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Cellphones Handhelds Wireless Networking

Verizon Confirms Plan To Switch Away From Unlimited Data Plans 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-the-wireless-tubes-are-infinite dept.
loafula writes "Looks like Verizon is going the way of AT&T by not offering new unlimited data plans and switching to a tiered-only plan within six months. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said the new plans would be different from what AT&T offers, but didn't provide further details. 'We're not sure we agree yet with how they valued the data.' Everybody take a good look at your contracts; this will be a nice opportunity to jump ship without the hefty fee."
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Verizon Confirms Plan To Switch Away From Unlimited Data Plans

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  • Re:Bait and switch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rogabean (741411) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:28PM (#33691632)
    Same with T-Mobile. They say unlimited, but they really mean 5GB. I suppose one could argue it's still unlimited as they cut you down to below Edge speeds after that without extra charges, but at that point I'd say you're pretty much cut off as it's not really good for anything. I'm curious what does Verizon do after the cap? Is it a cut-off, extra charges, or throttle you down to next to nothing?
  • by wolfgang_spangler (40539) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:40PM (#33691772) Homepage

    I use the most data while I'm driving. Pandora connected via bluetooth to the audio system of the truck. I'm sure I'm not the only one doing that, I think most average users would do that.

  • Re:Come on... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:51PM (#33691922)

    They can do tiers the same way that (most - at least in the US) ISP's do - you base tiers on bandwidth (which inherently caps data usage). If you want the $15 a month data plan, you get say 75 KB/s, $25 a month will get you 150 KB/s, $35 gets you 300 KB/s, etc. It's fully workable, keeps people from ending up with no data / insane extra fees, and allows the phone companies to not use as much bandwidth.

  • by shoutingloudly (986897) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:58PM (#33692018) Homepage Journal
    I agree with jellomizer; most users won't hit their caps in a given period in the near term. We just switched from T-Mobile to VZ (I've gone from zero to 4 bars in parts of my building at work), but we seriously considered AT&T--which was off the table until they switched to cheaper but limited data. Price matters. My wife would be fine on 200 MB/mo, and with a little restraint I would be, too. I'd be comfortable with the 2 GB cap as much as 3-5 years out.

    I think most consumers can rest assured that they won't outgrow these caps over the course of a 2-year contract, but this trend highlights the broader problem that spectrum is scarce and getting tighter. (I'm not an engineer, but my understanding is that AT&T can't possibly build enough towers under current constraints to fully service lower Manhattan on a Saturday night.) What happens when this year's 1 GHz Snapdragon processor seems like your old 486? Consumer demand for mobile bandwidth is going to keep growing exponentially.

    If the mobile carriers don't increase caps at a corresponding (albeit halting) rate, they'll get some dissatisfied customers. The only solution is going to be more spectrum. I hope the unregulated TV white spaces ruling yesterday (yippee!!!) is just part of a continuing trend of freeing spectrum for IP-based (rather than dumb radio) uses, but at this rate, the mobile wireless industry is going to be hungry for more auctioned space soon.

    I generally think telco lobbyists cry wolf at policymakers' doors all the time, but in this case, I think they're right.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24, 2010 @06:57PM (#33693282)

    I held onto 7PM nighttime minutes for years after AT&T switched to 9PM nighttime, even after upgrading phones a couple of times. I expected a change after the initial contract was up, but they kept me on 7PM nighttime minutes. Probably the only good thing I can say about AT&T.

    Basic Contract Law - They can't fundamentally alter the terms of the contract for existing customers without offering a way out. Even if they say "take it or leave it", "leave it" can't involve an ETF.

  • Re:Come on... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cthulhu11 (842924) on Saturday September 25, 2010 @02:59PM (#33698064)
    Are your providers wholly independent of the government and not subsidized?

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