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Verizon plans to end unlimited data plans by this summer

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
A Verizon executive hinted Tuesday that the carrier will cease offering unlimited data plans for the iPhone as early as the middle of this summer, while also fueling speculation that Apple will release an updated Verizon iPhone later this year.

Verizon Chief Financial Officer Francis Shammo made the remarks at an investors conference, Reuters reports. According to Shammo, the carrier will probably transition to tiered pricing data plans in the "mid-summer time frame."

Shammo also told investors Tuesday that Verizon had kept the unlimited plan for the iPhone launch because it "didn't want to put up a barrier" to consumers looking to try out the handset.

Rumors emerged in early January that Verizon planned to offer unlimited data to iPhone customers. Rival AT&T began limiting its data plans last year, but quietly began offering some of its iPhone customers unlimited data again in January in an effort to keep them from switching to Verizon.

After a leaked memo revealed that new iPhone 4 customers on Verizon would be offered just a $30 unlimited data plan, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam went on record as saying the unlimited data plan would only be a temporary offer, with tiered pricing coming in "the not too distant future."

The report noted that shares of Verizon fell 2.4 percent Tuesday after Shammo warned that a new iPhone could negatively affect profit margins. "There could be some (margin) lumpiness when you launch the phone," he said. "If there happens to be a new one that comes out, that quarter might not look so good (either)."

According to one analyst, Shammo's remarks serve as evidence that an updated CDMA iPhone would arrive later this year. "I would take that comment as a pretty strong signal there's an iPhone refresh coming to Verizon in the third quarter," said Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin.

Last week, Verizon CEO Dan Mead hinted that an LTE-capable iPhone from Apple is in the works. The executive also reassured investors by revealing that the iPhone 4 launch had been the largest in company history, contrary to reports that had suggested a more lackluster launch.
post #2 of 25
We have to accept the fact that all you can eat internet is over...I wouldn't be surprised if we see tiered pricing on home internet in the future...
post #3 of 25
I've been saying since the Verizon iPhone came out that unlimited data would end by the time the iPhone 5 came out. Verizon needed to sweeten the deal for those considering waiting for an expected iPhone 5 this summer.
post #4 of 25
not too shocking. anybody could've seen this coming after at&t did the same thing.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaseism View Post

We have to accept the fact that all you can eat internet is over...I wouldn't be surprised if we see tiered pricing on home internet in the future...

This is a very real threat. Usage-based billing (A.K.A. metered internet) was already set to roll out in Canada, but a consumer revolt supported by the government forced the CRTC (the arms-length regulatory agency) to back off and commit to a full review of its new policy. A decision is expected in a month or two, but to be sure this is a test case for US ISPs. If the new billing model is forced down the throats of consumers in Canada it's only a matter of time before it happens in the US as well. As people eschew cable in favor of self-directed on-line programming ISPs will be looking for ways to get their figurative pound of flesh one way or another; witness Comcast's recently approved takeover of NBC, which will allow it to not only control delivery but content as well.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

This is a very real threat. Usage-based billing (A.K.A. metered internet) was already set to roll out in Canada, but a consumer revolt supported by the government forced the CRTC (the arms-length regulatory agency) to back off and commit to a full review of its new policy. A decision is expected in a month or two, but to be sure this is a test case for US ISPs. If the new billing model is forced down the throats of consumers in Canada it's only a matter of time before it happens in the US as well. As people eschew cable in favor of self-directed on-line programming ISPs will be looking for ways to get their figurative pound of flesh one way or another; witness Comcast's recently approved takeover of NBC, which will allow it to not only control delivery but content as well.

That wouldnt work..Companies like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Epix, and CinemaNow, thrive on their customers having unlimited access to their home broadband. That would seriously jeopardize their business and I think we would see a major revolt.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

This is a very real threat. Usage-based billing (A.K.A. metered internet) was already set to roll out in Canada, but a consumer revolt supported by the government forced the CRTC (the arms-length regulatory agency) to back off and commit to a full review of its new policy. A decision is expected in a month or two, but to be sure this is a test case for US ISPs. If the new billing model is forced down the throats of consumers in Canada it's only a matter of time before it happens in the US as well.

That ruling only affected some of the smaller ISPs in Canada. Rogers and Bell already provide tiered pricing. If you go over the max, you pay $x per GB up to a maximum of $50.
post #8 of 25
I don't have to accept anything. I am the consumer. Currently, T-Mobile offers the best deal in terms of all you can use rates and plans. If everybody stops offering it, I will not use it at all. Unlike in Europe us Americans love to let companies walk all over us. The government created the Internet, the people own the airwaves, yet we let these companies rape us.


I just read the other day many big companies like Bank of America pay zero dollars in taxes. So, they contribute nothing, but want us to pay more on their behalf.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaseism View Post

We have to accept the fact that all you can eat internet is over...I wouldn't be surprised if we see tiered pricing on home internet in the future...
post #9 of 25
Whenever I read something like this, my initial interpretation is that they're trying to push people sitting on the fence into buying now (i.e. buy now or get locked out forever !).

So what could be lurking around the corner (that might cause Verizon to want to lock in customers now) ? My first guess is a plethora of LTE carriers (some being MVNO), or maybe Sprint or T-Mobile.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericblr View Post

That wouldnt work..Companies like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Epix, and CinemaNow, thrive on their customers having unlimited access to their home broadband. That would seriously jeopardize their business and I think we would see a major revolt.

Revolt how? I don't see it. I think the best days of the Internet are behind us now that the big boys are getting ready to have their way. Who is going to stop them? The congressional boot licks?
post #11 of 25
I thought LTE was supposed to solve or at least ease the bandwidth problem in cellular networks. If its delivering a faster theoretical throughput without a fatter pipe (in a sense that all of us can squeeze into it at high speed at once), what the hell is the point. If it does allow for more throughput, why get rid of unlimited data plans.
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post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I don't have to accept anything. I am the consumer. Currently, T-Mobile offers the best deal in terms of all you can use rates and plans. If everybody stops offering it, I will not use it at all. Unlike in Europe us Americans love to let companies walk all over us. The government created the Internet, the people own the airwaves, yet we let these companies rape us.

Yes, the prices are high, perhaps higher than they should be. But by what rational explanation do you think flat-rate pricing is an economically fair pricing structure? it costs money to upgrade equipment to handle the higher bandwidth that some folks use. If everyone still only used a few MB of data a month, these companies wouldn't have to spend billions to upgrade the infrastructure. Why should my mom, who uses very little data for email and a little web browsing, pay the same amount as someone who is streaming Netflix movies every night?

And what does the government creation of the internet have to do with anything? Do you think the government paid for all the cables, routers, switches, and computers that keep it running?

Just as disturbing to me as the greedy corporations is the perverse level of self-entitlement felt by so many people. You must also think that we should have all you can consume electricity, gas, water, food, etc.

/rant

That said, what we do need is strong, clear neutrality regulations, to prevent someone like Comcast from giving their own services, such as Pay-per-View, a leg up against the likes of iTunes and Netflix. The bandwidth used for those services should be considered on an equal footing as the other providers. That will prevent them from jacking up bandwidth prices to hurt the competition.
post #13 of 25
Until the major telecom companies all have access to the IPhone and US laws become more consumer rights conscious, as they seem to be in Europe, from the posting here, it is likely that telecom companies would continue to have the upperhand, and dictate the terms.

Landline communication has been supplanted by wireless cellular telecommunication making long distance calls, especially abroad more affordable. i hope that in the future, internet telephony, or some other technology may be good enough to supplant wireless cellular communication. But, even then, true competition may not be realized if only a few conglomerates would control the backbone.

CGC
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A Verizon executive hinted Tuesday that the carrier will cease offering unlimited data plans for the iPhone as early as the middle of this summer

Cowards..
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by c-ray View Post

My first guess is a plethora of LTE carriers (some being MVNO), or maybe Sprint or T-Mobile.

I don't see Sprint carrying a 4G iPhone as their very capable WiMax system is not LTE and Apple is slow to support additional hardware interfaces. I have to say I love WiMax, regularly getting 12Mbps download in NYC. But moving from IOS to Android has really been a pain in my behind. I'm a developer and an ex-Apple employee, and I used to shed a tear that Apple was seemingly going down the same path that almost cost everything.

Not any more. After owning an Android, (undoubtedly the fault of the OEM's bloatware), I really have to say I am now a huge fan of Apple's insistence on multitasking restrictions. I can handle running Android app killers, but I don't want to think about it or have to pay attention to whether my phone has suddenly become hot in my pocket (a sure sign of the need to flush the running apps or even reboot.)

Sorry Sprint, but I'm going back to VZ just as soon as I get a new apartment lease and can set up my quad-play package with the iPhone 4. Upgrade in six months? Sure, I don't care. Just get me off Android!
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

If everybody stops offering it, I will not use it at all.

You and I will be alone in this, so they won't care.

Companies will NEVER change. Why else do you think we're paying 987 (I did the math) times more for our cellular data than for household connections?

People pay it. People will always pay it. People will always pay for something being provided for free (texting, et. al.).

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #17 of 25
Quote:
I just read the other day many big companies like Bank of America pay zero dollars in taxes. So, they contribute nothing, but want us to pay more on their behalf.


Yeah, they're all incorpoated in Delaware, no taxes!

Quote:
Rival AT&T began limiting its data plans last year, A Verizon executive hinted Tuesday that the carrier will cease offering unlimited data plans for the iPhone as early as the middle of this summer

Bastards!

Why do we let them get away with this?
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

Why do we let them get away with this?

Not enough people care to force them to change.

Same reason we pay for texting and $35 for 3Mbps Internet to our homes.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You and I will be alone in this, so they won't care.

Companies will NEVER change. Why else do you think we're paying 987 (I did the math) times more for our cellular data than for household connections?

People pay it. People will always pay it. People will always pay for something being provided for free (texting, et. al.).

There has been a lot of talk about disrupting as a business strategy, and yet no one has been able to deliver voice or text over IP. If google voice or anyone else finally gets around to this, prices should drop, though carriers would just meter the crap out of data connections then.
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Da Bears!
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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Yes, the prices are high, perhaps higher than they should be. But by what rational explanation do you think flat-rate pricing is an economically fair pricing structure? it costs money to upgrade equipment to handle the higher bandwidth that some folks use. If everyone still only used a few MB of data a month, these companies wouldn't have to spend billions to upgrade the infrastructure. Why should my mom, who uses very little data for email and a little web browsing, pay the same amount as someone who is streaming Netflix movies every night?

And what does the government creation of the internet have to do with anything? Do you think the government paid for all the cables, routers, switches, and computers that keep it running?

Just as disturbing to me as the greedy corporations is the perverse level of self-entitlement felt by so many people. You must also think that we should have all you can consume electricity, gas, water, food, etc.

/rant

That said, what we do need is strong, clear neutrality regulations, to prevent someone like Comcast from giving their own services, such as Pay-per-View, a leg up against the likes of iTunes and Netflix. The bandwidth used for those services should be considered on an equal footing as the other providers. That will prevent them from jacking up bandwidth prices to hurt the competition.

First, bandwidth/data usage is not analogous to gas, electricity, water, food, etc. usage. All of those things you compared it too are tangible items, which are actually consumed. Bandwidth also is not like a road because packets traveling over it do not cause wear and tear in the way and to the degree that cars and trucks would. Bandwidth is more like a warehouse

It costs a certain amount to build a warehouse that can hold a certain amount of stuff, and you need to build the warehouse big enough so that you can fit everything into it at your busiest times, but, once you build it, the costs of maintaining it and keeping it running are relatively fixed and independent of how much stuff is moving through it. Sometimes an air conditioner blows out and you have to replace it, if it looks like business will increase, you have to build an extension, and you have to pay your staff even when they are just playing solitaire. But those costs are pretty much the same regardless of how full the warehouse is at any moment and how much stuff moves in an out of it.

So, it's not a perverse sense of entitlement that makes people think they ought not have to pay metered rates for what ought not be a metered service. It's an understanding of what they are really paying for and the realization that by metering it like gas, electricity, water, the ISPs are effectively charging them in a way that doesn't reflect "consumption" of anything, just maximizes profits.

If charges for connection and bandwidth usage were really reflective of the costs to ISPs, people wouldn't complain about metered usage, but they aren't. Reflective of actual costs would mean that there's a flat rate for service with a very small incremental rate based on usage. By "very small", I mean something around pennies per GB, which is the true incremental cost incurred due to people streaming netflix videos 24/7 vs. someone who only does a little light web browsing and email. And the reason the incremental cost is small is because when they acquire any customer, they have to build out the network the same amount as for any other because they can't predict individual bandwidth usage, only the likely average, so each customer has the same base cost and data usage only increases that cost a tiny amount.

The current tiered usage rates don't reflect this at all. They also very directly undermine network neutrality. Consider the pay-per-view service you mention above. If the incremental charges incurred by the customer make netflix streaming expensive compared to pay-per-view, which is delivered over the same network but not subject to usage charges, then the carriers have effectively made competing services less attractive by making them more expensive.

However, in one sense, bandwidth ought to be treated like gas and electricity. Sources are usually limited and it has become an essential service, thus allowing carriers to engage in exploitative pricing. It might well serve the public good if rates for bandwidth were subject to the same regulatory approval process as public utilities.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

though carriers would just meter the crap out of data connections then.

They don't now?!

Five gigs a month. Five. LTE-A is supposed to be, what, 600Mbps? The caps. must. be. removed. if they plan to ever get me to waste my money on their overpriced trash service.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

Revolt how? I don't see it. I think the best days of the Internet are behind us now that the big boys are getting ready to have their way. Who is going to stop them? The congressional boot licks?

The VOIP providers, the streaming movie companies, customers, etc.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericblr View Post

The VOIP providers, the streaming movie companies, customers, etc.

VoIP companies don't have enough sway. Streamers even less.

No one listens to consumers.

Apple writing an "Open Letter to ISPs" is the only thing that can make some real change. Google would openly want to back Apple in their statements, and Microsoft completes the new Big Three.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

VoIP companies don't have enough sway. Streamers even less.

No one listens to consumers.

Apple writing an "Open Letter to ISPs" is the only thing that can make some real change. Google would openly want to back Apple in their statements, and Microsoft completes the new Big Three.

None of those mentioned have any sway, least of all consumers, who, in reality, have little or no choice in obtaining what has essentially become an essential service. An "open letter" isn't going to do much either, especially since Google has come down squarely on the side of selling out network neutrality.

The fact that there is little or no real competition is broadband service (and de facto collusion, since Verizon is clearly signaling to other wireless carriers that they should not fear long-term competition on this point) is a strong argument that the government should step in and regulate data services just like they regulate other essential services, like electricity and gas.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The fact that there is little or no real competition is broadband service (and de facto collusion, since Verizon is clearly signaling to other wireless carriers that they should not fear long-term competition on this point) is a strong argument that the government should step in and regulate data services just like they regulate other essential services, like electricity and gas.

All I want to see is all ISPs being forced to sell their services in all markets (all cities, all towns, nation-wide). Now it's one company, one town. Different company? Different town.

No reason for them to upgrade speeds, no reason for them to charge less.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
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