Following AT&T’s recent change in data plans, which got rid of unlimited data options and replaced it with just 200MB or 2GB data plans, Verizon Wireless may be following suit. However, this won’t happen until its 4G network goes live.
Verizon Communication’s CFO, John Killian, recently stated in a report by BusinessWeek that Verizon, “will probably need to change the design of [its] pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate.” Anticipating increased data usage with the release of 4G capable phones. Also, Verizon projects that over time, smartphone customers will make up between 70-80 percent of the mobile provider’s customers. With the average smartphone customer using 600-800MB of data per month, the total data usage on the network gets high pretty quick, which could in turn cause lower bandwidth, and network problems.
However, the difference between AT&T and Verizon is that Verizon plans on easing into the abandonment of unlimited data plans. Also, Verizon Wireless CEO, Lowell McAdam believes that in the future, more and more people will have many more internet connected devices. His believe is that it will turn into more of a situation where you “buy a bucket of megabytes” and use them how you want to.
This strategy could allow Verizon to have an advantage over its AT&T competitor, who believes that separate data plans should be paid for each device (case in point, and iPhone and iPad).
Either way, unlimited data plans had a good run. More and more companies will probably follow suit in the next quarter. Until then, take advantage of Verizon’s Unlimited Data plan, and Sprint’s Simply Everything and Everything Data plans.