Verizon to end unlimited data plan for upgraders, new customers
America’s fastest 4G network company, Verizon Wireless, is planning this summer to begin forcing smartphone customers with unlimited data plans to switch to tiered plans when they upgrade, according to the company’s chief financial officer who spoke with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday. At the JP Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference in Boston, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said the company will reveal a “data share” pricing model by mid-summer, which will give customers the ability to purchase an allotment of data that can be used across multiple devices linked to the same account.
As the new plan takes action, Verizon will terminate its practice of permitting customers who have legacy unlimited data plans to keep those plans when they buy new smartphones. The company stopped allowing new customers to purchase unlimited data plans a year ago. Shammo said, “As you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan. [We're] moving away from, if you will, the unlimited world and moving everybody into a tiered structure data share-type plan.” The idea behind the new strategy is to increase Verizon’s revenue at a time when the cell phone market is already saturated with customers and voice minutes are falling, sending average revenue per smartphone user down $10 over the past two years. AT&T Wireless continues to allow its customers with legacy unlimited plans to keep the service when they upgrade, while Sprint remains the only national carrier that offers new customers an unlimited data plan.