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Clarification: When Will You Be Forced Into Verizon’s New Shared Data Tiers?

Thoughout the last day, we noticed in the comments that there seems to be this belief that Verizon is going to forget that you signed a contract and simply force you immediately onto a shared data plan tier and off of your unlimited plan. That’s just not the case, at least it shouldn’t be, so we wanted to help clarify everything that went down yesterday, as best as we can. 

When VZW’s CFO Fran “ShamWow” Shammo said that they would migrate unlimited customers to shared data tiers, he said some key words along the way. The most important were “as you come through an upgrade cycle” and “upgrade in the future.” What he is saying, is that as you complete your current contract and then upgrade, that you won’t have the option to keep your current plan. From what we assume, Verizon is moving from a singular model of per line or per customer data plans to a shared or account structure, so while we don’t know the exact details of those plans, it sounds as if the only available plans in the future will be shared data. Whether you are by yourself or not, it will all just be one pool of data to pull from on your account. (That last part is me speculating of course.)

Back to this “upgrade cycle” stuff though. When Verizon launches their shared data tiers this summer, they aren’t going to force you immediately onto them. They, per your contract, have to wait until you upgrade to a new phone or renew to change your data or minute plan. While they plan to launch these new plans this summer, they won’t affect you until your current contract runs out. For some of you, especially those that just bought a new phone within the last few months and signed a new contract, won’t have to deal with shared data tiers for almost 2 years. (At least in theory and possibly, legally.)

Shammo even said during his speech on generating revenues through this model, that it is going to take quite some time before everyone is on shared data tiers. We assume he mentioned that because of all of the current contract-locked subscribers they have. Again, you have a contract that Verizon can’t simply void just to get you onto a new data structure. If they do, that usually means you have the option to opt-out and can then take your business elsewhere if you please.

*Note – We see that some of you are wondering if this only applies to 3G customers or if it will affect 4G LTE customers too. It is my understanding that this is for everyone. Shammo specifically called out 3G to 4G customers because they likely have a ton of customers in that situation. I see no reason why Verizon would keep 4G customers separate from this new data structure. Most 4G customers just simply do not have contracts that are ending any time soon.

The only tricky situation here is how they plan to deal with accounts that have multiple lines that have contracts ending at different times. Say you have a line that’s contract ends in September, but your main line’s doesn’t until next February. If you sign a new deal in September on that separate line, how will its data package work and how will it affect the rest of your lines? We should know shortly.

To recap, what we are trying to say is that shared data tiers shouldn’t be of concern until your current contract runs out. Verizon will launch them this summer, but as long as you are under 2-year agreement with them, you shouldn’t care until that agreement is over.

Now, keep in mind that this is all information based off of years of contracts and policy changes with Verizon. Big Red could always change it up, void all of your contracts, force you onto tiers, and create a giant whirlwind of destruction. That all just seems far too unlikely though.

  • loalpine

    Why can’t they adjust the network, not our plans, internet is not a natural resource, we are not running out of it!!!! Its growing at an exponential rate. In theory your going to have to make the system larger eventually, why not build it now before you limit your valued customer to frigging 2 gb per. Wtf, it’s not like we get the service for free, ,we pay for it evey monthwith out hesitation, some in excess of 300 dollars. Give a break. We dont deserve thia and please excuse my grammar. My verizon 4g lte phone is acting. Funny….

  • coolsilver

    I want to break my family share into indivdual plans and drop a line and keep unlimited data

  • balthuszar

    after reading this article, i believe as some do, that this switch to shared data is aimed squarely at iphone users…if cnn is to be believed, they are only forcing the switch on customers who switch from 3G to 4G with their upgrade. while the story suggests that they do not know how this will affect people already on 4G with unlimited…there is hope

  • Dominick_7

    If I have to I will buy the Galaxy Note/Journal at FULL RETAIL price to keep my unlimited with Verizon, assuming these guys get it soon, as in within a month or two at most. If they don’t soon, I’ll be using my $50+$50 credit from Best Buy to move to AT&T to buy the Note from them. But if Verizon tries to cut off unlimited Im gone. Had it with their nonsense.

  • Tyler Chappell

    “Say you have a line that’s contract ends in September, but your main line’s doesn’t until next February. If you sign a new deal in September on that separate line, how will its data package work and how will it affect the rest of your lines? We should know shortly.”

    That’s the part I am eager to find out. Me, my brother, and my mom are all one one account, with my mom’s account being the main one. I got my Thunderbolt in April 2011, my brother got his Bionic in Sept 2011, and my mom just got her Lucid in April 2012 with the 4GB promo. So while my contract wont expire until April next year, I can upgrade as early as December, I guess it just depends what phones are available that will determine when I want to upgrade.

    • balthuszar

      this is my thinking, and it may be so far off base it’s not even funny…but as long as you don’t change the main line, there’s not really much they can do

  • JAstro13

    This is pretty shady. Way to reward your loyal customers Verizon! What’s that? You’ve had Verizon for over 10 years? Oh, hey thanks…we are just going to treat you like a number now…

  • Marko343

    And with the unlimited going away I would like to not have ANY Bloatware or services from VZW installed on my phone that will use a kb of data unless I want it to.

  • Marko343

    This just plain sucks, as tech advances and prices goes down data plans just get more ridiculous. There is no competition anymore. Every carrier will have some form of tiered data plans priced accordingly. I can see “savings” for people who only use under 2gb a month and having it priced accordingly but but why not just keep the unlimited option as it stands?

    Faster speeds that move more data, apps that are bigger and more data intensive, everyone offering some form of cloud storage where everything syncs all the time. Just eating data. Every carrier just trying to trap us at every possible opportunity.

  • Genius

    If you have multiple lines on your account, simply alternate upgrade a basic phone on your account to the new smartphone you want. Then change it over to your line. Bam! The unlimited feature on your plan will not change because you simply changed devices. Obviously this would only work if you have a few lines that don’t all have unlimited data features themselves.

  • possomcrast

    “tired data plans are better and more simple for the customer to customize their plan” WHATS MORE SIMPLE THAN UNLIMITED?!!

  • Why can’t everyone just have unlimited data forever

  • moozicmon

    I wonder how this will affect hardware change. There is no new contract generated to activate a device.unless it is a plan change so activating a new device should have no impact. So in theory, if I buy my phone outright and activate while still going month to month there should be no change…


  • Anon

    What most of you all fail to realize is that your 2 year contract does not become void after the two years are over. Under US Contractual Law the contract is automatically renewed as long as both parties continue to provide their obligatory conditions of the contract i.e. you continue to pay Verizion, they must provide you the service stipulated in the original contract. If one party wishes to change the terms of the contract that would require consent by both parties i.e. Verizon cannot change the terms without you agreeing to the new terms which is basically a new contract. That is why Verizon’s upgrade cycle is every 18 months and not every 24 months. Because if you were to look at your contract and actually read it, you would notice that you are only under obligation to pay for 24 months after that time period your contract goes under a month to month pay schedule under the terms of the previous contract. This is why they offer subsidized phones, this is why they must wait until your upgrade is due or you initiate a change on your account. They cannot legally force you into a tiered plan without your consent, and even if you brought a new device to your current plan they would not be able to change your contract because a device change is not part of the contract for cellular service. So buying a device at full price even if you bought that device directly from Verizon, they would be forced to activate that device on their network for you to utilize on your contract that is for cellular service.

  • derp

    I bet they will stall phone releases for this….

  • You know your phone bill is expensive when you can get the entire master collection and more from the Adobe Creative Suite for cheaper.

    • rob

      how can you do that?

      • Monthly payments are 30 dollars for students and 50 for everyone else. Best part is that your version updates automatically when a new one comes out.

  • Brad

    Im so sick of these greedy corporations. Verizon can go to hell. I refuse to pay more for data. Ill just find another carrier. So long Verizon.

  • Silent Majority

    So, the real question is, when do i need to get a new phone by to ensure i can still keep my unlimited plan?

  • MrEnglish

    No worries. VZW is not the end all carrier, nor is not having unlimited data a death sentence. It’s consumer unfriendly, it’s insulting for a loyal base, but it’s not apocalyptic. The only people I see getting really hurt are those that stream the crud out of music and movies and they’re probably the ones who use the most bandwidth without a real need anyway. Business users have always had a handle on managing data (least the ones I know). Either way, if there’s a way around it, we’ll find, if there’s not, we’ll either suck it up or switch to a better carrier.

  • LEGAL ACTION!!!!!!!

  • Chidoro

    Also, unlimited ended in the beginning of July last year. Most 4G contracts are already abiding by some data cap

  • Devilsephiroth

    I just upgraded, I’ll buy my phones from Google now and never upgrade

  • Mike Boodoo

    I have an upgrade available on one of my lines so I called in to see what the deal was if I wanted to upgrade next month (I am planning to)
    The woman didn’t know anything about this at first and said I shouldn’t go by news on sites without Verizon sources.
    I pointed out that it was their CFO and Spokesperson making these statements and she looked into it further.
    Came back and said that they do not have many details on pricing or how they will work in the new shared plans and will not be forcing anyone off their unlimited plans when they come around.
    She assured me that even if I used the upgrade that I will keep unlimited. I want to believe her but she just seemed so misinformed. My guess is because its still relatively early news and not everyone on their end got the memo.

  • Kingo

    Sprint here I come!!! Good bye Verizon

  • Dazz1996

    Like Nokia said, the beta test is now over!!!

  • Sylense

    The “OPTION” of shared data is cool for those who it suits but forcing people to give up their current unlimited plan is stupid and nothing more than a sheer sign of greed. Funny how the voice plans aren’t forced to work in a “shared” matrix. I can have an individual or family shared plan. We all knew last year before they killed off unlimited plans that they would try to find a loophole to drop the grandfathered plans too….. And here we are.

  • CdtDelta

    I might have actually picked 4G if Verizon’s 4G network was actually STABLE in Chicago. But since it isn’t, I’ll stick with my unlimited thank you ver much….

  • eazy

    This is bull the only reason people thought that we were all doomed is because of the way you Kellex presented the news…since when did droid-life become a hub of doomsayers

  • subsity

    Just called verizon they said it affects the 3g customers and peolle who do upgrades they said once our contract expires we keep our unlimited unless we upgrade or use ahope that is true 3g only phone

    • r0lct

      Sounds nice, but trusting a support rep won’t get you very far.

  • pokemontez

    I complete my 2 years in August, but I’m eligible for an early upgrade now.
    Would it be wise to get a subsidized phone and extend my 2 year unlimited plan, or are they going to somehow give me a colonoscopy

    • RobMorris

      Id upgrade now

    • r0lct

      I would check how much data you consume in a month.

  • axelfoley

    all this said, should i use my upgrade now and get the razer maxx before all of these changes start. i’ve had my droid x since it came out and was wating for the next best thing, but with this news, i feel like i should go and get a 4g phone now and just ride it out till the end.

  • David

    If this is how they are going to treat their long-time, loyal customers (14 years and counting), then I believe that I have already signed my LAST contract with them.

    • Ron Jeremy

      Calm down.. None of this has even happened yet!

    • Scott

      14 year customer of a company that was founded in 2000? That’s a random thing to lie about.

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    They will sucker people into the new plans by offering free phones. When Verizon bought Alltel, I was offered a free device on every line to change to a Verizon plan. I declined. Years later, I am still on the Alltel data smart 500 shared plan. 2 x4G devices with unlimited data, 1 regular line, all have unlimited text, nights weekends, mobile to mobile and shared 500 minutes for under $150/mo. To top it off, my lines are staggered 8mos apart so I can upgrade 3 times a cycle.

    • except when you sign a contract you have to change plans. Verizon will not give you a discount on the phone if you do not have a current supported plan. That is what they are saying the article as well. I used to work for a Alltel/VZW agent and when you choose contract you are prompted to switch. Not sure how you are getting by with this but you either very lucky or not going to corporate store and an Agent found a loophole in the system to allow phone upgrades without plan upgrades as well.

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        I never use the stores. 90% of the time I use the same agent when my time is up. I have her email and she has always hooked me up when I renew. Usually get my phone and she’d throw in $60 in accessories. Not sure how but I have had my alltel plan since my Palm Treo. Lol

  • They obviously received a lot of calls on this or they wouldn’t directly do a press release for it… When I called vzw earlier today the rep assured me this is for people migrating from 3G to 4g devices. She also said that as long as I am on 4g with unlimited grandfathered that I should be able to keep it as long as I keep my accounts in good standing. Just a thought for all the people out there worried about it.. I still am worried they will force me off of unlimited data but time will tell..

  • Have they mentioned anything about buying full retail priced phones and how it will affect it?

  • DJyoSNOW

    VZWs system don’t merge correctly. I know that from experience &
    customer service. So this will be a giant cluster F. I hope a law
    suite comes about over this. I (corporate America at its finest) We the People…? sue?

  • Tom Z

    I don’t see any problem with some sort of cap. I rarely go over 5 Gigs a month and that’s with using Google Music on a regular basis. I think it’s the abusers that Verizon should target. I can see a 10 Gig limit then just throttle back the bandwidth like T-Mobile does.

    Just my Opinion…

  • chucklehead322

    I could easily go back to regular phone without a data package. As much as I love having a smartphone, it may not be worth all the extra cash.

    Also, what happens to the people like my parents who still have flip phones and have no use for a smartphone with a data plan? Are they forced into some type of plan that they’ll never use?

    • i think it will only affect them if A) they have smartphones and B) if they upgrade to smartphones otherwise they cant force you into a data package plan if your phones dont need the data or dont require it i should say

  • dblockkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    Adios Verizon.

    Way to ruin what you had.

  • What worries me about tiered plans is who knows what the future will bring in terms of technology. We might be using data on our phones a whole heck of a lot more and I don’t want to lose my unlimited data plan. Heck I still have my $10 for unlimited texting to anyone on any network, now that was a great deal!

  • Ahku Droid

    From the timing, this sounds like they are targeting iPhone 4 users switching to 4G with iPhone 5.

    If it comes to pass that 4G users will also be forced to change, it will be cheaper for me and my data usage to buy my replacement phone at full retail. This is just dumb…2GB is not nearly enough and as time goes on, especially with shared data pools, 4GB won’t be either.

  • balthuszar

    the cbsnews story i read, said that they were only forcing their 3G customers to the shared data when they upgraded to 4G

  • looks like swappa will become my best friend in the near future

  • Haxcid
    • Ron Jeremy

      A petition??? I have news for you all this is not a LAW… This is business and business main goal is to MAKE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!! Wake up

    • Kaptain75329

      Attention online petition signers: this cluepon is provided free of charge.


  • Jake

    Just realized something. This could hit with HUGE device subsidy incentives to get people tricked into moving quickly. Maybe even immediate subsidy availability. Imagine the newest fanciest LTE phone being offered for free to any and all unlimited plan holders if you just goto to this bucketed regime. So far you have been able to retain current plans including unlimited when upgrading so there is no reason to offer crazy incentive on the device itself as they won’t get any new monthly revenue out of the sale. This will force many into a possible increased monthly expense in time and could hence be reason to use device incentives and early upgrade to woo those that aren’t paying very close attention or have no clue how much data they will eventually use with this fancy new device that is much more capable than their current. They will use historical data usage to fool them into thinking it’s just a great deal on the device and they will NEVER use more than 5gb of data or whatever.

  • Fattie McDoogles

    Does it effect you if you buy a phone no contract?

  • BlkThndr3

    I wonder… I’m on a family plan, and my contract doesn’t expire until August, 2013. So if I upgrade then, I’d be forced onto a shared data plan. If I move to my own plan, and just buy outright, technically I should be able to keep my unlimited right?

  • rockstar323

    The problem is if you aren’t using more than 2GB of data they can force the change without voiding your contract. The only way you can get out of a contract, ETF free, is if they implement a contract change that has a material adverse effect on you, meaning something that will cost you more money. It’s win win for them if the change mid contract. Heavy users will either have to use less data, pay for more data, or get off the network.
    I could see them doing it just to spite the users who use free wifi tethering.

  • DroidBricker

    One thing I haven’t heard anyone mention is that this type of plan gives Verizon more incentive to bloat our phones with apps that consume more data. So, say you’re allotted 2GB and you’re comfortable with that , they’ll have every reason to bloat your device to ensure you’ll have to move up to the next tier.

  • Thank you for a very reasoned explanation. I’ve been on an unlimited 3G plan for over two years now, and I’ve been looking forward to seeing the switch to shared data (I spend most of my day with my phone on WiFi, so paying $30 a month for unlimited data just seems wasteful for me–especially coupled with my wife’s $30 unlimited plan on her Thunderbolt). I’m hoping we’ll be seeing the shared tiers starting at 5 GB for $30 with a device fee of $5. Honestly, that would be perfect for us. Of course, there’s every possibility we’ll be looking at more of a 3 for $30, 5 for $50 situation, but one can hope!

  • h1br1d7heory

    I already have my 4G Bionic w/ Unlimited Data. So what if I buy a phone at full price and never “renew”?? according to the statements above they can’t knock me out of a current contract, yes??

    • What is likely to happen is that once you are “off” contract they have the right to terminate service at any time without warning. You are paying for their service but you effectively lose all rights since there is no contract in place. Basically they are going to tell you that you have to pick a shared plan, when you refuse they will tell that they require it and will be terminating your service. I have seen it with other areas just not in the cell phone world yet. “Off” contract is not always the best thing. People think it gives them so much freedom to switch it also give the carrier freedom to shut your service off at any time. You will still be bound to a usage agreement that you “Agree” to by paying their fee for the service. In the agreement I am sure they will add fine print that says you agree to tiered/sahred data.

  • Destroythanet

    Excellent info, Kellen. Thanks for this.

  • CaptainHowdy13

    Void the contracts! I’ll take my out 😀

  • Bloodthirsty

    I have a second line for my daughter that I have a dumb phone on. I always use that line to upgrade my phone though. Should I go ahead and get her a new dumb phone since it’s eligible now? I just got my gnex in December so it’s going to be a long time until I get anything else. She has a crappy ENV3.

  • Austin

    Kellex what happens if you upgrade annualy, your contract will never end so dose that mean you keep unlimited data ?

    • Jake

      If you upgrade and get a subsidy, chances are you have to sign a new contract and can only put the subsidized device on one of the new school data plans. Just getting an early upgrade changes nothing other than you are forced into this sooner if want to get a new device with subsidy sooner.

    • Superguy

      You still have to sign a new contract, with the new contract superseding the old. It’s not an addendum to a current contract.

  • We will not be ignored

    I got a response from the FCC. They are accepting complaints on the matter and are looking for ways to tie Verizon’s price gouging to their proposed spectrum acquisitions. File a complaint. While they may not be able to directly influence their pricing, they can put terms on spectrum they license. http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

    • Havoc70

      Filed my complaint, thanks for the info

    • Filed. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Austin

    What happens if you upgrad annualy like i do?, technaclly my contract never ends i just keep extending it every year

    • DroidBricker

      Your contract ends, it’s just that you’ve been renewing it early when you upgrade which changes the “end” date. Likely, the next time you purchase a new phone through an upgrade you will have to agree to the new tiered data.

  • Lenesse Berg

    ok blond question incoming….

    say I leave my plan alone and never take a Verizon upgrade, would it be correct to say I could by from places like Swappa and just change my phone….therefore not upgrading and not losing unlimited data??? LOL soooo trying to be sneaky right now.

    • Lenesse Berg

      buy*, yeah blond moment.

    • JDHokie

      If you never upgrade, once your two-year contract runs out, can’t VZW just can your unlimited data package? You have no contract with them, they have no contract with you at that point.

      • Lenesse Berg

        I’m not sure, that’s the kind of thing I’d like to find out.

      • Droid4Life

        I am not sure, I was wondering the same thing like if you’re currently on a 2-yr commitment w/ unlimited data plan, after your 2-yr ends, would you be on a month to month plan because you don’t do an upgrade or technically change your contract/plan and still be on the unlimited plan? Just wondering. Sorry if this might have gotten covered somewhere else but I’m too lazy to read everyone’s reply as this is getting a little long.. Thanks in advance.

        • Yes they can cancel your service at any time for a simple reason, take the plan or don’t rife our network. The “off contract” user has less protections than an “on contract” user.

    • bkosh84

      Correct. As long as you never sign a new contract (just buy a phone outright full price or ebay’d), you will keep your Unlimited data.. My grandma is still on a VERY OLD Alltel plan with a flip phone that is like 20 bucks a month and is now on Verizon with the same plan. They bug the heck out of her via snail mail all the time to upgrade though, lol.

      • Lenesse Berg

        thanks for the feedback, this helps a lot!

        • Except he is wrong, once you go month-to-month especially VZW has the right to cancel service at anytime without reason. They can basically say we require all people to have a shared plan, since you are not under a contract they have no obligations and can refuse to allow your phone on their network. The case with people coming from Alltel that he mentions is basically that those plans VZW doesn’t see as a threat but they can at anytime force that person off the service. Having a horde of unlimited data users is a threat to their network reliability and they will enforce these new changes. i used this analogy earlier. Imagine you have a lawn service that you contract with for 4 mowings and after that they will keep coming back as long as they get paid. They have the right to stop coming back even though you willing to pay. They can say nah we need an extra $5 a mowing period or we are not coming back. Same deal with VZW, take the new data plan or we shut off service.

    • Austin

      Not sure, i wanna find out what happens if u keep upgrading annualy then your contract never ends

  • If verizon tries to kick me to a tiered data plan im out i use over 4 gigs a month so no way im doing that.

  • Travis Gary

    i wish google would partner with dish network and t-mobile, (If dish can buy t-mobile) and start or partnership with a decent size cell company, then they can put some google dollars into it and they would have there own towers some day to go with there phones. Super wishfull thinking

  • Kevin

    They, per your contract, have to wait until you upgrade to a new phone or renew to change your data or minute plan.”

    They’ll be waiting a long time. No renewals with Verizon Wireless or me. VzW seems to be in ultimate greed mode with the rash of higher cost/reduced benefit service they are offering lately.

  • Travis Gary

    What really bothers me is that i live just outside of town and cant get dsl, and they just burried fiber all around to the south of me, and i can not and will not ever get a landline broadband connection. i depend on this as my main internet and it sucks to that it will have a really crappy cap like 2 GB. it down right makes me very upset.

  • br_hermon

    Could we go all in with data along with least amount of Minutes / Texts????

    OK, I’m thinking out loud here but…. I have a Gnex and my old OG Droid. On my old OG (no longer activated) I have installed GrooveIP. Thanks to that app, wifi and my google voice
    (GV) number, I can place and receive phone calls for free. So here’s what I’m thinking… Can I activate my OG on VZW so I can again use data (Think of it as a tablet. It can receive data but won’t be used for calls / texts) And with GV / Groove IP I can make free calls?

    If that’s the case… I could open one line (data, phone, texts) then add as many other phones (data only with GV and GrooveIP) I want. Yes that’d require a lot of data but might I be able to offset that expense by getting the smallest amount of texts and minutes as possible?

    It might be a bit of a stretch but I think hypothetically, it would work.


      No, you can’t activate a phone without a phone plan.

  • I was an early adopter of 4G with the Thunderbolt and then the Galaxy Nexus later in the year. If I am not able to continue to be grandfathered in to umlimited data once those contracts expire, I will most definitely be looking into a new wireless provider.

    • Ron Jeremy

      WHO EVER SAID YOU COULDN’T???? I swear people make a big conspiracy out of this

      • Nobody has… yet. IF (you see that “If” in the previous post too?) VZW does in fact go that route, I am simply saying I will be taking my business elsewhere. Not making any sort of conspiracy out of it, I’m just saying that that would be one too many transgressions that I cannot stomach from Big Red.

      • jonny6pak

        WHAT?????//??//??? NO WAY!!!!1!!!111!!!one!!1!!!

  • MikeDVM

    What if I never upgrade to a new contract and just buy phones at retail price just to keep my contact alone.. I have a great contract unlimited data,voice and text for 100 bucks a month and I do not want to lose it.

    • Johnny V

      Sorry, you will lose it. They can only legally keep you on an unlimited plan until your contract time is up.

  • Swood333

    EHHHH.. I’m gonna wait to pass judgment… I have 2 others on my cell plan that have data plans…. $90 more/month SUX.. and we all typically use less than 5 GB… if they offer a pot-o-data ~5GB for $50.. I’ll be VERY happy… Though on the inverse… I do think it sux for individual plan holders, there should be seperate and fair distributions of cost evective data plans dependent on the individuals plan and needs.. but know Big Red… we’ll all get dry humped…

  • Andrew

    what if we bought a phone off contract and just activated it at home and use a 4G sim from another phone? with the new nexus line coming out this Thanksgiving, we could buy a CDMA nexus and just put the 4G sim from our current phone into the new one

    • Lenesse Berg

      I asked something similar and I wanna know too


      You’re assuming there will be another VZW nexus. I think that might be a bit of a stretch at this point.

  • ASDF

    If my sister buying the iPhone 5 knocks me off unlimited I am going to be pissed

    • Tyler Chappell

      You should already be pissed that your sister intends to buy the next iPhone

  • If they force you to into a tiered data plan then they should let you tether/ use the phone as a wifi hot spot without any extra charge.

    • Ron Jeremy

      Sounds like you are looking for Cricket 4G… lol

    • jonny6pak

      I agree with you complete. At this point, the data has a cap and one cannot just use tethering to replace an ISP. When everyone had unlimited data, I understood the argument against allowing free tethering, but now how one uses their data doesn’t seem to matter since everyone would eventually have a set ration of GBs per month.

  • teejaycard

    This is going to cause a lot of people to buy out of contract. I can see why Google would want to sell phones on the Play Store now.

    • I didn’t even think about this, Google is actually trying to save us from the carriers.

      +1 to Google

      • Josh Groff

        They also make a ton of money because of it. (not to mention the free advertisements through their own ad service.)

        That’s the perfect business model.

        • AnotherAndroidKid

          Regarding ads, they dry up when we’re all on tiered plans. Everyone is going to be paying for “pro” level apps without ads to save data for things they want instead of having google steal it from us.

          So they’re definitely fighting against this move.

          • ERIFNOMI

            I don’t think the average person will think that ads affect their data usage very much. In fact, removing ads probably doesn’t make enough of a difference to reliably keep you under your limit. I bet Google wouldn’t like tiered data plans because they’d be for an open internet.

          • Josh Groff

            No, they are for freedom, and thus, they are for AMERICA!!!! *end rant*

          • Josh Groff

            I was talking about advertizing for their phones on Google play through their ad service in gmail and what not on PCs.

      • Austin

        Google isent saving you from the carrier, soon all the carriers will have these new plans. Even if you buy a nexus from google you have to take it to the carrier to activate it, which will make you pick a shared plan

        • Jake

          No. I was with AT&T for years on an unlimited dumbphone data plan with all variety of smartphone purchased unlocked. With SIMs there is no “Activation” unless the device is locked or somehow like the iPhone in needing some carrier authorization beyond the SIM identity of the device. AT&T would hassle me about that if I was needing service related to something as they knew what I was doing, but I just threatened to leave every time they did.

          VZW isn’t AT&T, but with SIMs on the LTE device it’s going to be REALLY difficult to keep track of what devices you are dropping SIMs in and try to force users into certain plans. And really FCC spectrum rules on open devices for VZW’s LTE spectrum are going to make such things somewhat legally questionable if VZW tried them.

          • r0lct

            But once you’re out of contract I would imagine Verizon can legally change your plans anyway. So I’m not sure if buying phones off contract will matter much in the end.

          • FVZ

            Buying off contract isn’t going to matter cause when you renewt they’ll kick you off your grandfather.

            If this does go into effect I think I might keep my upgrade and wait till the last day so I can try and stay with unlimited as long as possible, of course I fall into the category all my lines have different sign dates. Glad I got my Razr off contract for $100.

          • balthuszar

            correct me if i’m wrong…but if you buy a phone straight out, and go tot he carrier to activate it…you technically havent used your upgrade…right?

          • Jake

            They can, but they will probably not do that as it would cause a customer service and customer retention nightmare. Most on this forum care a lot about unlimited and stuff like that, but even outside our demo most people don’t like their stuff changed and many don’t spend money on new devices every upgrade opportunity even though you have to to get the most for your money. Many that don’t upgrade do so partially because they are on some OLD plan they see as a better value than anything offered today.

            Really smartphones have been a godsend to VZW as they were having revenue problems related to customers never upgrading to newer/higher revenue smartphone plans until Android and iPhone came along. They were available with WM and Blackberry, but most were staying on normal dumbphone plans due to lack of interest in the expense for the upgrade. Android and iPhone’s improved smartphone user experience have helped many legitimize the extra monthly cost of using a smartphone. This was never a forced switch though because from a customer service and retention perspective doing that is poison. The same will happen in moving people to tiered buckets of data rather than per device unlimited.

            Basically, yes, you are correct, but doing so would poison their good reputation with their existing customers. So they will take the normal approach of tricking and/or luring them into paying more.

      • lol. +1, I see what you did there.

      • Does anyone think Verizon actually wants to stay in the subsidized phone business? Phone companies would make a lot more money if they didn’t have to subsidize phones. They could probably drop contracts entirely and go month-to-month only if people would go elsewhere and buy a phone for full price.

    • Rob Kein

      This is spot on! Google to the rescue…


      You mean people will buy their phones unsubsidized and off contract. I kept reading that as people would buy-out of their current contract, i.e. pay the ETF and go elsewhere. That wouldn’t make any sense because you’re unaffected while locked into a contract.

    • Jake

      Was ATTEMPTING to point this out in the original thread on this. Pretty sure grandfathered stubborn unlimited users wielding threats of exodus if they have to goto limited plans is the whole idea behind Googles plan to offer open unlocked devices. This will happen on AT&T even. And until competition gets the price per gb of such plans up to more reasonable levels for todays heavy users there is going to be a demand for unlocked phones at full prices. Google also holds the FCC spectrum rules that force open unlocked device use onto VZW’s LTE network to make this happen.

      This has been the plan all along and really I think the original Droid and Galaxy Nexus were just Google trying to play nice and get VZW to offer open device sorta service to Android users before they exploited these rules. I think it is clear now though that VZW is not willing to really play the way Google wants so they will probably pressure device OEMs to offer them open hardware to force onto the VZW LTE network. If that doesn’t work they have Motorola to go it on their own and that is probably the real reason they purchased them.

      • chucklehead322

        I bet we start to see small carriers pop up all over the place. Granted they may not have a blazing fast network but if you’re a user that doesn’t need all that data, it could be a smart choice.

    • Yes, but that won’t help get an unlimited plan. You will still need to sign up with a carrier for a data plan, and that data plan will be tiered.

    • tech247

      Buy out will not help. To activate your new direct from Google device, Big Red will most likely require you to sign another contract with the new data plans.

      • Highly doubtful the contract is because of the “Instant Rebate” they give you for the phone. This is how it works now, I bought a NS4G used called Sprint and added it and the same thing would happen with any device purchased direct. Even if VZW tried anyone dumb enough to sign a contract when you bring your own hardware deserves a Darwin award.

        • tech247

          You underestimate the greediness of Big Red. To force everyone off unlimited data, i am sure my guess above would be the way they do it. People will sign a new contract with their own hardware because there is no better network out there at this time. If service damn nearly everywhere is important to you, stick with Big Red.

          • Possibly but a contract has to hold them to something as well so if it means locking that price until the of the contract sure that is fine. My cable company does that to me every year. I sign on for another year and they promise my price won’t change. There has to be some give and take otherwise again signing a contract with no benefit to you is kind of a Darwin award winning event.

        • Dan

          your contract may be month-to-month, but it is still a contract, and they will put you on the new plans.

    • I plan on buying my next phone out of contract, as I dont want to change to a tiered plan.

      • same here..!!!!!

      • So the option then is??? If you stick with VZW, but don’t re-up your contract, you’ll still have to pay the “current” cost of data, but without any guarantee’s that the price will go up. Or am I missing something here?

        I hate this change they’re making, but I choose Verizon because they blow the other carriers in my area away.

      • Dan

        Don’t see how that is going to stop it. If you are not on a contract with them they can do whatever the h$ll they want to. If you are on Verizon they will get you on a tiered/shared plan eventually.

        • Once your out of contract and you don’t upgrade, you pay month to month on the plan you are on. The only difference is, you don’t have a termination fee. So in theory, his plan should work. Buy a phone at full price, attach it to the number and keep unlimited.

        • balthuszar

          i’m with verizon, but taking away my unlimited by this backdoor policy change is stupid…i know i wont be going anywhere else to get unlimited, but i’d rather pay sprint, uscellular or at&t(we don’t have t-mo here…at least not without it being run through the ringer by a local carrier) for tiered data than pay verizon to force me into having tiered data

    • Sp4rxx

      I doubt as many as you think. If you look across the whole spectrum of providers: VZW, Sprint, TMo & ATT, there isn’t a enough people that have data plans that go over (on average) 4GB a month. Yes there are people who do, but not enough of a percentage to be affected by supposed deserters if they are forced to switch.

      I am currently on an unlimited plan, as is my g/f. Together, we barely scratch the surface of 6GB b/w us – so basically, we are wasting our unlimited. It’s not a big deal folks.

      If you are able to afford a $600 phone out of contract, then you shouldn’t complain about tiers. Your contract essentially pays for your phone anyway when you spend the $150-200 in an upgrade and you pay the monthly bill. So, in essence, you are paying double – $600+ for the phone then your monthly bill. That seems like a waste of money and highly idiotic.

      Get over it people. It’s gonna happen, whether you like it or not.

      • JDHokie

        That’s my thinking. ‘Some’ will buy an unsubsidized phone. Not ‘a lot’, especially relative to VZW’s customer base. There will be a percentage that will continue to look for loopholes to exploit, but for the majority of users, tiered data will be more than enough.

        • zionlion02

          Interestingly enough, if those data hogs do leave because of this…who knows…it might improve performance for the masses that don’t hog all that bandwidth. I’m not saying it will, just theorizing.

          Overall, I’d rather not see my unlimited grandfathered plan go away. I’m not a big data hog on average, but with all the cloud based services now, this could hurt those as well. Which would be bad for evolution of the environment in general. I use Google Music a lot on my phone, that’s the only reason my data usage could approach 4gb per month. That would suck to lose the ability to access my music anywhere and not touch the space on my phone.

          I’m in the group that believes this will only affect the “few”. The “many” are never the ones that read blogs like this. And especially not the ones that comment to debate specific points – we are an even smaller number. Most marketing departments in companies big and small will tell you that they target the masses. Not the opinionated outliers. Droid-Life users (again, in general) are outliers and a VERY small percentage of the customer base.

          Still makes this place fun though!

      • Superguy

        So if you’re typical in that you’re only using about 6gb a month between the two of you, then what is really the big deal leaving unlimited data? The main advantage to consumers isn’t necessarily the “all you can eat” type but the fact that you don’t have to worry about getting killed on overages.

        It would be less of an issue if we could roll over the data we don’t use in a given month. However, we still get charged whether we use the allotment or not.

        I’m fortunate that I can afford a phone off contract. However, that doesn’t mean that I should be ok with tiers. I still want the best value for my money. Verizon already gets $350 a month from me with triple play and phone, and I’m just one person. Do they REALLY need to be squeezing me for that much more? It’s idiotic to say I shouldn’t care.

        The whole reason I came over to Verizon is for LTE and unlimited data. I’m not a bandwidth hog but I hate having to worry about overages. I hate surprises in my bill.

        Additionally, there are reasons for not wanting to sign a contract. Verizon is actually the reason I’ll never sign a 2 year contract as I found out years ago, that was just a license for them to dump on you. 1 year contracts were reasonable – I never had to wait long to bail if a carrier truly sucked. Now that those are long gone, the power is in not having a contract. Yes, it might be more expensive. However, they take care of me better. I can walk into a Verizon store and tell them I’ll cancel my service on the spot if my issue isn’t taken care of and MEAN IT. I’m not locked in or have to pay an ETF. I can leave whenever the hell I want. I think it’s idiotic to sign a contract if you don’t have to. You end up paying for it one way or another.

        On another note, I’m not convinced that those of us not on contracts don’t have to worry. If anything, I think it gives Verizon greater ability to try to screw us.. I’ll be watching my bill and emails for warnings about the “changes.”

      • siphyn

        Where are you finding that data about people using less than 4gb. I myself use on average 8gb a month. I know plenty of others that average at least 6gb or more a month. Its sad that people like yourself are OK with tiered data just because you don’t use your phone to its full potential. Just because you only consume 6gb a month does not mean you are wasting your unlimited data. How can you waste something you don’t use? Another person that is perfectly fine with the corporate greed in America.

        • Sp4rxx


          Over the course of the year 2011, a national average showed that unlimited users barely scratch 4GB a month. The table here actually just shows VZW vs ATT, but I’ve read elsewhere where the table was expanded to all carriers. The article here was a rebuttal against ATT’s decision to go to tier and to scuttle their excuse as to their reasoning. However, though this is a snippet of existing numbers, it still shows that the average is below 4GB/mo

          • siphyn

            Thanks for the source. However this data is from last year. People are using more and more data. Anyone who streams netflix or listens to internet radio knows how easy it is to hit 5gb or more in a month. I’m fine with the tiered data concept. I’m just not fine with the prices they are charging and also for the decision not to have an unlimited data option. Unlimited data should be $30 with an option for say 3gb at $15. Making people pay upwards of $100 for 10gb of data on the tiered system is insane. Cell phone bills should not rival cheap car payments.

          • JDHokie

            Why should unlimited be $30? Just because it was previously?

            As you said … people are using more and more data. Demand causes prices to go up.

          • JDHokie

            Why should unlimited be $30? Just because it was previously?

            As you said … people are using more and more data. Demand causes prices to go up.

          • siphyn

            Yes sometimes that’s how things work. Except in the tech world. Last I checked more people than ever are buying SSDs and prices are falling. Cell phone plans generally have became cheaper over time up until this point. What about home broadband? Its also became faster and less costly over time. Corporate greed is the only reason prices are the way they are in this country. Anyone who’s traveled overseas knows how much cheaper plans are on an average compared to the US.

          • yes, because there’s a finite amount of bandwidth /sarcasm

        • noyfb

          I upload my hd videos from my phone to the cloud storage, because it is hd a 10-15 min vid is like 500 mb, i have already used 14 gb this month. i usually average 8-10, on a tiered plan I’d be paying $100 a month for 10gb, F that. I’ll take slow and unlimited that fast and price gauged, besides sprint wil have their true lte going up in 2013

      • ostensibly

        I too *typically* use less than 3gb a month of my unlimited data, but when I do need it (tethering/hotspot as a backup for home internet – work from home but travel a lot) I need to not get hosed by overages that in many cases I simply can’t anticipate.

    • PSU_DI

      Hopefully I’ll never buy a Verizon Brand 4G device again. I’ll buy my phone through the Play store and just swap my LTE SIM into the phone now on and never go through an upgrade or plan change with VZW again. The moment they force me into something else is the day I will be looking for an alternative provider.

  • Ron Jeremy

    WTF is with the drama! If you are a regular here you are probably locked into the unlimited $29.99 plan anyway. Why did DL and the rest of the media make it sound like that would be YANKED AWAY! involuntarily… stupid shits

    • It will be once you upgrade to a new phone via Verizon.

      So, if you buy a discounted phone at a 2 year price to extend your contract then they will yank your grandfathered unlimited data away from you. No idea when this goes into effect.

      • Ron Jeremy

        Buy your own phone and plug your SIM in it… Problem SOLVED! They cannot stop that

  • Guest

    Seems I’ll be keeping my Galaxy Nexus for years to come.

    • Johnny V

      Why are people not paying attention. Once your contract is up they can force you into it. Keep your phone without using an upgrade of any kind will not help.

  • Michael G

    I don’t understand where the consumer confusion is coming from. From what I read it seemed pretty self explanatory… Once you re-up with a new contract, that’s it. You’re going to the new data plan. Am I not seeing something that everyone else is? lol

    • Correct. But they’ve only made that statement about 3G users. No statement has been made about what happens for 4G users with unlimited data.

      • Jake

        They will be the same. My guess is that even 3G users willing to not do a new contract will technically be allowed to upgraded to LTE sim phones on the same plan if they are ok giving up subsidized upgrades. There will be VERY annoyed old school users that will eventually be forced into 4G devices some day if they are told they have to upgrade to some new ridiculous plan just to replace a device they are fully willing to buy at full price and not sign anything new for.

        Basically to keep good customer service respect they are going to have to allow people to keep their existing plans. It has been VERY VERY rare in the wireless world to force people into new plans if they are happy with the one they have and willing to pay full prices for devices. They sorta tried it with dumb phone to smartphone data, but if you protested and weren’t getting a subsidized device they have always happily left you on the old plan. It has always take a bit of protest to keep the old plans though I suppose and I didn’t ever have a $15 dumb phone data plan with VZW or even know if one existed like AT&T, but pretty sure I could still have such a plan today with AT&T if I had wanted.

    • Ron Jeremy

      AGREED! idiots

    • AnotherAndroidKid

      I haven’t seen any confusion. I think this is just post count padding. 🙂

  • Honestly, this would be more digestible if VZW began reauthorizing NE2 and removing that ridiculous $30 “upgrade fee”…

  • Yitz

    What if I move from 3G to 4G this month – like as soon as the 4G incredible comes out (BTW, i guess that’s not happening today…)?

    • epyon0

      these have been “rumored” to launch sometime in the summer.


      If VZW knows what they’re doing, they’ll hold all phone releases until after they get these data plans worked out.

  • Jake

    I think this shared data thing is probably the real change. And my hope would be that there will be ZERO fees or very marginal monthly fees to add devices, EVEN IF you are the only one using the plan. So you can have your phone and tablet on the same data plan, but not pay some crazy extra fee for the tablet. That I think people are interested in so you don’t need all sorts of work around gizmo’s to use data from one connection if you are paying by the GB anyhow.

  • When you are done with your two year contract, you just go month to month, so until you actually want a new phone, it doesn’t sound like you will be forced to change. Theoretically if someone holds out with their existing phone, they could stay unlimited indefinitely.

    So, if you have a family with varying contract expirations (as I do), it would seem that as long as the earliest contracted members just wait, and not get a new phone, you could all renew after the last one comes due.

    • I think they could force you to change plans once you go month to month, can’t they? There is no contract anymore, they can do what they please?

      • I suppose so, I have not read the contract to see how that works. But, the comments above were that they would force the change when a person upgraded, rather than when their contract ran out.

      • Jake

        Technically yes, but if they were to do so, they would lose customers in HUGE numbers FAST. It would be too risky businesswise.

      • ERIFNOMI

        You can also do as you please and leave. Too bad VZW has the best coverage around here.

    • Jake

      And with SIMs and LTE spectrum Rules pretty sure buying open nonverizon marketed devices is an option if OEMs stand up and offer them to us as you get with unlocked GSM devices on AT&T and T-Mobile.

      • My only concern there would be that when you go to Verizon to get service, you will have to sign up for a contract of some type, even if just month to month. I think it is that signing a new contract time (whether initially or at the time of an upgrade) where they will get us.

        • Unless you already have a LTE phone with sim card, then you have no need to go to Verizon to activate.

          • But would you not need a contract with them for data?

          • They generally will not change your terms until you upgrade. The plan auto renews on the same terms every month. They would have to notify you to change it. My grandmother has an old unicel plan that costs 20 dollars a month for a ton of minutes that she has had for more than 8 years and it just keeps renewing since they moved to Verizon.

      • ERIFNOMI

        You aren’t going to see VZW phones that VZW isn’t on board with. Yes, you might be able to get LTE from VZW, but you won’t get anything less (1x/EVDO) which you need.

    • Mack

      I would be fine paying full pop for phones just to keep my contract the way it is now, unlimited data and all.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t that simple though.

    • Rob Kein

      This is probably the only potential work around to stay on VZW

    • When you activate a new phone off contract you have to sign some activation contract (had to do it when I bought I used OG Droid) which is NOT a 2yr service agreement. That is where they might get you to tiered data plan.

      Edit: Now that I think about it. It could be b/c I went from the voyager to the Droid and had to add a data plan that I had to agree to the activation. Not sure though.

  • Mack

    Thats fucked up my contract ends this summer and i dont want to upgrade cuzz i bought the nexus off contract with my current plan.

    • epyon0

      I bought my Gnex off contract as well. My contract ends sometime later this year.

  • Rob Kein

    I don’t see the big deal. You use more, you pay more!

    • John

      True but they aren’t going to set reasonable limits.

      • Rob Kein

        Eh, I think they will…

        Right now I have a 2 person family plan with 2 unlimited plans…thats $60/month in data for all I can eat.

        I usually use between 1.5 and 3.0gb (more often 2.0). My g/f use about 500mb-1gb.

        If I can get 4gb total for the same price I will be in effectively the exact same boat. I feel like my usage is fairly common (2.0gb is an awful lot for the normal stuff)

        • JDHokie

          I think this is true for the average user. The community that actively reads Droid-Life, though, is not the “average” user. They’re tethering their phone, streaming anything and everything, and downloading tons off 4G (because they can). So there’s where the outrage comes from.

          • Rob Kein

            there is no delete comment?

          • Rob Kein


          • Rob Kein


          • Rob Kein


          • Rob Kein


          • Rob Kein

            please delete

          • Rob Kein


          • Rob Kein


          • Rob Kein

            how do you delete?

          • Rob Kein


          • Rob Kein

            I agree, and as they are not the average use they are also not the
            average consumer and they SHOULD pay more. Companies can’t tailor their
            services to the small vocal minority (that I am def one of! LOUD

            Eh, I’ll pay more…and I will complain about it but deep down I know it’s right…

    • No, the simple solution is you use less, you pay less. Why should I pay more money per month to get less than I have right now? Let’s ignore the unlimited portion of my current deal and go solely on my normal usage… I use (on average) about 5 or 6 GB of data per month. My kids’ share a single line and use about 3-5, my wife uses only 2…we each pay the $30/month.

      The fair thing is to have my wife pay only $15 … pay for the volume you use.

      If we switch to the current tiered plan, to get the same volume, my wife would pay the same, my kids would be paying $50 and I would be paying $50 as well … (assuming the double data deal … $30/$50/$80 without)

      That’s why we’re calling BS on this douchecanoe move.

      • Rob Kein

        That’s assuming that the price you are paying for unlimited data was ever the true market price. I would argue that it wasn’t the price for unlimited data was very low becuase it is a remnant of a time without true smartphones. During that time the was an oversupply of data and an under demand, this will cause prices to be extremely low. Demand for data is up and bandwith limits limit the amount that can be supplied cheaply so the price has to be adjusted.

  • This is bull sh*t. I hope Sprint is secretly planning on launching an LTE network as big as Verizon’s immediately and plans not to go tiered plans as well by some miracle.

    • Ron Jeremy

      SPRINT LTE will be about as good as ATT’s 3G… lol

  • tl;dr?

  • Addinsx

    Where do I sign up… for Sprint

    • Angryunibrow

      http://www.sprint.com – Good luck with 1x data

      • Addinsx

        I live in a major city, should be ok

  • possomcrast

    Anyone form a petition yet?