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Verizon CFO: Unlimited Data Plans Going Away, All Users Pushed Onto Shared Data

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During the JP Morgan Media and Telecom conference, Verizon’s CFO Fran “ShamWow” Shammo dropped a bomb that most of you are not going to be a fan of. During his talk, he mentioned that unlimited data plans will go away completely when the company introduces shared data plans this summer. He talked about everyone’s next upgrade cycle and how at that time, users will be forced into shared data tiers and off of the unlimited plans that you have come to love. He mentioned specifically that 3G users on unlimited data will indeed have to go into a shared plan once they upgrade to a 4G phone, but in the quote we have below, it sounds like it is going beyond that.

Here is the quote from the conference:

LTE is our anchor point for data share. So as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto a data share plan. And moving away from, if you will, the unlimited world and moving everyone into a tiered structure/data share type plan.

So when you think about our 3G base, a lot of our 3G base is unlimited. As they start migrating to 4G they will have to come off of unlimited and go into the data share plan. And that’s beneficial for us for many reason, obviously.

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Many of you are currently “grandfathered” into unlimited data and cherish that status as if it were your own child, so this move is going to be one that won’t be taken kindly. In the quote above, Shammo does mention that eventually, “everyone” will be on a share, but for now, it seems like just 3G customers who are forced into upgrading to 4G phones. The scariest part is the mention of your next upgrade cycle, which for many of you, isn’t all that far off.

Update:  This whole conversation with Shammo at the JP Morgan conference is fascinating. He really opened up and talked about their plans to make more and more money off of tiered data plans. They have set them up so that as consumers realize the power of LTE and use it more, that they will have to keep buying up in tiers. Also, as families add more devices over time, they will again have to buy up in tiers. While I understand this is a business and Verizon needs to continue to find ways to increase revenues, this is like a slap in the face to its customers. As if we all aren’t paying enough already, the way shared data plans are set up (according to Shammo), is to get you to continue to spend more and more money on data. Welcome to the future, folks.

Here is the audio:

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Update:  Shared some of my own thoughts here.

Thoughts?

Via:  Verizon | Fierce Wireless

Cheers Tyler, Mo, and Mike!

  • Jeff “BIG RED”

    BOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • myers

    this blows!!!! when they try and get me off my unlimited plan im saying bye bye!!! beleive me every carreier will have lte and fast speeds.. so all it will come down to is… who is the cheap est. THANKS VZ. your breaking up with the hotest girl u’ve known just because u think u can get someone hotter.. never works..

  • http://twitter.com/DroidBricker Droid Bricker

    I was told that I’d have unlimited data forever as long as I kept that account. I don’t see how they can do this to people who have been grandfathered into a 4G unlimited account.

  • br_hermon

    Another question I have is, What happens to all the customers who got the “double your data” promotion? Will they have to forgo their double dose and get the same amount of GB as everyone else? Or will VZ offer them a shared data plan with more storage than a normal shared plan?

    Now this is perhaps stating the obvious but… I’d bet that VZ knew that rocking the boat like this could upset a lot of ppl and create some waves. So to avoid making to big a splash at once, they decided to offer the double the data promotion as a bait and switch. They probably figured the more ppl they could get off of unlimited now, (by offering double data) the fewer the number of unlimited users when it comes time to shift to shared data. I actually considered ditching unlimited for double data, because I KNEW that unlimited data was a sinking ship. (and I use little data) It was only a matter of time before VZ screwed us and took it away regardless of them telling us it would last forever. I figured / figure get out while the getting is good. Double data will probably be better than whatever crap they force me into.

    So given all those talking points, what do I personally believe? It’s hard to say. I don’t know what to expect for pricing for tiered data. Nor do I know what VZ will do for double data users. I imagine that shared data for me contrasted to paying for 2 data plans might save me 5 bucks a month. aka I’m predicting approx. Old structure: 1 plan = $29.99 New plan: Shared (5gb) = 54.99. Should I get double data now and hope they honor it on top of the shared data? I don’t know…. guess I’ll wait and see….

  • Bill

    I’m on Sprint and yes the 3G data rate is pretty horrendous. But I can still stream music and Netflix without a problem and I go through about 5gb of data per month. I’ll live with app downloads taking an extra minute (but LTE couldn’t come soon enough).

  • Davros

    Looks like big red hasn’t learned a thing from motorola. Their coverage is awesome but so is moto’s physical build quality (so happy I dropped moto like a fresh turd). I guess verizon will be sitting next to moto on my “avoid like a pedophile” list on my next upgrade.

  • http://twitter.com/jownzy jownzy

    I guess I better upgrade before they put this into effect. Been holding on to the Droid X waiting for the latest variation of the RAZR to drop.

    • skant153

      i’m in the same boat but the x is 3g and i think switching to 4g means you lose the unlimited plan anyways

      • EC8CH

        no it doesn’t… at least not yet :-P

      • http://twitter.com/jownzy jownzy

        This is why the time to stop waiting for the next best thing is before they enact these plans.

  • Jeremy Martin

    Of course Verizon customer support and their manager assured me that no one was going to lose their unlimited data plan so long as you were grandfathered in. They told me that the family data share plan is an option this summer but that we would not be forced to move to it when we renew. I have 3 phones ready to be renewed and I was just assured to not worry about this. Apparently no one at Verizon is aware of this.

    I guess this is news going to trickle down here soon.

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      That’ll be awesome if that’s the case. But many a support rep/manager has given misleading information…

  • Sp4rxx

    With all the complaints, no one has said what the pricing with be for the tiered shared plans. I would hold off complaining until after that is announced.
    Though I am grandfathered in, I don’t normally go over 3GB per month (and that is HIGH for me) and my g/f doesn’t go over 2GB.
    If the pricing is reasonable enough, there isn’t any reason to complain. I have unlimited I don’t use so it is fine. I will just use wifi instead. No big deal.

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      I think nobody is expecting “reasonable” pricing from greedy VZW due to the fact that pretty much none of their pricing, from phones to service, is really “reasonable”. The only reasonable thing going for them right now is $30 for unlimited data, and this is their move to eliminate that.

  • Akilig

    I hope you are reading this Fran! Can I haz a dumb pipe?

  • enigmaco
    • cmorty72

      Signed! Need more of these pats rolling out.

  • Havoc70

    As soon as i lose my Unlimited VZ can go F themselves..A$$wiping, thieving, little greedy Fuckers

  • jnt

    I’m thinking AT&T… only b/c we can get on a bottom rung voice plan b/c 99% of our friends/family are on AT&T already, so we’re rarely use any minutes.

    • jnt

      *we’d

  • PHILLYBILL

    IT’S SAD THAT VERIZON TREATS LONG TERM CUSTOMERS THIS WAY. I HAVE BEEN WITH THEM SINCE THE OF AIR TOUCH (1999). I HAVE SPENT OVER $12.000, OVER 13 YEARS. I GUESS SOME CARRIER IS SMART TO STEAL VERIZON, LONG TERM CUSTOMERS OFFER UNLIMITED DATA TO VERIZON CUSTOMERS. WE’RE READY NOW TO JUMP SHIP.

    • Akilig

      Preach.

  • Eddie

    I’m OUT if they force me to a tiered data plan.

  • LewisSD

    Just thought of something. A petition against this Fucked up idea. Remember when they were going to start charging a fee to pay your bill? They backed off that idea in less than a day when they saw the negative reaction.

    One customer saying they are going to leave doesn’t mean anything, but if we get over 10,000 customers they will back off really quick.

    Anyone know how we can get this started?????

  • NemaCystX

    Verizon is making it Google’s offering that much more appealing with no contracts to worry about and you can basically go to any carrier your want that’s GSM.

    I’m still with Verizon because of my employee discount and unlimited data. The future with Verizon is looking very bleak as there giving me more reasons to leave, even with the delicious LTE speeds I get here at home.

    Its like being at a buffet but you can only eat one plate worth of food.

  • Frogskins

    I have no issue personally with giving up the unlimited data if it means I can come away with a plan for myself and my wife that is more affordable. I am afraid though that the new family shared plans will offer no savings whatsoever compared to what I pay now.

    • Justin Frieberg

      this says everything I was just talking to my wife about

  • Mr. Bill

    Hello Voyager Mobile! This will be three phones off of Verizon’s network.

  • http://twitter.com/kilxler tony

    This all reminds me back in the early Internet days when AOL used to charge by the KB and MB. I’m sorry but haven’t we moved forward with unlimited internet access for all? This seems like a huge step back. Haven’t we moved on from that?

    I agree if my grandfather plan get’s nixed I’m out.

  • http://twitter.com/SirCache SirCache

    I might not be so offended if Verizon stopped gimping my phones in order to force me to use ‘their’ version of everything already. I’d say write to your congressman, but we all know that they are for sale to the highest bidder, and Verizon already takes away huge chunks of my money as it is…

  • shehippie

    I cant see them doing this until 4G is actually available everywhere.

  • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

    Next time I upgrade if: i lose my grandfathered unlimited data and there is a $30 fee. I’m probably going to Sprint.

  • http://twitter.com/WaltPartlo Walter Partlo

    My grandfathered unlimited data is the only thing keeping me on Verizon.

    • malpracti

      ^ this

    • LionStone

      Really? For me: reliable and stout service, 4G speeds then unlimited.

  • http://twitter.com/Jedi_Squirrel Jason

    might be time for another carrier have to wait and see I guess if they had the 2gig package for 15$ I think I could hang since I dont hit two gigs

  • http://www.facebook.com/Agentorange1985 Jared Wilder

    Here is the simple solution, if unlimited data is important enough that you will pay a little extra for it: keep the line you already have unlimited data on, remove texting, and pay only the line and data fee. Add a new line so you get a new phone, and just have your calls forwarded to the new line since it will have a new number. So you have a phone with unlimited that will never change and also a new device. Problem solved.

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      *Except for the fact that you’ll have to carry around two smartphones.

  • Dr_Buttballs

    Sure glad I recently switched from Verizon back to AT & T.

    • Alexander Garcia

      Don’t get too comfy there. AT&T will follow Big Red’s example to the T very VERY soon. =/

      • Dr_Buttballs

        I expect as much. I have a couple years before I have to worry about that.

  • yellowcanary73

    My problem is I have 4 phones all at different phone upgrade dates.

  • br_hermon

    I’m not like some guys, I don’t ride my unlimited date plan like a horse till it faints. I don’t think I’ve ever seen 3gbs of usage so all things considered, I’m ok with shared data, especially since my family has multiple phones / data plans already. I’m hoping to save $ on shared data. The thing that, (maybe) bothers me most is 3g users being forced onto 4g data pricing. Now, up to this point there hasn’t been any price difference between 3g and 4g. Unlimited for either… 29.99. BUT if Verizon comes out, and hikes up the price of data, because it’s high-speed-luxury-holy-crap-I-should-feel-obligated-to-give-you-my-firstborn-child-4g, then I have a problem. Why? because I don’t live in 4g coverage. In fact, I suspect that my 3g coverage has worsened since the cities around me got 4g. (Existing 3g towers have their 3g capabilities toned down when 4g capabilities are added to the same tower). With that said, assuming they hike up the price on data, to them I say, NO you can’t take away my cheaper unlimited data until you get your act together and provide me 4g coverage. Otherwise I’m not paying a premium for a service I don’t even have access to.

    Now again that’s speculative but, if true, a very real problem IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/JamMasterJim Jam Master Jim

    What a business plan.
    1. We will charge user $30 to upgrade.
    2. We won’t provide most current hardware because of our network.
    3. We will do away with unlimited data plan.
    4. We will take forever to update phone OS.

    Where do we sign up for Sprint/ATT/insert carrier here at?

    • Akilig

      Dude you ain’t never lying!

      • Nexjersey

        LOL its all true

    • http://twitter.com/cdub1216 Caleb Griffin

      Yes! Could not have said it better myself

  • FknTwizted

    The speeds aren’t the concern for most, it’s the unlimited part. I don’t want to be having to worry about overages cause I have been known to venture past even the highest tier a time or 2.however, the price of these plans are rather expensive to start with

  • New_Guy

    The ONLY reason I’ve been with VZW for so long is because I still have unlimited data. I’ve even talked my wife into staying with for that reason. once it’s gone, so am I.

  • bionicchimp

    Oh no they didn’t this is bs of all the things to cut unlimited data really Verizon

  • Mark

    Sweet. Cannot wait for these new tier data share plans….. not!!!!

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    I really don’t want to go back to Sprint. What if you buy off contract and pay full MSRP? Will they still force you to go to tiered data? Or what if you get a 4G device prior to the mandatory change?

    • LionStone

      WRT buying off contract and paying full MSRP…I’m thinking VZW thinks not too many people go that route so it may be a viable option to hang on to unlimited longer.

  • Kemi

    Yep. And that’s when I say goodbye to Verizon.

  • Octotron

    Wow… screw this. I love the option to breech contract whenever they feel like it. Criminals.

  • NemaCystX

    Unless they raise the data cap 2GB to like 4 or 6GB, this isn’t going to be good for them, alot of people will fire back. I just got LTE in my area yesterday, and within one day I used nearly 1.2GB of data. The faster speeds are dangerous for those that are used to slow 3G speeds that deter you from wanting to download or use your data. My LTE is faster than my home internet, which do you think I would use on my phone? Its a no brainer, especially for those of us with unlimited data.

  • ryanallaire

    Verizon either thinks they’re outsmarting people, or greed (typical corporate stuff) is spreading around…

    • NemaCystX

      Both

  • CheeseMcGee

    Really glad I am in one of the summer beta waves over at republic wireless… goodbye Verizon!!

    • Josh Groff

      At that price and with being on a $50 line, I will be using both until my contract expires. Hopefully then, we’ll see some neat phones from RW.

  • Akilig

    Well let me see I signed up with Airtouch in 1996, VZW took over in 1999. I have 1 LTE phone (Nexus) and 4 3G phones on my plan. Maybe they want me to leave. Who wants my business??? Looks like we may be going GSM.

  • 1324356565

    If my unlimited plan gets taken away, add another 6 phones off of verizon.

  • jonny6pak

    Well, looks like I might be walking away from Verizon once my contract runs out (or sooner if they make me switch before the contract runs out). The unlimited plan was the only thing keeping me in place.

  • whenjasonattks

    I have absolutely no reason to stay with Verizon now. I’d rather be on GSM anyways.

  • bigillz

    What if we just let our contract expire, go month to month, and pay full price for new devices? If we never have to renew/change our contract I wonder if they’ll ever force us over off of unlimited.

    • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

      I’m *GUESSING* even if you do it that way, Verizon will say, “OH HAI, I see you spent 700 on this new Galaxy SIII HD 4G LTE Touch… This phone REQUIRED a NEW DATA PLAN! .. Congratulations, you are now limited to 2GB!”

      • bigillz

        I dunno. I bought a new rezound from a 3rd party off contract, switched from a 3G phone to a the 4G rezound, didn’t renew contract, kept my unlimited data in the switchover, my asurion and all other options transferred. 4G to 4G phone I’m pretty sure I can just swap 4G sim cards. When I got a replacement (asurion) rezound from water damage, I didn’t have to “activate” the new phone by calling or dialing anything, I just swapped sim cards.

    • LionStone

      Sounds like a decent plan…I’m going that route too.

    • MooleyBooleyTroll

      They will most likely just tell you that your device you are trying to activate isn’t compatible with your current plan and require you to go month to month or sign a new contract with a newer data plan.

      • bigillz

        You can just swap sim cards on 4G devices

    • NemaCystX

      If you haven’t seen how the activation system works, even when you change a device you have to choose your options. I used to switch devices back and forth. Unlimited is an option at the moment but once they get rid of it as a grandfathered option, you can say good bye to your unlimited data unless you don’t change phones for the rest of your life. And thats not likely…

      • bigillz

        “used to switch” .. 3G or 4G phones? I’ve switched 4G phones and just swapped sim cards. No picking different options or activation process.

        • NemaCystX

          3G phones but I would imagine you would have to activate or choose your plan options each time you swap SIM’s even when this goes into effect. There not going to leave any loopholes

  • Akuma

    It seems like this is the next step in squeezing people out. First it was new customers, now it’s going to be customers who haven’t already upgraded to an LTE phone.

    Us LTE-ers should be safe. But for how long? This is quite discouraging.

  • lgb400

    What about my family plan…i have 4 g and unlimited everything…when my wife upgrades to 4g how does that work….we just share unlimited?

  • bbbb

    So am I to assume that if I have 4g right now… and never use a formal upgrade that I can keep my unlimited data? – I’ll just buy all my phones off of ebay a year after they come out

    • Josh Groff

      At 6-8 months they hit ~300 for most phones. Also, sell your old phone on swappa, the fees are less than eBay’s.

  • eze4

    I guess i’ll have my Thunderbolt & my Galaxy Nexus until i die.

  • superdry

    Hmm. Interesting. I have an upgrade come end of the year (I love my Thunderbolt, but it really feel long in the tooth right now), but, maybe, I’ll just buy an Incredible 4G off-contract and use that for 2-years (I don’t do anything too intensive on my phone so the Snapdragon S4 should give me plenty of power during that time frame).