Verizon Wireless looking to kill unlimited data

Verizon may be looking to follow AT&T's lead with their tiered data pricing.  While it is true that Verizon does not technically offer unlimited data (their plans are capped at 5 gigabytes per month), they are most likely looking to move to more structured and tiered data packages that will be offered with their smartphones.  

According to Businessweek.com, Verizon's CFO, John Killian, is quoted as saying, "We will probably need to change the design of our pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate," which shouldn't surprise many as Verizon has stated this intention previously. 

Verizon will most likely move to a tiered data plan when it launches its 4G network sometime later in 2010.  The plans will potentially allow for more flexibility in your consumption of data, especially if you're a light user.  But, for those who are heavy data users, you can most likely expect a price increase. 

"Verizon’s customers for smart phones, like the Droid and Incredible, are using between 600 and 800 megabytes of data per month, similar to what iPhone customers consume," Killian said.  It is plausible that the data tiers will be structured around these amounts for the average user. 

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Or heres the mother of all ideas "FU?K" the smart phones.just get a phone for talking on. If you want to send a message dont sign a lame ass petition just dont buy what they are selling. I can almost 100% guarantee if nobody pays they will change their way of thinking.But wait that will never happen because the only thing people want to do is sign lame ass petitions and hope for the best.

"Verizon's customers for smart phones, like the Droid and Incredible, are using between 600 and 800 megabytes of data per month, similar to what iPhone customers consume,"

I don't believe that statement. I have an Incredible and I use way more then 800 MBs. If you use your phone for driving directions, all internet based btw, then you are using data. Browsing the market uses data. Having Google Latitude running so you can share your location updates instantly uses data. Since I do a lot of traveling I also watch youtube videos to help pass the time. Voice to text feature also uses data.

I signed the petition on iPetitions to hopefully tell Verizon that we, the consumers do not want this. For those who are interested in joining this cause, feel free.
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/verizonnotiered/

Why as consumers are we so deficient at budgeting? We get tied into a two year contract and then have to pay an additional $200 to $300 for the privilege of owning a "toy" phone. Our plans are limited (unless you spring for the rather pricey unlimited plans). We actually are willing to pay for text messages. Really? Data plans are expensive as hell for very poor quality of service (yes, even 3g, 4g). This is embarrassing... we are simply being taken for a ride by these companies.

I'm on a two year contract with Verizon. They get rid of unlimited data, they can cancel my contract so I am able to leave whenever I want.

ha. Ya'll are in good shoes compared to your northern counterparts.

I can't get a cell phone with a data plan & texting for under $65 a month. Then you throw in the $7 system access fee (yes, I pay for the service, and also $7 per phone to 'access' it.. wtf?), federal and provincial 911 fees of ~$1.40 a month, and a beautiful 15% tax on top of it all to add insult to injury.

Thats cutting hoops with a small business plan on top of a 'good' union deal. Also, my 'data' is 500MB, its $5 per 500MB on top. so 1GB is $30.. 2GB $40, 5GB $65 so they cut you a bit of a break if you're a heavy user. I think overage is $0.05 per MB or something.

Now I don't know if thats incoming & outgoing, or just incoming, or what but its a 500MB data plan. I also get 250 outgoing texts & unlimited incoming. my voicemail can hold 3 messages total. and I can talk as much as I want between 6PM-7AM, and if people call me I have callerID.

This sound good to anyone? It don't to me. Guess its time to break out the old moto flip and fall back to the $20(MSF)+7(SAF)+1.40(911)+5(250text)+5(tax) plan.

Makes me miss Sprint for that option. I used to have the Simply Everything plan and it was totally awesome for when I had it. Now with Verizon for another year and half so will be with them for a bit longer through the thick and thin of them I suppose.

Switched to them due to network reliability as opposed to Sprint's in my area.

The big question is, what would the prices be? If it's 2GB for LESS THAN $30, then yes, it benefits the users. However, if the new limit is $30 (like now), and you just have to pay MORE for the original 5 GB limit... then that will make me extremely angry.

I hate the idea of Verizon doing this.

However some perspective for people that are use to large bandwidth pipes is needed. There are still TONS of places in the USA that you can't get high speed ANYTHING, and in non-city regions DSL is often capped at 2-5G by most small providers.

This means that the wireless carriers are having to provide this service because the telco didn't put in the proper infrastructure even though they were allocated tax breaks to do so. (If you live in the US and vote Republican, you let the telcos screw the taxpayers during the Bush years. Republicans are still fighting to get Net Neutrality killed as well.)

well... about 97% of users of O2 UK use less than 500mb per month. 0.1% of users (about 2000) use about 36% of mobile internet. So, as you can see, 99% don't need these unlimited plans. Than why they should pay for these rest power users?

I thought I was a heavy user with my BACKFLIP, but surprise, when I checked my bill I was well under the 300MB limit of the new lower AT&T tier. Of course I'm keeping the legacy unlimited, because I know the moment I downgrade I'll go over and incur the lower tier's higher overage charges.

I think they should leave the unlimited plan, and offer some really competitive tiered plans. I don't need unlimited and would love to lower my bill using a plan that matched my data usage. The one size fits all bites.

Of course they're killing off your freedom to talk whenever you want. They're not making enough money from that! I guess all the taxes and hidden fees just aren't paying their bills these days.

bjoswald said,
Of course they're killing off your freedom to talk whenever you want. They're not making enough money from that! I guess all the taxes and hidden fees just aren't paying their bills these days.

Horsepuckey.

VZW *has* am unlimited voice plan ($69.95 monthly gets you unlimited voice to any phone, anywhere in the US). What's coming to an end is using data plans to end-run voice caps for lower-tier customers (which is certainly within their rights to do). And when they say any phone in the US, they mean it. Any phone includes other carriers *and* landlines.
Get the facts right.

bjoswald said,
Of course they're killing off your freedom to talk whenever you want. They're not making enough money from that! I guess all the taxes and hidden fees just aren't paying their bills these days.

You of course realize that taxes go to the government, not the carrier...And what hidden fees? I have the same bill every single month.

If they get rid of unlimited data, I will get rid of my Droid. I'm a big fan of Android, and was interested to see what Windows Phone 7 turns out like. But, my favorite apps are the ones that are streaming intensive like RadioTime and Pandora. If it will cost me more to use these, I'll just go back to having a stupidphone and a Zune.

Firethorne said,
If they get rid of unlimited data, I will get rid of my Droid. I'm a big fan of Android, and was interested to see what Windows Phone 7 turns out like. But, my favorite apps are the ones that are streaming intensive like RadioTime and Pandora. If it will cost me more to use these, I'll just go back to having a stupidphone and a Zune.

Or switch to T-Mobile/Sprint, where you can stream all you want. Windows Phone 7 will be on both networks, and Android is also on both networks. And, your monthly prices will be cheaper with both of those carriers. Win, win!

andrewbares said,

Or switch to T-Mobile/Sprint, where you can stream all you want. Windows Phone 7 will be on both networks, and Android is also on both networks. And, your monthly prices will be cheaper with both of those carriers. Win, win!

If Sprint doesn't follow AT&T and VZW, that might be another way to go, though when you factor in family lines, VZW was actually a bit cheaper. Sprint wins on prices for a single line, but adding an additional line doubles the price.

As for T-Mobile, that would be good if there wasn't a huge area of no coverage around me on their map.

Well unlimited never really did mean unlimited. Unlimited meant 5 gigs, they called it unlimited because a very few % of the people ever used that much data. (oops wrote that before reading the article) Sell phone companies have been trying to get rid of "unlimited" for a while, they were just waiting for someone to take the first step, and that someone was At&t.

speedstr3789 said,
unlimited data plans? You can blame Apple and their iphone. Picking At&T as their carrier really, IMO screwed everyone involved.

Huh? This has nothing to do with iPhone or AT&T. This is Verizon Wireless.

Shadrack said,

Huh? This has nothing to do with iPhone or AT&T. This is Verizon Wireless.


You are wrong grasshopper.
IF AT&T would have been able to keep up with demand then none of this would be an issue. At the least it wouldn't have happened this soon.
Apple handed over their golden goose egg to a ****ty carrier. The ****ty carrier couldn't keep up. They decide it's best to charge people more because they are not equipped to handle the load. What happens as soon as one company does something? They all follow suite.
Thus Apple and AT&T are to blame.

speedstr3789 said,

You are wrong grasshopper.
IF AT&T would have been able to keep up with demand then none of this would be an issue. At the least it wouldn't have happened this soon.
Apple handed over their golden goose egg to a ****ty carrier. The ****ty carrier couldn't keep up. They decide it's best to charge people more because they are not equipped to handle the load. What happens as soon as one company does something? They all follow suite.
Thus Apple and AT&T are to blame.

actually if we go by that analogy the one to blame is Verizon. Apple actually offered Verizon the iPhone exclusivity first and they said no.

Quick Shot said,
I'll never leave my old unlimited data iPhone plan. They can't that away from me right?

I think you're for a while, but you may be in trouble if you want to upgrade your phone.

Firethorne said,

I think you're for a while, but you may be in trouble if you want to upgrade your phone.

While pre-ordering my iPhone 4 through AT&T I had the option to change my data plan from Unlimited down to the 200MB/month, 2GB/month, or 2GB+tethering/month plans. The option to KEEP my unlimited plan was a valid option during the upgrade process. I reviewed my data usage for the past 12 months of iPhone usage and saw that I only went over 200MB in one month, so I went with the 200MB/month plan to save some money.

Right now the only thing that will force you to adopt a data capped plan is if you want tethering. Of course, there are tethering options to the jailbroken iPhone folks. They probably want to keep their unlimited plans, I would imagine .

The unlimited data plan for SMARTPHONES is not capped at 5GB. The unlimited plan for the broadband connect cards are however capped at 5GB. There is a lot of bad info out there about this, and I am surprised that Neowin is contributing to it.

cdandrews said,
The unlimited data plan for SMARTPHONES is not capped at 5GB. The unlimited plan for the broadband connect cards are however capped at 5GB. There is a lot of bad info out there about this, and I am surprised that Neowin is contributing to it.


again i have never had a data cap i have 5 phones on my acccount all data plans and ive used 7 gigs in 1 month others have used close to 5 or more in a month and NEVER received a cap

cdandrews said,
The unlimited data plan for SMARTPHONES is not capped at 5GB. The unlimited plan for the broadband connect cards are however capped at 5GB. There is a lot of bad info out there about this, and I am surprised that Neowin is contributing to it.

So in plain English, if you stand any chance of hitting 5gb per month you're capped, if you won't, have at it!

cdandrews said,
The unlimited data plan for SMARTPHONES is not capped at 5GB. The unlimited plan for the broadband connect cards are however capped at 5GB. There is a lot of bad info out there about this, and I am surprised that Neowin is contributing to it.

Hah, I was just about to bring this up. I agree with you, neowin, do a little research first
I'm loving my Droid and unlimited data, I'd like to keep it that way :[

When I first switched to T-Mobile, I wasn't entirely sure I was making a good choice due to their poor coverage... But at least they've never tried to screw me over.

Joey H said,
When I first switched to T-Mobile, I wasn't entirely sure I was making a good choice due to their poor coverage... But at least they've never tried to screw me over.

+1

And I get plentiful 3G coverage in my city, without ANY dropped calls, unlike AT&T has experienced. Verizon is the best for coverage though, I'll agree.

just got my droid and it looks like when my contract expires ill be jumping ship again, eh i might just end up with 1 of their free flip phones with no data plan.

One thing I dont understand is how come noone is suing these losers for reaping off people on txt messages.
It absolutely doesnt cost them anything when people send text messages as it's not a steady stream and is only a fraction of a byte, yet they charge a **** load of money for them... Biggest scam ever

Euphoria said,
One thing I dont understand is how come noone is suing these losers for reaping off people on txt messages.
It absolutely doesnt cost them anything when people send text messages as it's not a steady stream and is only a fraction of a byte, yet they charge a **** load of money for them... Biggest scam ever

Not to mention the frequency that text messages are sent on is a service channel that they get to use for free as part of their licensing agreements with the FCC... that's why there's the 140-character limit.

Euphoria said,
One thing I dont understand is how come noone is suing these losers for reaping off people on txt messages.
It absolutely doesnt cost them anything when people send text messages as it's not a steady stream and is only a fraction of a byte, yet they charge a **** load of money for them... Biggest scam ever

There is no law that says it is illegal to charge an absurd amount for something that doesn't cost you anything. People are willing to pay for it, so the feature is priced at what the market can bare.

Shadrack said,
People are willing to pay for it, so the feature is priced at what the market can bare.
As a person who has an unlimited texting plan, I can say with certainty that I'd have a lower plan if I didn't fear overage charges. I know full well that I am being overcharged, but it beats the alternative: overage charges.

Am I paying it? Yes. Is it because I have other options? No. We are being extorted because they know it's either don't text, or pay an unjustifiably high rate. None of their documents try to justify the rates because you can't justify $15 for 1,500 texts (180 bytes including data header's), which is 263.67 kB ($20 for unlimited). $15, and you're not even getting a megabyte of data.

The only reason people are paying it is because they, the general public, do not understand what they're really paying for, and we, payers, have no real recourse.

Steffan said,
It would be nice if they have a family data plan

"MOM, Joseph used up all the megabites on our plan!!!"

"Joey, did you download too much porn onto your phone? What did we tell you last month!"

Author said,
Verizon will most likely move to a tiered data plan when it launches its 4G network sometime later in 2010.

Source please? AFAIK, Verizon isn't planning on even BEGINNING to deploy LTE until 2Q 2011, which means phones won't be available on it until early 2012 (aircards always come first).

vaximily said,

Source please? AFAIK, Verizon isn't planning on even BEGINNING to deploy LTE until 2Q 2011, which means phones won't be available on it until early 2012 (aircards always come first).

You have VZW confused with AT&T Mobility, which isn't planning to start deployments until 2011. VZW has finished technical trials in Boston and Seattle, and is now starting friendly-user trials, in those two areas, plus three others. If they go well, deployment will kick off in Q4 of *this year* (2010).

Sounce: Multiple, including TechRepublic

Well, it was good while it lasted. Looks like the "unlimited" era is soon to go away. ISP's have been trying to close this issue for awhile now with limited success. If only it was as easy as these phone carriers make it seem.

Tarrant64 said,
Well, it was good while it lasted. Looks like the "unlimited" era is soon to go away.

Or just go to Sprint who's had unlimited data on all of their plans for years... and actually HAS a 4G network.

vaximily said,

Or just go to Sprint who's had unlimited data on all of their plans for years... and actually HAS a 4G network.

Actually, Sprint has a data cap on their 3G data for phones, and their 4G is currently a "true unlimited" data plan

"²3G plans have a limit of 300Mb roaming usage. Monthly Download Limit applies to 3G/4G phones, not 3G/4G Mobile Broadband devices."

*Source: http://shop.sprint.com/en/solu...d/mobile_broadband_4G.shtml

Drugar said,
Actually, Sprint has a data cap on their 3G data for phones, and their 4G is currently a "true unlimited" data plan

"²3G plans have a limit of 300Mb roaming usage. Monthly Download Limit applies to 3G/4G phones, not 3G/4G Mobile Broadband devices."

*Source: http://shop.sprint.com/en/solu...d/mobile_broadband_4G.shtml

Read your own message... ROAMING USAGE is limited to 300MB. On-network is unlimited (and in 7 years, I've never roamed with Sprint, even when driving 4,000 miles across the country)

Drugar said,

Actually, Sprint has a data cap on their 3G data for phones, and their 4G is currently a "true unlimited" data plan

"²3G plans have a limit of 300Mb roaming usage. Monthly Download Limit applies to 3G/4G phones, not 3G/4G Mobile Broadband devices."

*Source: http://shop.sprint.com/en/solu...d/mobile_broadband_4G.shtml

As vaximily said, Sprint data is unlimited for Sprint 3G phones. There is no better proof than my current data usage notice from Sprint. Also, I have exceeded 5GB on Sprint MANY times and have NEVER had a problem...

http://www.frazell.net/random/Sprint_Data.png

vaximily said,

Read your own message... ROAMING USAGE is limited to 300MB. On-network is unlimited (and in 7 years, I've never roamed with Sprint, even when driving 4,000 miles across the country)


yes been with sprint for about 12 years NEVER ROAMED ! never had a cap and ive pasted 7 gigs in a month data usage

vaximily said,

Or just go to Sprint who's had unlimited data on all of their plans for years... and actually HAS a 4G network.


Just wait. Sprint can't keep up these insane losses forever.

T-Mobile just introduced fully unlimited plans.

Since data costs these carriers virtually NOTHING to carry (not sure why people don't report on this fact), this is all a shakedown in order to find a way to move to metered usage. And they want metered usage in the upcoming age where EVERYTHING is digital through the Internet.

excalpius said,
T-Mobile just introduced fully unlimited plans.

Since data costs these carriers virtually NOTHING to carry (not sure why people don't report on this fact), this is all a shakedown in order to find a way to move to metered usage. And they want metered usage in the upcoming age where EVERYTHING is digital through the Internet.


So T-Mobile won't/hopefully wont, be killing off their unlimited data plans like Verizon and AT&T?

excalpius said,
Since data costs these carriers virtually NOTHING to carry (not sure why people don't report on this fact)

Because it isn't a fact?

Data itself consumes quite a bit, when you have tons of customers and have to build infrastructure to accomodate them. If you have 20 users playing HD movies on their phones or data cards it will put a dent in the 3G capacity for that tower/receiver, which means more are needed to keep the data flowing for the rest of the customers. Make sense?

I think you are confusing 'SMS' that uses the basic tagging of the phone on the network and doesn't add anything to the carrier load. Texting is what costs them nothing as the bandwidth is already being used for the phone to see the network and doesn't add additional transmissions or data transfer.

presence06 said,

So T-Mobile won't/hopefully wont, be killing off their unlimited data plans like Verizon and AT&T?

Indeed. I mean they JUST introduced them! They're a German company by default, I think, so unlike our American based companies, they aren't solely about ripping people off more and more and more and more every year in a never-ending greed quest.

Foub said,
Remember the "Good old days" when you had to pay by the minute for internet access? Verizon does... [Rollseyes]

Foub said,
Remember the "Good old days" when you had to pay by the minute? Verizon does... [Rollseyes]

Nice job quoting yourself... but yes, this is yet another step backward for an already screwed up industry in this country.

vaximily said,
Nice job quoting yourself... but yes, this is yet another step backward for an already screwed up industry in this country.
Wouldn't be so bad if the capped package was still 5GB, but it'll probably be 2GB. Rogers has always had capped plans but their $30-$35 plans are usually 6GB-5GB. Yes it was cheaper to get more at one point

vaximily said,

Nice job quoting yourself... but yes, this is yet another step backward for an already screwed up industry in this country.

Only if folks insist on looking for that free lunch (or to stick someone else with the lunch bill).

There's no such thing as a *free lunch*; yet folks are still trying as hard as they can to do end runs around anything seen in the least bit as onerous, such as actually paying for what you use. It fully behooves wireless carriers (such as VZW or Vodaphone plc for that matter, which owns most of VZW) to work *within the regulations* to monetize their data and voice networks, including putting a halt to these end-runs (such as using Skype Mobile for voice and video calls over their networks, which financially *healthy* customers, such as Time Warner and News Corporation, are doing today). So NOT news, and so NOT unexpected.

Foub said,
Remember the "Good old days" when you had to pay by the minute? Verizon does... [Rollseyes]

Bandwidth isn't unlimited - take a course in economics then come bak demanding a free lunch.

rawr_boy81 said,

Bandwidth isn't unlimited - take a course in economics then come bak demanding a free lunch.


next time Ace think before you write, people already pay for data and voice, they aren't asking for anything for free. these wireles companies should have invested in making their connection bigger and better so it doesn't cost them much, instead of ripping people off "2gig" are you ****ing serious. As soon I see a phone I like hopefully it won't be with ATT cause I dont' want to give them any more money

vaximily said,

Nice job quoting yourself... but yes, this is yet another step backward for an already screwed up industry in this country.

I was trying to edit my comment. Doesn't seem to be a way to do it.

rawr_boy81 said,

Bandwidth isn't unlimited - take a course in economics then come bak demanding a free lunch.

Irrelevant. Is that the same course [How to screw over everyone for fun and profits...] the corporations in the USA took?

PGHammer said,

Only if folks insist on looking for that free lunch (or to stick someone else with the lunch bill).

There's no such thing as a *free lunch*; yet folks are still trying as hard as they can to do end runs around anything seen in the least bit as onerous, such as actually paying for what you use. It fully behooves wireless carriers (such as VZW or Vodaphone plc for that matter, which owns most of VZW) to work *within the regulations* to monetize their data and voice networks, including putting a halt to these end-runs (such as using Skype Mobile for voice and video calls over their networks, which financially *healthy* customers, such as Time Warner and News Corporation, are doing today). So NOT news, and so NOT unexpected.

http://www.sethf.com/essays/major/libstupid.php

Anubis187 said,
next time Ace think before you write, people already pay for data and voice, they aren't asking for anything for free. these wireles companies should have invested in making their connection bigger and better so it doesn't cost them much, instead of ripping people off "2gig" are you ****ing serious. As soon I see a phone I like hopefully it won't be with ATT cause I dont' want to give them any more money

Again, there is capacity issues and the way to divvy up the capacity is using the price mechanism of the marketplace; charge per megabyte/gigabyte and then limited capacity of each mobile phone tower isn't swamped by huge amounts of data requests. There is a reason why AT&T has problems; because they failed to take into account that more backhaul capacity cannot destroy the laws of physics when it comes to wireless congestion.

Again, do this forum a favour and take an engineering course whilst you're taking an economics one.

I'm afraid I can't side with the network carriers on this one. They been selling "unlimited" data plans for years that aren't even close to actually being "unlimited", yet now people intend to use what they're paid for the carriers protest and change the rules.

Most people won't even come close to using their bandwidth allowance but simply don't want to have to worry about their data usage. I don't know about anyone else but I'd rather change carrier than put up with even more restrictions on data usage.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I'm afraid I can't side with the network carriers on this one. They been selling "unlimited" data plans for years that aren't even close to actually being "unlimited", yet now people intend to use what they're paid for the carriers protest and change the rules.

Most people won't even come close to using their bandwidth allowance but simply don't want to have to worry about their data usage. I don't know about anyone else but I'd rather change carrier than put up with even more restrictions on data usage.

I agree; if it isn't unlimited then they shouldn't call it unlimited - in most other countries such behaviour would be considered false advertising yet for some reason companies can get away with it in the US of A.