Verizon Wireless will give you a discount on your next smartphone when you upgrade your service to a new one or two year contract but they will also make you ditch your grandfathered in unlimited data plan when you upgrade.
Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo appeared at the J.P. Morgan technology conference on Wednesday and revealed:
“As you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data-share plan and mov[e] away from, if you will, the unlimited world.”
Unfortunately the upgrade also includes users who choose to buy a smartphone for full price outside of Verizon channels. According to Shammo:
“A lot of our [90 million] 3G base is unlimited. As they start to migrate into 4G, they will have to come off unlimited and go onto the data share plan. And that’s beneficial for us for many reasons.”
First reported by Fierce Wireless the Verizon official also announced that the company will begin introducing new “data share plans” over the summer that will allow multiple devices to connect on the same data plan, options that will be available for family and business users at varying price structures that have not yet been released.
Verizon in the meantime have not offered unlimited data plans since July 2011 when they moved towards a more tiered pricing system.
In all honestly Verizon Wireless’ data plan has been fairly useless to high data users since the company started throttling users who consumed an “extraordinary” amount of data through the company’s mobile data network.
Moving towards family and business share plans in many ways makes sense, as Shammo explains:
“We’ve kind of constrained the marketplace now around connecting more devices because everyone thinks, ‘Well, if I connect that device, I now have to buy an additional data plan.” Shammo adds, “If I can add as many devices as I want and share that data plan, that’s … much more efficient from a family share perspective [and] from a small business perspective.”
“It’s a win for the consumer, but it’s also a win for us that we’re not going to take a huge revenue dilution here when we launch this plan,” Shammo continued.
In the meantime mobile users should remember that 4G data plans take more data to operate and therefore the more devices they use the higher tier they will require.
In a move taken right from the airline industry Verizon is also trying to create new revenue streams by charging customers for everything they do on the mobile network, charging customers a $30 upgrade fee for trading in their old phone for a new option.