually on Sprint. I just feel like the industry is moving backward. I even like the idea of shared family data...but you know they wouldn't do it if it wasn't cutting costs for them and tightening the screws for us.

Yes, it's nice having internet on my phone...but with more and more places offering free wifi, it starts to feel unnecessary (especially if you own a tablet). But then again, you can't get a phone that has wifi without a required data plan...or a phone with more than a 1.3 megapixel camera...and even that camera is crappier than it was 10 years ago because they stopped putting flashes on non-smartphones. Sometimes I actually miss the simplicity and functionality of my old LG VX8000

Spoiler

People can always opt to get a pre-paid voice plan and buy a phone they like at full retail, but the US market is too spoiled by subsidized phones. That's one of the benefits of gsm because US gsm providers don't lock out phones for the most part, whereas cdma providers do. Hell, I haven't bought a subsidized phone in over 13 years.

#26 Kendro

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:59 PM

I am at work all day and on Wi-Fi at home and still manage over 200MB each month. I have no idea where the data is getting pulled from.

I can't imagine a 150MB limit is feasible at all which is why they probably made that the minimum plan.

#27 Clak

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:35 PM

http://news.yahoo.co...5--finance.html

I kinda get the feeling they didn't want customers reading that. Lines like this especially:

Shammo said he also expects the new offering to encourage customers to connect more of their devices to its network. As a result, he expects them to have to sign up for higher-tier data services that come with higher fees.
"We're fairly confident we'll start to see people uptick in the tiers, which is where we'll see the revenue accretion." Shammo said in a webcast of an investor conference.


Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. -George Carlin

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” -Mark Twain

“When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." -Jonathon Swift

#28 dmaul1114

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:30 PM

Yes, it's nice having internet on my phone...but with more and more places offering free wifi, it starts to feel unnecessary (especially if you own a tablet). But then again, you can't get a phone that has wifi without a required data plan...or a phone with more than a 1.3 megapixel camera...and even that camera is crappier than it was 10 years ago because they stopped putting flashes on non-smartphones. Sometimes I actually miss the simplicity and functionality of my old LG VX8000

Spoiler


I'm much the same. Held off on a smartphone until last fall as I hate paying for data since I have wifi at home, at work and most bars/restaurants/cafes around the city.

I love having internet/e-mail everywhere I go, and my iPad isn't great for that as I'm not going to lug it around when out and about. But $30 a month is a steep price to pay for that convenience. But I've gotten kind of hooked on having it now, so I'll stick with it. $30 isn't a big deal to me, just doesn't seem like much value when I usually only use 150-300mb of data a month.

I also had that same LG phone a few years back. Had the LG Voyager as my last "dumb" phone before getting the iPhone 4s last fall. I wouldn't say I miss them though. I love having my music (and easy to load/use unlike on my old phones), games, internet/e-mail, e-book apps etc. always in my pocket. I'd never carry around a phone and an iPod touch or tablet when out and about, so a smart phone is great for me on that front even if the data cost is annoying.

#29 TC

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:18 PM

What about those of us who already have unlimited 4G plans?


That is a good question.

#30 benjamouth

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:47 PM

I wonder what the chances are of AT&T following suit.

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