Verizon just ruined 4G with data caps for everyone

In July 2011, Verizon Wireless dumped its option to get a $29.99 a month unlimited data plan for any new Verizon customers. Existing subscribers were able to keep using their unlimited plan under a grandfather clause and this included upgrading to a new smartphone that connected to Verizon's faster LTE network.

Now it looks like those customers will have to look elsewhere for a true unlimited data plan. Fierce Wireless reports that Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo confirmed today that existing unlimited data customers will soon have to move to a tiered data plan sometime later this summer.

According to the story, Shammo said the move will be made when Verizon launches its shared data plan, saying, "A lot of our 3G base is on unlimited. When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us." He added, "Everyone will be on data share." Shammo made these remarks today as part of a speech at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference.

So far Verizon has not announced exactly when its data sharing plan will go into effect nor how much it will cost. When this change does happen, that will mean Sprint will be the only one of the four major US wireless carriers with a true unlimited data plan for its smartphones.

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this really sucks. I might as well move back to ATT so at least I can use a world phone again. I had my OG Droid since it came out and was looking to upgrade. now...it seems I will jump the verizon ship.

Have absolutely no need for any Smart Phone overloaded POS **** phone at all. Am on the Boost w/shrinkage unlimited plan (just hit my 6 month on time payments so plan is $35 for unlimited everything)

Have a clutch i465 Motorola phone that does all I need. If everyone just quit buying every new little toy that came out and feeding these corporate pigs and didn't think they absolutely HAVE to have all this crap, the prices would come down or they would start making changes.

cork1958 said,
Have absolutely no need for any Smart Phone overloaded POS **** phone at all. Am on the Boost w/shrinkage unlimited plan (just hit my 6 month on time payments so plan is $35 for unlimited everything)

Have a clutch i465 Motorola phone that does all I need. If everyone just quit buying every new little toy that came out and feeding these corporate pigs and didn't think they absolutely HAVE to have all this crap, the prices would come down or they would start making changes.

Don't preach to me. If I like an expensive phone, I'm going to buy it. HTC One X came yesterday, upgraded from G-Nexus and Galaxy S2.

Just because yanks whinge about their prices, and feel sorry for themselves because they seem to think they deserve unlimited data on the move, doesn't mean everyone should just stop buying new phones!

the thing with straight talk they do not tell you what their data limit is. it is not unlimited and they quietly terminate your service. verizon is telling you upfront.

When my contract ends this year with big red V, it's over for good. They keep pushing more and more crap! First a charge for paying from my phone for a convenience charge. Then a charge for resigning! Now this BS. I'm through with them!

I've been contract free for over a year, and still on the at&t (so called) unlimited plan. If/when they do this, I'm dropping them altogether, and going with straight talk.

If i understand this correctly, customers upgrading devices will loose the unlimited plan so in theory, no upgrade and you keep unlimited. Looks like I better buy and activate the galaxy nexus ASAP.

sidroc said,
If i understand this correctly, customers upgrading devices will loose the unlimited plan so in theory, no upgrade and you keep unlimited. Looks like I better buy and activate the galaxy nexus ASAP.

"confirmed today that existing unlimited data customers will soon have to move to a tiered data plan sometime later this summer."

no where in that did it say anything about customers upgrading devices would lose anything...this is across the board so no matter what you do unlimited plans are gone this summer. It did say those that move from 3G to 4G LTE but what smart phone doesn't have 4G in it that most don't already have.

sava700 said,

"confirmed today that existing unlimited data customers will soon have to move to a tiered data plan sometime later this summer."

no where in that did it say anything about customers upgrading devices would lose anything...this is across the board so no matter what you do unlimited plans are gone this summer. It did say those that move from 3G to 4G LTE but what smart phone doesn't have 4G in it that most don't already have.

Theverge said this.


Verizon Wireless will no longer be allowing customers on a grandfathered unlimited data plan to upgrade to a 4G LTE smartphone when the carrier launches its tiered data share plans in mid-summer. Executive Vice President and CFO Fran Shammo announced the news during an investors conference this morning.

Most Straight Talk phones operate on Verizon's network- there you go. If you want the latest and greatest then be prepared to pay the premium for said services and quit bitching.

KillTheIrishman said,
Most Straight Talk phones operate on Verizon's network- there you go. If you want the latest and greatest then be prepared to pay the premium for said services and quit bitching.

You're absolutely right, because in this fantastic economy system everyone gets what they want, because of demand regulating price and high demand and all that...
All you could complain about is price being to high for you, if everyone else agrees with you, well... why should businesses care.

After all, we've long kissed "Customer is king" goodbye and people are for businesses not vice versa.
Economy isn't about finding solutions, it's about making money to buy other solutions, tough luck if a cartel doesn't care.
Simply stop using their services, what? You need them, well, there you go, pay up and shut up!

Is that what you are saying?
Delusional!

GS:mac

you all complain about the quality of service/low caps/crap speeds, but the bottom line is, as long as you're all paying whatever the carriers are telling you to pay, along with whatever bs fees they tack on afterward, then there is no reason at all for them to change.

timster said,
you all complain about the quality of service/low caps/crap speeds, but the bottom line is, as long as you're all paying whatever the carriers are telling you to pay, along with whatever bs fees they tack on afterward, then there is no reason at all for them to change.

True True.

timster said,
you all complain about the quality of service/low caps/crap speeds, but the bottom line is, as long as you're all paying whatever the carriers are telling you to pay, along with whatever bs fees they tack on afterward, then there is no reason at all for them to change.

This.

timster said,
you all complain about the quality of service/low caps/crap speeds, but the bottom line is, as long as you're all paying whatever the carriers are telling you to pay, along with whatever bs fees they tack on afterward, then there is no reason at all for them to change.

So, what do you suggest?

This is true, but the theory doesn't work out for everyone.

A lot of the geeks (mainly the ones who complain) switch as soon as they can if they are unsatisfied and are ABLE to.
The thing is, in the US a lot of areas are not even covered by all the major carriers, not every region has a good local carrier (who often make better deals, but don't always carry the "hot phone" you want and that you'd be able to use the data with reasonably (Tracfone for example... look at their selection! Ridiculous! Maybe not a bad carrier, but their selection is mediocre - on contract phones I mean)).

So alternative is to stay offline completely?
Yeah right...
No, this is NOT the way to go. It is the way to go to throw the critiques into the carrier's faces and make everyone who's not a geek/doesn't read the fine print know.

Because the ads and tariff names are yummier than they should sound like.
Unlimited. Uh huh... Except it's not unlimited!

Lot's of shady and semi-okay and even outright FALSE advertising/branding.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Unlimited. Uh huh... Except it's not unlimited!

GS:mac

I have T-Mobile Germany with 5gigs (older unlimited contract that I refuse to change or get a new phone from telekom so they change it on me) before they cap me down to 64k for the Month, but if you really calcuate it really means if I were to use data 24/7 a months of data is about 27 Gigs. Of course I never use that because after it goes to 64k its a pain to do almost anything other then emal. As its easy to calculate how long is needed to download data at a fixed ammount of time why don't they just say you are limited to 27Gigs of data a month instead of the fake" unlimited.

eXtermia said,

I have T-Mobile Germany with 5gigs (older unlimited contract that I refuse to change or get a new phone from telekom so they change it on me) before they cap me down to 64k for the Month, but if you really calcuate it really means if I were to use data 24/7 a months of data is about 27 Gigs. Of course I never use that because after it goes to 64k its a pain to do almost anything other then emal. As its easy to calculate how long is needed to download data at a fixed ammount of time why don't they just say you are limited to 27Gigs of data a month instead of the fake" unlimited.

I'm with Telekom, too and have 5 Gigs a month.
I totally agree with all you said and there should finally be a crack down on this false advertising.

Now, with Telekom and Voda you at least get usuable amounts - 1GB for a smartphone for one month is too little, indeed, but still OKAYish for most people, now the really ridiculous carriers - E-Plus (aka BASE) and O2, they often only give you 200-300MB for ONE MONTH.

It's ridiculous and especially them should be ashamed, as they offer WAY less, but advertise as if you got the same for less money.
-Way less coverage and signal than T-Mo and Voda
-WAY too little data soft caps
-Usually only about ~3.6MBit/s UMTS (I could use 21.6 MBit/s on T-Mo's 3G (if my iPhone supported it))
-Worse deals on the phones, yes the contracts are cheaper, but see above why lol

Telekom is the best carrier here in Germany, especially for iPhone users.
'nuff said.

GS:mac

Here is my question, how is this going to effect those of us still locked in for almost 2 years with unlimited 4G. The way I see it this is a significant change in the contract I signed and they would have to let me out of it with no early termination fees.

Zippo7 said,
Here is my question, how is this going to effect those of us still locked in for almost 2 years with unlimited 4G. The way I see it this is a significant change in the contract I signed and they would have to let me out of it with no early termination fees.

Its pretty obvious that hey are getting rid of all unlimited even from those that have it grandfathered in. So be looking for a notice or letter to sub to a tier package sometime this summer. Also keep in mind that the fine print says they can change whatever at any time they want.

sava700 said,

Also keep in mind that the fine print says they can change whatever at any time they want.

And also, what would be the point if you still need the phone? The contract is there for them to recoup money on hardware. So if you're not under contract but still pay them, what do they care? It's not like you were held over a barrel and asked to pay ransom. It's something you agreed to because you use it.

I have a 4GB a month package thru them and I think that is too low..should be 6
I have friends who brag about being on the unlimited still but now its my turn to laugh.

The US mobile phone industry is never going to change as long as people keep feeding the source of the problem (Verizon and At&t) with money. Why should they change of there is no negative feedback from consumers?

AR556 said,
The US mobile phone industry is never going to change as long as people keep feeding the source of the problem (Verizon and At&t) with money. Why should they change of there is no negative feedback from consumers?

There has been TONS of negative feedback from consumers. Consumers HATE HATE HATE the cellular network operators (yes, all of them).

The problem with that line of thinking is that the networks are operating a cartel. If you want mobile internet access, you HAVE TO go with one of those networks, where prices and limitations are mostly identical, and you have no choice but to feed the problem.

The only way this would ever change is with a shift in government policy, which is basically like saying it's never going to change.

itsthenewDC said,
Sprint is already the only "truly" unlimited wireless provider.

They have 5GB caps in the background, they just don't tell you about them. Once you go over the 5GB soft cap 3 months in a row, you get a nasty gram from them and they can move forward with limiting your cutting your service.

Plus their 4G is slow.. 1 to 2 MB/s MAX....

I've been on Sprint for almost a decade, and in the last 3-4 years, I've been consistently blowing past the 5gb mark, regularly hitting between 9-18gb on my phone (no tethering, just streaming music all day long), and have yet to receive a nasty gram of any sort.

Now, I will admit that I might be throttled, but on Sprint's network, it's impossible to tell

xendrome said,

They have 5GB caps in the background, they just don't tell you about them. Once you go over the 5GB soft cap 3 months in a row, you get a nasty gram from them and they can move forward with limiting your cutting your service.

Plus their 4G is slow.. 1 to 2 MB/s MAX....

I get 8meg in chicago, and 16meg in Grand Rapids, Hardly slow. My 3G is 1-2meg.

Warboy said,

I get 8meg in chicago, and 16meg in Grand Rapids, Hardly slow. My 3G is 1-2meg.

I average 6+ megs on T-Mobile 3G, don't have a 4g phone yet

Good thing I'm on pre paid unlimited $49 a month. never changes. can't install much on the phone but at least it's unlimited. (straight talk via Sprint)

Given that unlimited plans aren't really sustainable (on my carrier the heaviest 1% use a third of total network capacity) I'm not surprised.

thealexweb said,
Given that unlimited plans aren't really sustainable (on my carrier the heaviest 1% use a third of total network capacity) I'm not surprised.

That's a BS cop out the providers use, most likely false too, it's just another excuse that hide the fact that they oversold their network and refuse to upgrade their backhaul capabilities

z0phi3l said,

That's a BS cop out the providers use, most likely false too, it's just another excuse that hide the fact that they oversold their network and refuse to upgrade their backhaul capabilities

My network is Giffgaff, Giffgaff is an honest, open operator run by the community, as a general rule they don't lie.

thealexweb said,
Given that unlimited plans aren't really sustainable (on my carrier the heaviest 1% use a third of total network capacity) I'm not surprised.

As mentioned they can throttle them or consider that abusing the service and punish them. You shouldn't punish 99 for what the 1 does. It's definitely a cop out, and way for them to try to squeeze money out of you.

farmeunit said,

As mentioned they can throttle them or consider that abusing the service and punish them. You shouldn't punish 99 for what the 1 does. It's definitely a cop out, and way for them to try to squeeze money out of you.

Again I point out that giffgaff isn't like other carriers, they are the cheapest on the market and rarely increase their prices, equivilant products from the likes of T-Mobile, etc cost around 3x-4x as much.

thealexweb said,
Given that unlimited plans aren't really sustainable (on my carrier the heaviest 1% use a third of total network capacity) I'm not surprised.

I find it harder and harder to be polite when reading comments because they get more ignorant with each passing day, but I'll make an effort because it's probably just bad schooling.

Are you suggesting that this "1%" is everyone using more than 2gb? Because it seems like if they want to combat the 1% using 33.3% of the bandwidth, that the cap should be something more like 10gb (which is probably still lower). There's a huge disparity between the top 1% and the next 1%. In statistics, those people are called "outliers".

Let me put it this way, if there were 100 people, 1 person = 1%. Say the total usage is 100gb. That means that there's 1 person using 30gb. In reality, from studies, typically the next highest user would have only like 10gb and after that about 5gb.

All they would have to do is cap it at 10 and then only the 1% gets penalized. No tiered data plans necessary. Don't mistake statistics with greed. Don't believe everything people tell you as they are trying to mount you and take your money.

z0phi3l said,

That's a BS cop out the providers use, most likely false too, it's just another excuse that hide the fact that they oversold their network and refuse to upgrade their backhaul capabilities

It doesn't really work like that for wireless bandwidth - there are physical limitations for how many simultaneous users can be pulling down data over the network. Even if you installed a LTE antenna on every roof, there would still be a ceiling (and it would be significantly lower than that which would allow for everyone to have unlimited data).
Wired network providers, on the other hand (I'm looking at you, Comcast) really do use overselling as a strategy to postpone backbone upgrades.

I have a 4gb data plan (was a 2gb but got an extra 2gb as a promotion). I use hardly any data at all. With WiFi being pretty much everywhere I go, I hardly need to use my data.

techbeck said,
I have a 4gb data plan (was a 2gb but got an extra 2gb as a promotion). I use hardly any data at all. With WiFi being pretty much everywhere I go, I hardly need to use my data.

Unfortunately a lot of places don't have free wifi all over the place so people have to use their data plan. I managed to get unlimited data and have a 4G LTE device so this could end up being quite costly on my next upgrade. Fortunately my phone is fairly upto date so I shouldn't need to upgrade anytime soon however.

techbeck said,
I have a 4gb data plan (was a 2gb but got an extra 2gb as a promotion). I use hardly any data at all. With WiFi being pretty much everywhere I go, I hardly need to use my data.

I have lots of access to WiFi too, but I'm only on 200MB. Don't want to pay more for data I don't use, but it was nice being on unlimited and never having to worry or check on my usage.

Shadrack said,

I have lots of access to WiFi too, but I'm only on 200MB. Don't want to pay more for data I don't use, but it was nice being on unlimited and never having to worry or check on my usage.

I have 5GB cap with AT&T and im 15 days into this month with 348mb used on the cellular data because i have wifi at work and home which is where i am typically.

TRC said,
It's nice being on a small rural ISP with no limits at all. Hope that never changes.

I think you are confusing your home ISP vs a cellphone data plan. or maybe not...

Ambroos said,
As long as the caps aren't too high I can't imagine this being too much of a problem to be honest.

You mean too low?

Digitalx said,
Really they ruined it ? I say welcome to what rest of the world has to put up with on 3G.

I have a Windows Phone on Orange in the UK, and I don't have to put up with any limits

Calum said,

I have a Windows Phone on Orange in the UK, and I don't have to put up with any limits

There is limits and it's covered by Oranges Fair Usage policy.

Digitalx said,

There is limits and it's covered by Oranges Fair Usage policy.


I'm aware of that, but this article and the commenter I replied to were referring to a different kind of data cap to a fair usage policy. I haven't ever reached my fair usage policy, and I certainly use 3G on my phone much more than my friends who have data caps can.