Verizon killing off unlimited plans with new LTE device purchases

Verizon killing off unlimited plans with new LTE device purchases

Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo mentioned at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media, and Telecom conference recently that anyone migrating from 3G to 4G devices won't be able to grandfather in their old unlimited plan and will have to instead take a data share plan scheduled to launch this summer. That way, not only are you burning through data faster, but you're also splitting it among friends or co-workers. Everybody wants that, right?

Those of you that scrambled to get unlimited data plans on Verizon before they dropped the axe on it will have to carefully consider your next upgrade.

To be fair, this will make it easier to split data between devices, which is a common eventuality for those of us using both an iPad and an iPhone. Still, this sentiment is in direct opposition to Sprint, who has pledged that they'll keep unlimited around even if an LTE iPhone is eventually released. The question is, how long are you going to be willing to hold onto your iPhone 4S with an unlimited plan before being tugged into a limited (but faster) world of LTE? Will Verizon still rip you from the warm embrace of unlimited data even if you stick with a 3G device?

Source: FierceWireless

UPDATE: Verizon recently clarified that no, they won't be forcing people to switch to the shared plan, though new subscribers still won't be able to pick an unlimited plan.

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Verizon killing off unlimited plans with new LTE device purchases


What took so long? Had to go to Android Central to find out the horrible news!? Lol jk. But bad news indeed.

This will merely remove yet another barrier that held me back from switching to AT&T. The data usage issue is a non issue for me and since Verizon still have not published pricing it may make Verizon a no longer viable option with a single device and may still make it overpriced with only two devices, especially those like me that rarely get even close to 750 Mb of data usage and most months just slip over the 300 Mb!

This may be the end of my tenure with Verizon. They're already priced higher than everyone else. It was moderately justifiable with the unlimited data. If they're just going to dump me into an overpriced tiered plan, it'll just be time to shop around.

Sprints 'sub-par' network isn't going to be sub-par for very long when network vision is rolled out

With what money. They can hardly afford to maintain the current network. It's a matter of time before sprint either fails or is gobbled up by another wireless carrier.

What underlies this is the need for more competition.
The big carriers make far too much profit from consumers, and the only remedy is to have a more competitive marketplace. Whatever we can do to make that happen, however unlikely, should be pursued.

Watch the video from AT&T CEO about spectrum.
If you think networks bad. See what would happen if they added more. And trust me he isn't embellishing.

If someone offers unlimited LTE with sharing for $60 or less a month I would drop my home Internet and just use mobile.

Probably won't happen. I imagine a tower is far more expensive to maintain and operate over some ground cables.

I just checked my 5 lines usage. I have 4 days left in my billing cycle.
Now considering I pay $150/month ($30/line) for data this is what I use:
Line 1: 1.93 GB
Line 2: 0.37 GB
Line 3: 0.08 GB
Line 4: 0.07 GB
Line 5: 1.76 GB
So go ahead Verizon offer shared data. Hell, I can take a 10GB/$100 month plan and come out saving me $50 a month and have plenty of data.
Sure they will make money off some people but I am willing to bet the majority of people are similar to me and actually Verizon stands to LOSE money on switching those people.

Then be prepared to pay full retail price for your phone. All carriers subsidize the phone cost because of the money they make back on data charges. If you don't want to pay for data, you'll have to pay full price for the device.

Not totally true. Even the dumb phones can be purchased for free with a contract even though the phone retails for $350+. It's the contract that gives the discount.

Nope -- unless Verizon has changed their process. You cannot activate any smartphone on their network without a data plan. If you buy a device full-price, you are simply not committing to a new contract - but once you try to register that device on the network you have a new, shiny data-package.

Exactly right. But we should be able to choose a no data plan. I have unlimited but use less than half a gig because I'm surrounded by wifi. So the $30 I pay is more like insurance like if I'm traveling and i need it. Even having to pay $10 a gig per month would be a better option. So if I use 1 gig that'll be $10 or 3 gigs will be $30 and so on. Something like what the electric companies do like charge for what we use would be even better.

I agree - that kind of pay-as-you-go would be nice to have, just like with iPad. But...unfortunately, VZW doesn't offer that kind of option with cell phones. At least not yet. :(

As long as they include tethering at no extra charge I'm fine with switching to a tiered shared data plan.

Does a Verizon 4S indicate 4G on the top of the screen like AT&T? If so, wouldn't they already be considered 4G? And if they are giving people unlimited on '4G' already that wouldn't be considered an 'upgrade' so it should just continue with unlimited. The carriers wanted that 4G on the top of the screen. Perhaps thats something they didn't consider regarding an 'upgrade' to 4G.

Verizon iPhone 4S does not have that '4G' on the phone, it just reads '3G'. Verizon 4G devices register as 'LTE' anyway - - or at least my iPad 3 and Droid RAZR do. That whole '4G' thing on AT&T is for marketing purposes. That little icon gives them the ability to advertise that iPhone on their 3.5G network as "iPhone with 4G speeds".

Verizon does not have a 4g iPhone. Neither does AT&T technically. AT&T uses a suited up version of there 3G network. Like Verizon AT&T is working on deploying LTE as there 4g network. Some how AT&T talked apple into allowing the 4g indicator.

Yea, this sucks. I'll admit that I've never even thought about switching from Verizon. Sprint lost me years ago when they had sub-par customer service regarding overcharging on a bill. Anyway, I'd hate to switch from Verizon, but maybe this'll blow over by the time I upgrade to the "new iphone" after my two years on this contract are up. I'll suffer through some iphone envy, but man I really enjoy my 4s so I'll be fine. (Incidentally, I would've considered upgrading early, but after this crummy announcement I doubt I'll even consider it).

My dad bought a pres plus for the free tethering years ago after I showed it off to him. I came back to iOS when I heard HP was killing WebOS but he stayed for the tethering. Less than a month ago he got a 4G Razr for free by ditching the Palm Pre. He still has unlimited data on 4G for at least two years I guess. Best option, upgrade to a free 4G phone, and when the next iPhone come out switch over devices?

I would also like to point out that this is pretty fair as they are honoring their contracts with customers. But not signing new contracts with the same terms.

Now the update says that as long as you don't sign a new contract your OK. You will just have to buy your phones and tablets at full price and you'll keep unlimited. Only when you sign a new contract, even with the same exact plan, you'll be forced into tiered.

Glad I gots me an LG Spectrum that I swapped with my iPhone and nows I gots 4G Unlimited, etc. etc. Don't need to get a new phone for a long time, and if I do, I can use my 4G sim card in another device I purchase off of craigslist. No contracts, sim is already activated and I can use unlimited in my iPad 4G as well.Go ahead Verizon, its not worth giving up unlimited for the price of a subsidized phone. And I can switch phones whenever I want to