Earlier this week, Fran Shammo (CFO) told investors during a conference call that Verizon to force many of its existing unlimited data customers to a tiered data plan. The logic behind it, as described during the call was that as users moved from 3G smart phones to 4G smart phones, that they would be using more data, so naturally a change would be needed.
As reported during the call, ”As they start to migrate into 4G, they will have to come off of unlimited and go into the data share plan. And that is beneficial for us for many reasons, obviously. So as you pick what tier you want to be and we think that there will be some price up in those tiers.”
Per a (LINK) CNET Report (http://news NULL.cnet NULL.com/8301-1035_3-57436642-94/verizon-you-can-have-unlimited-data NULL. NULL.-just-no-device-subsidies/?tag=mncol;cnetRiver), Verizon has now clarified its position.
Now Verizon says that it will allow customers to keep their existing unlimited data plans if those customers either continue to keep their existing device or they buy a new device at the full retail cost of the smart phone.
In other words, if you renew your contract and purchase a subsidized phone, you lose the option to keep your unlimited plan.
“If a 3G or 4G smart phone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so,” Verizon’s spokeswoman wrote to me in an email. “(But) when we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing, i.e. Signing new contracts.”
Verizon also clarified that the same pricing and policies once they’re announced this summer will apply to all 3G and 4G LTE smartphones. So this means that regardless of whether customers sign a contract for a 3G device or a 4G LTE smart phone, they will still have to give up the unlimited data plan if they buy a subsidized device. It also means that if you already own a 4G LTE phone (http://news NULL.cnet NULL.com/8301-17938_105-57436293-1/want-4g-and-unlimited-data-on-verizon-better-upgrade-now/) and have been using the unlimited data plan, you can keep that phone and the unlimited data plan.
So in other words, if you pay $499+ depending on which Android phone or $599+ depending on which iPhone you choose, you can keep your unlimited plan. In addition, as noted by CNET, even if you don’t get a 4G phone, if your phone gets subsidized, you are out of unlimited luck.
Once these changes take effect, only Sprint will remain (of the 4 US National Carriers) to offer unlimited data. Wonder now that Sprint has the iPhone and is going to LTE 4G, how many Verizon customers will consider jumping ship.
*Disclosure – I’m a very happy Sprint customer with unlimited data.