As business cycles go, it seems we are coming around for our second lap with wireless carriers offering unlimited data in an effort to entice customers to choose their service. During an investor conference on Thursday, Verizon’s chief financial officer Fran Shammo confirmed that in typical fashion for the company, Verizon would not jump on the bandwagon and offer their own unlimited plans.
According to Shammo, “people don’t need unlimited plans” and from the business side, “you cannot make money on an unlimited video world.” The latter comment is a reflection of Verizon’s belief that unlimited video will encourage users to stream video and overload the network and it is a bit of a dig at competitors. Both T-Mobile and Sprint combat that by throttling video resolution on their unlimited plans while AT&T, which recently got into the unlimited data market, requires bundling with their DirecTV service.
Shammo pointed out that another weak spot with competitors’ unlimited plans are all of the restrictions, like not having unlimited tethering of other devices available. At the end of the day, Shammo thinks Verizon’s way of doing business is “more customer-friendly” because customers do not need to worry about a bunch of asterisks and limitations.
Although Verizon is holding out, no doubt from a position of power given their market leading position, Shammo did not close the door completely. He acknowledged the company will continue to “look at our competitors closely. We’ll respond when needed.”
During the meeting, Shammo also touched briefly on iPhone sales. Shammo said the carrier has seen a positive bump, but thinks it is primarily due to the free iPhone offer for customers who trade in an older iPhone. Otherwise, sales of the new iPhone models are expected to be similar to last year.