In a sad turn of events, Verizon has decided to end its $30/month unlimited data plan for 3G customers who were “grandfathered” into the plan because they were customers prior to Big Red’s switch to tiered data plans which began last year. CFO Fran Shammo was speaking at the 40th annual J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference and argued as 3G unlimited data plan customers move to 4G LTE service, they would ultimately have to switch to Verizon’s upcoming data-share plan and go off the unlimited data plan anyways. While the new data share plan is scheduled to launch in mid-summer, there’s no word on pricing just yet. Nevertheless, Shammo believes this new plan will make it simpler for families and businesses to connect multiple devices and the industry has constrained the market around connected devices because people think they need additional data plans:
“If I can add as many devices as I want, that is more efficient from a family perspective and a small business perspective.”
To convince customers to utilize the new data plan, Shammo is looking solely in the direction of 4G LTE. Shammo confirmed 4G LTE will indeed be the rock of the data plan and as customers move from 3G to 4G LTE, they will need to be on the data share plan, which allows Verizon to kill off its 3G unlimited plan. Shammo adds:
“A lot of our 3G base is on unlimited… When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us.”
Keep in mind that there is no word or current talk for existing 4G LTE customers, so hopefully, they’ll be exempt from this data share plan. On a final note, Shammo continues to share his enthusiasm for its improved 4G network. Shammo also confirmed Verizon will launch its VoLTE by the end of 2012, but will not market the technology until the middle of 2013. Shammo believes by then, Verizon’s 4G network will be just as big, if not bigger than its existing 3G network— which would be a better time to market the VoLTE technology.
Any of you Verizon folks going to jump ship or miss Verizon’s unlimited data?
source: Fierce Wireless