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Verizon Technically Keeping Unlimited Data After All

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 29 comments

Grandfathered Verizon customers can keep their unlimited plan for a price... a hefty one, at that.

Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney went into cleanup mode on Thursday after Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said that long-time customers will be kicked off their unlimited data plan once they upgrade their phone to a new model. That's still the case to some degree, but doesn't mean unlimited data plans are gone for good.

Last year Verizon decided to terminate its unlimited data package for new customers, but current customers could still keep unlimited flow indefinitely. Shammo indicated that, in an effort to shift its business over to 4G LTE, "grandfathered" customers upgrading their phone will be forced into a shared data package with data caps once the new plan launched later this summer.

"A lot of our 3G base is on unlimited," Shammo said during the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference. "When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us."

However Raney is now saying that "grandfathered" customers who pay full price for their new phone will be able to keep their unlimited data service plans for a flat fee of $30 per month, just like they do now. However those who subsidize their phone -- or rather, pay roughly $200 up front leaving Verizon to eat the rest of the device's cost -- won't have the option of unlimited data. That means the sparkly new $200 iPhone 4G will cost $650 instead, and the Droid 4 will cost $550 instead of the discounted $200.

Raney said that Verizon will enforce the new capped shared data plan on customers whether they're upgrading to a 4G LTE device, or merely shifting to a newer 3G phone. Verizon believes that a shared data plan will be better for everyone, preventing the "data hogs" from jamming up the data highways. The company has yet to officially announce the shared data plan pricing, but those who pay for capped data packages per line shell out $30 a month for 2 GB of data, $50 for 5 GB and $80 for 10 GB.

This move could potentially drive business to smaller rival Sprint Nextel. The company claims that it is the only national wireless carrier offering truly unlimited data for smartphones. Customers can sign up for Sprint’s Everything Data 450 plan with Any Mobile, Anytime for $79.99 per month which supposedly includes unlimited data, unlimited texting, and unlimited calling to and from any mobile in America.

"You are probably wondering how that compares to other options," the company writes. "Here is one example to consider. This Sprint plan offers a savings of $40 per month versus Verizon’s comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and 2 GB Web, or $10 per month savings versus Verizon’s 450-minute plan with unlimited text and 2 GB Web (excludes taxes and surcharges).

"We realize that a lot of consumers are keeping a close watch on their family budgets so the value of Sprint plans definitely is important. We also know, though, that many will appreciate the worry-free aspect of an unlimited plan with Sprint."

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , May 18, 2012 9:04 AM
    The first company to offer reliable, unlimited network access at a reasonable price is going to win it all. These companies keep trying to scheme "easy" ways of charging the customer more for less, when they should be concerned about delivering the best service possible.
  • 10 Hide
    v3nom777 , May 18, 2012 9:11 AM
    I love the whole, "Data Hogs", thing. You offered unlimited, and they are using what they payed for. I remember two years ago, you HAD to get unlimited, you had no choice in the matter if you have bought a smart phone.

    Cellphone companies suckered people in and now are realizing that everyone has a cellphone, so now they can charge what they want and offer less for more.

    If they are going to take us off of unlimited, there should be an act that makes Data pricing reasonable, like 10$ per 10gb.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , May 18, 2012 9:04 AM
    The first company to offer reliable, unlimited network access at a reasonable price is going to win it all. These companies keep trying to scheme "easy" ways of charging the customer more for less, when they should be concerned about delivering the best service possible.
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    v3nom777 , May 18, 2012 9:11 AM
    I love the whole, "Data Hogs", thing. You offered unlimited, and they are using what they payed for. I remember two years ago, you HAD to get unlimited, you had no choice in the matter if you have bought a smart phone.

    Cellphone companies suckered people in and now are realizing that everyone has a cellphone, so now they can charge what they want and offer less for more.

    If they are going to take us off of unlimited, there should be an act that makes Data pricing reasonable, like 10$ per 10gb.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 9:30 AM
    None of all this BS matters anymore. I'm leaving Verizon for good! Good riddance to the most greedy bastages on the planet! DROP VERIZON! Pass it on.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 9:53 AM
    Sorry Verizon I been a customer for 15 years and now this and my whole big friends and family is on verizon. Yes timeto change my provider had enough with this nonsense.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 9:58 AM
    Scam after scam after scam. I hate them ALL!
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 10:01 AM
    Nationalize the telcos. Europe does it so much better. No joke. Look into it.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 10:08 AM
    Hello Boost mobile
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 10:19 AM
    I have loyaltity to Verizon like Big Companies have for their employees, With a Family of 5 on Verizon for over 10 years it will be time to say GOOD BYE.....
  • 4 Hide
    mayne92 , May 18, 2012 10:23 AM
    GoodbyeVZNHello Boost mobile

    That's what I'm thinking as well.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 10:30 AM
    Sure glad I didn't fall for the resigning BS. Free to Leave with "no last stab in the back" charges on the way out !!! I have had it with their disloyal attitude to their loyal customers!
    Hopefully enough leave and they'll go away and let some other company, who believes in rewarding for loyalty and not screwing the ones who make them who they are.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 10:49 AM
    Sprint's unlimited plan has treated me very well. With the free calling to ANY mobile phone, it is more comparable to an unlimited minutes plan than any other carrier's metered minutes plan. Never having to worry about running out of texts, minutes, or running into a data cap/throttle is awesome. I don't get why people pay almost twice as much for the same plan from other carriers, and I certainly won't understand it when they continue to pay twice as much for so much less. The author of this article states "...which supposedly includes unlimited data, unlimited texting, and unlimited calling to and from any mobile in America." I don't understand the need to put supposedly in there, we aren't talking about some scumbag that just murdered someone. The facts are the facts. Don't be a sucker, keep your phone number and drop your carrier; you'll be glad you did.
  • 2 Hide
    g00fysmiley , May 18, 2012 12:14 PM
    bartlett4543Sprint's unlimited plan has treated me very well. With the free calling to ANY mobile phone, it is more comparable to an unlimited minutes plan than any other carrier's metered minutes plan. Never having to worry about running out of texts, minutes, or running into a data cap/throttle is awesome. I don't get why people pay almost twice as much for the same plan from other carriers, and I certainly won't understand it when they continue to pay twice as much for so much less. The author of this article states "...which supposedly includes unlimited data, unlimited texting, and unlimited calling to and from any mobile in America." I don't understand the need to put supposedly in there, we aren't talking about some scumbag that just murdered someone. The facts are the facts. Don't be a sucker, keep your phone number and drop your carrier; you'll be glad you did.


    I'm seconding this... I don't see why the author wrote in the word supposedly unlimited other than the fac tthat veizon obviously sponsor's tom's hardware with ads. I persoanlly have been with sprint for abotu 4 years now, I switched when altell got bought out by verizon specifically to escapt big red and they have validated that decition many times over. I stream alot of netflix and pandora, I typically eat 10-15 gigs per month, and with my new galaxy nexus I'm at 7 gigs used in 1 week and a day but still doesn't seem like i'm being throttled... I know my parents and sister are still on verizon from the switch when they got bought out from altell due to grandfathered plans but now they are planning to move over to sprint as soon as their contracts expire... here's hoping verizon gets a clue or goes out of buisness... and toms i get it verizons sponsors you but unbiased coverage please their unlimited data is not a false claim don't soil your journalistic integrity please
  • 0 Hide
    Dyseman , May 18, 2012 12:19 PM
    My basic Unlimited 2GB then governed plan w/ T-Mobile $49 is more than enough. I barely use 100 to 300MB as no matter where I'm at, I generally have Wifi access. And that broadens all the time.

    Sprint doesn't cover all the places I travel throughout the states (and I travel a lot). Work, Hotels, Home, Friend's houses, Food joints, airports etc...
  • 2 Hide
    hoofhearted , May 18, 2012 12:21 PM
    chabobtSure glad I didn't fall for the resigning BS. Free to Leave with "no last stab in the back" charges on the way out !!! I have had it with their disloyal attitude to their loyal customers!Hopefully enough leave and they'll go away and let some other company, who believes in rewarding for loyalty and not screwing the ones who make them who they are.


    Unfortunately, the alternatives suck just as bad if not worse. I feel like I have to majorly "watch my back" when dealing with these wireless carriers. Almost worse than diving in a shark-infested bayou while soaked in blood. AT&T, Verizon seems to be the worst as far as customer gouging. T-Mobile and Sprint seem a bit more reasonable, but their coverage genrerally sucks. I have yet to deal with the pay-as-you-go carriers like Straight Talk or Boost.

    Currently I am paying $145 a month to AT&T for 450 minutes, unlimited text, 1 phone with an unlimited data plan plus two extra phones (for my wife and daughter). My daughter wanted my old iPhone for texting, so, since it was paid for, I popped the simcard in and let her use it. A couple of months later, AT&T ganked me with an additional $30 data charge on the phone even though I had data disabled. I only use wifi in my house for that phone. I fought with them on the phone forever to get this removed and had to take the sim out of the iPhone that I own. Since when can a company automatically charge you for something you dont want. Our government is sitting on its ass these days when it comes to this kind of crap.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 12:28 PM
    I'm a Verizon wireless customer and have been for a long time, 10+ yrs, and I was always happy with their 3G signal, which was and is very strong, got it almost anywhere. Now I have a 4G phone with unlimited data but I noticed their 4G signal is not as strong as their 3G signal, I keep losing 4G alot compared to my older phone with the 3G signal. While the 4G is faster I just dont see how Verizon expects to keep an advantage, to me their advantage was a strong signal but now I dont have that strong of a 4G signal so why stay with them?? Its just Greed IMO and they will be losing a long term customer if they go thru with this.
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , May 18, 2012 12:28 PM
    And to those that make the argument that AT&T has the right to charge a dataplan for a "smartphone" because it is their network, that is utter bullshit. When it is "my" phone, it should be irrelevant as to what kind of phone it is as long as I am not consuming their "data" service. That is like a cable company saying that because you have a hi-def TV that they should be able to charge you more. As far as I am concerned, they should have no knowledge of what device is on your end that you own. They should be providing a service based on what you pay for, regardless of what device you are consuming it with.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , May 18, 2012 12:38 PM
    DysemanMy basic Unlimited 2GB then governed plan w/ T-Mobile $49 is more than enough. I barely use 100 to 300MB as no matter where I'm at, I generally have Wifi access. And that broadens all the time.Sprint doesn't cover all the places I travel throughout the states (and I travel a lot). Work, Hotels, Home, Friend's houses, Food joints, airports etc...


    i'm no doubting that sprint has bad coverage some places, but where are you traveling? I live in florida and drive to chicago 3-4 times a year and up to the UP of michigan and from florida to chicago i can stream pandora the whole way, it get spotty for data once I hit upper WI but my wife'ds family all uses big red and my wife's fiance uses at&t and i'm the onyl one whot has cell signal the whole drive and they have a cabim on lake superior, me and my wife have the only phones that work while up there and my old pre even got 3g albeit a slow connection like .2 mbs going up there in august probably so i'll see how things are looking with my galaxy nexus
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 12:51 PM
    So let me get this straight. The cost of a phone off contract is roughly 500-700$(we'll say 600$ as an average). Unlimited data is 30$ a month. Over the course of a 2 year "contract", you would pay 30$ a month * 24 months + 600$ for a new phone, or 1320$.

    OR I could switch to a 5gb data plan, pay 50$ a month, and get a subsidized phone(usually ~200$), so 50$ a month * 24 months + 200$ for a new phone, or 1400$.

    Not a tough decision, and I get more freedom over when I upgrade my phone.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2012 12:56 PM
    Do you notice every comment that bashes Verizon on this page get greyed out. Whoops did I call out the red elephant in the room????

    Time for our greedy government to step in and make things worse.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , May 18, 2012 1:03 PM
    CaptObiviousDo you notice every comment that bashes Verizon on this page get greyed out. Whoops did I call out the red elephant in the room????Time for our greedy government to step in and make things worse.


    not exactly, your first few posts show in the lighter grey, note all the user names in black are people with a history of posting on the site.
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