Three of the four US national carriers have stopped offering unlimited data plans to new customers, but if you were already paying for unlimited at the time that the removal of the plans was made, you were allowed to keep it. Verizon was one of those carriers; today, it stripped itself of that title by announcing that it will kill grandfathered unlimited 3G data plans.
How the carrier is doing this is rather sneaky: if you don’t plan on upgrading to a 4G LTE device, you can continue to pay the $30 per month for your unlimited service. As soon as you upgrade to an LTE-equipped device, however, you’ll be forced to upgrade to a tiered package.
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo let the news out today at the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference. “Everyone will be on data share,” said Shammo, and that’s because Verizon’s rumored shared data plans will be available sometime this summer – and because no more 3G-only devices will be released on Verizon. Once you buy a new phone, you’re forced into paying for limited data.
I’m certainly no fan of unlimited data, and the fact that Verizon is forcing LTE users to sign onto fairly small data packages is not what I’d call being customer friendly. My iPad is on Verizon’s LTE network, and I pay for the 2GB plan. If I’m in an LTE area, I consistently get ~25Mb/s down – which means using it for just a few minutes can rack up the megabytes.
If I were a Verizon customer for my smartphone, I’d be outraged; this is the kind of move that would make me move to another carrier. If you’re currently a Verizon customer, what are your thoughts?[Fierce Wireless]