Bad news for those of us locked into Verizon's 2-year contract--the days of "unlimited" data for $29.99 are coming to a close. After months of rumors, Verizon Communications Inc.'s Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg officially announced that tiered plans will be rolled out soon.
While speaking during an investor conference Thursday, Seidenberg said that the new tiered plans will be introduced in the next four to six months, however they will be different than AT&T's tiered structure. "We're not sure we agree yet with how they valued the data," he said without detailing the new tiered plans.
Currently AT&T provides two data services: a basic $15 plan that offers up to 200 MB of data per month, and a $25 plan that offers up to 2 GB of data per month. Those who exceed their plan's data cap are charged an additional fee. By comparison, Verizon customers are (for now) served up unlimited data for a flat $29.99 monthly fee--tethering and hot-spot not included.
Verizon's new tiered plans are expected to be launched in conjunction with the launch of its 4G wireless services and other new products and services. Seidenberg added that Apple would "get with the program" at some point, although he would not provide additional details.
So how will tiered plans affect streaming video and audio? In a recent test, a 31:36 television show streamed from Netflix over a 3G wireless connection totaled 143.2 MB of data--3.2 MB sent and 140 MB received. That's equal to just under 14 episodes of Seinfeld per month--if the testing proved accurate.