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Cellphones The Almighty Buck Verizon Wireless Networking

Verizon Wireless Goes Ahead With 'Bucket' Data Plans 376

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-what-nobody-wanted dept.
CanHasDIY writes "Previously, it was reported that Verizon was considering eliminating their current data plan scheme, as well as the grandfathered unlimited plans, in favor of a new 'bucket' plan in which up to 10 devices would share a data allotment. Verizon has now officially acknowledged the new scheme, called the 'Share Everything' plan, which will go into effect as of June 28, 2012. According to USA Today, 'Under the new pricing plan, a smartphone customer opting for the cheapest data bucket, 1 gigabyte, will pay $90 before taxes and fees ($40 for phone access and $50 for 1 GB). Customers can add a basic phone, laptop and tablet to share data for $30, $20 and $10, respectively.' Those of us still grandfathered into the unlimited plan will be forced (when upgrading) to either sign up for Share Everything or one of the tiered pricing plans currently in effect."
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Verizon Wireless Goes Ahead With 'Bucket' Data Plans

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  • Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:42PM (#40314201)

    Looks like the prepaid phone market's getting another customer when my Verizon contract ends.

    • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by schwit1 (797399) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:19PM (#40314775)

      I just got the HTC EVO V on Virgin Mobile
      $45/month with 1200 minutes and unlimited data.
      4G, Android 4.0 and it's a hotspot.

      • Re:Oh really? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by afidel (530433) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:27PM (#40314889)
        Well, it's 2.5GB of full speed data and then you get throttled severely, but it's still better than spending twice as much for about a third the data. My wife has the best plan ever IMHO, 300 minutes and "unlimited" data and unlimited SMS/MMS for $25/month with no other charges except local sales tax. She is also on Virgin Mobile. The best thing other than no bill shock for data usage is that in the rare event she goes over the 300 minutes it's only $.10/minute until her renewal date. Oh, and no contract, not that I would even think of switching given the direction the industry is going. I just hope Sprint stays desperate enough to keep us =)
        • Considering the Verizon 3G around here delivers 0.3 Mbps down and 0.35 Mbps up, just how severely throttled could VM's data be in comparison?
    • by ae1294 (1547521)

      Looks like the prepaid phone market's getting another customer when my Verizon contract ends.

      You don't have to wait if they change the terms of your contract.

      • by Adriax (746043)

        They aren't changing the terms of the contract, they're waiting till your current contract expires then changing your subscription and removing the previous service as a contract option.

        You're only under contract with verizon during that 2 year period after you purchase a phone from them at their "subsidized" price (what the phone would actually cost on a free market if they didn't have the power to jack up the price for non-contract phones). After that you're just a normal subscriber, unrestricted and unpr

  • What the Hell??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:42PM (#40314203)

    $50 for 1 gigabyte of data?!? That's insane!

    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      Yes, but Verizon I'm sure will market this as beneficial to subscribers. "Now you get unlimited voice and text, and you can put all your devices on our network for CHEAP!" Conveniently sweeping under the rug the massive price increase on data...
      • Re:What the Hell??? (Score:5, Informative)

        by C_amiga_fan (1960858) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:32PM (#40314963)

        This interview is hilarious:

        Verizon Spokeswoman: We think that people need to go to a usage-based model for data and pay for the amount of usage that they're using so that everybody is able to access the network...... And we're charging on the megabytes of data that they use.
        John Moe: Why?
        Spokeswoman: Uh................... er................... cough............... People have changed the usage of how they're using their devices. They're moving to using more data, and to ensure the speed and reliability and the access to the network, people are paying for the amount of data that they use.

        LINK - http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/verizon-trying-stamp-out-unlimited-data-customers [marketplace.org]

        • by Jon_S (15368) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @08:22PM (#40317611)

          OK, verizon, so then go ahead and charge me by the megabyte (or gigabyte). They aren't doing that.

          They require at least a $50 base charge (supposedly made palatable because it also includes the voice and text -"now unlimited!' - I never used up my voice and text quotas!) for 1 GB. Can I just pay per gigabyte after that? No. If I upgrade my dumb phone to a smart phone so I can use that data, I have to pay an extra $20 - $30/mo. *with no extra data* (adding a smart phone to the plan is $40/mo. Right now, adding a dumb phone to a family plan is only $10 plus $10 for text).

          Every time one wants to "share" the rationed GB's with another device, one has to pay $20 - $40 /mo. extra for no more data. That's not paying by the GB.

          Stop lying through your teeth VZW! If bandwidth is limited, then just sell it by the GB.

          • Re:What the Hell??? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Rei (128717) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:06AM (#40320479) Homepage

            I don't get why utilities are so expensive in the US.

            Here in Iceland, we're considered an expensive country. And you should expect the same sort of thing with anything having to do with data, since it's not exactly cheap to run underseas cables to us, and all the electronics hardware has to be imported, and not nearly in as much bulk as places like the US can buy in. So why is it that our utilities on things involving data are so cheap?

            For my phone, I use NOVA. Since I don't call much and text in-network, I get the free, per-usage voice/text plan. The data plans available are 1GB for $7,60 or 10GB for $23, both at 5 MB/s. And coverage? We have one-7th the population density of Iowa. Here's Síminn's 2G coverage [siminn.is] and here's 3G coverage [siminn.is] (note that the population here is clustered around the coasts, there's no permanent residents in the interior and that you can't even drive on the few roads in the interior without a high-clearance 4x4). You can get 3G on some glaciers here! I was facebooking from the top of a mountain last weekend.

            Or TV, for example. From Síminn, which I subscribe to, the base package is $7,60, a middle-of-the-line package is ~$27, and the everything package is ~$44.

            We're on an island in the middle of nowhere. These sort of things should be way more expensive than in the US, not cheaper. Why is this? And availability, too. Back when I lived in Iowa City (a big 10 university town, I should add, so there were some fat pipes running into the place), the best uplink speed I could get on my netconnection was 1.5Mb/s (down was better, but not impressive). Here I get 50Mb/s bidirectional, and that's considered bad.

            I don't get it, America. What's up with all that? I'm in freaking *Iceland* here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985)

      Thinking it over, I suspect that Verizon is about to prove that yes, consumers really are that stupid.

      After all, they've been raping their customers for years, almost at will and whim. What makes 'em think that anything will change now?

    • by TheScarryKitty (2585471) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:01PM (#40314501)
      You should listen the Marketplace Tech Report by John Moe about this. He asks the Verizon rep "why?" and there is a 10 second uncomfortable pause followed by a incoherent, rambling, talking point type response.
      http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/verizon-trying-stamp-out-unlimited-data-customers/n [marketplace.org]
      Laughed my ass off listening to it on the radio.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is my favorite quote yet: "What I'm doing is giving you the flexibility to share the data you've paid for," Chief Marketing Officer Tami Erwin told Reuters. "Customers who are using more than one device will very quickly see the value in this." Which is from this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/verizon-share-everything-family-data-plan_n_1589216.html

      They're charging me extra for letting me use the data I already paid for, and act like they're doing me some unusual favor.

  • Wow, what a deal! Thats only $9 a device for 100MB each!

  • Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:44PM (#40314233) Journal

    Unless the other carrier follows suit, how on Earth do they expect to keep customers?

    Certainly,while Sprint and T-Mobile may be small, and AT&T has sucky customer service and/or coverage (I'm sitting here at home with a AT&T smartphone that has zero signal - thank Heaven for automatic call forwarding), any of the three would be infinitely better than being forced to shit out what is likely going to be a three-digit cell phone bill each month.

    Then again, knowing carriers, they'll likely start jacking their rates in proportion to how badly they want new customers vs. getting a piece of that pie.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:51PM (#40314355) Homepage

      Unless the other carrier follows suit, how on Earth do they expect to keep customers?

      Odds are good that they're trying to see if other carriers follow suit. Back in the days before the Internet, 1 airline would raise prices at 4:45 PM on Friday afternoon, see if the other airlines raised their prices to match over the weekend, and if they didn't then lower the prices back down at 8:15 AM on Monday morning. Legally, that's not price fixing, even though in practice it is.

    • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:34PM (#40314987)

      Over the years I have come to understand that Verizon really truly does not expect or want to keep customers. Their only goal is to infuriate, annoy, inconvenience, and generally cause problems for as many people as is possible.

      I believe that they are not a data carrier, as much as a hatred delivery company who uses their status as an ISP to more easily deliver that seething contempt to its customers.

    • by dohnut (189348)

      I was planning on switching to Verizon from AT&T sometime here in the next 6 months. After reading about these rates over the last couple days, those plans are aborted. AT&T is bad, but they're not that bad.

      I already pay $70 for 2GB with AT&T. Why would I pay an extra $20 for half the data? I was hoping to do a break-even switch in the fall figuring I'd pay about the same but get better coverage with Verizon (in my neck of the woods anyway). I guess I'll stick with crap(pier) coverage and s

      • by dohnut (189348)

        So, I found this on Computer World (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9228051/Unlimited_data_customers_freaked_out_by_new_Verizon_shared_data_plans):

        " You're not required to move to Share Everything, but if you do, unlimited data will not be retained on your line. As a Verizon Wireless customer you have choices when you upgrade at discounted pricing. You can choose from a standalone data package starting at $30 for 2GB or a Share Everything Plan. If keeping unlimited is important to you, you can choose

  • by tgd (2822)

    Some may win, some may lose.

    In my case, if I had my current ATT account on Verizon, that'd be saving me a nice chunk of money. Anyone with more than one device is coming out ahead. Anyone with a current Verizon data plan *and* a phone will come out ahead. Anyone who is currently paying for tethering will come out ahead.

    Personally, I hope ATT does this quickly, as well. (Although, frankly, I wish I could skip the $40 voice part... as it works out to about $2 a minute for the usage I have in a given month.)

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      This is false.

      I have two smartphones on my data plan with unlimited data and this will increase my cost $30/month or mean I have to use less data. Niether is attractive to me.

  • I recently moved to a rural area where VZW is the ONLY carrier providing service. Unfortunately I had to leave T-Mobile (which I loved) and come to the Dark Side. I always thought it was kind of silly that they charge so much extra for the wireless hotspot service. I guess probably enough people were tethering without that service that they decided to just roll it into their data fees and make it non-optional. I cannot wait until another carrier, any carrier other than VZW, offers service here.
  • There is a lot of merit to the bucket idea, where multiple devices can draw from the same data allotment.
    Lots of us have cell phones and tablets, (or would like to). Or we live in household with a a couple low-data users.

    If nothing else,it puts the policing of high-data use into the group, and brings peer pressure into picture
    when you actually share a plan in such households.

    But for the individual user with two devices, 90 bucks for one gig, and then having the bill jacked up simply because there is anothe

  • Hyperbole much? (Score:4, Informative)

    by macwhizkid (864124) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:50PM (#40314337)

    'Under the new pricing plan, a smartphone customer opting for the cheapest data bucket, 1 gigabyte, will pay $90 before taxes and fees ($40 for phone access and $50 for 1 GB).

    Not that I'm a defender of Verizon, but why the hell would anyone sign up for a shared plan with only one device? Obviously you're going to lose out... the prices are designed to make it marginally cheaper to add additional devices in return for a higher "first device" fee.

    The new "share everything" plans are designed to make it easier (and a bit cheaper) for families with a bunch of smartphones, a tablet or two, and text-messaging addicted teenagers. Not for single-device customers looking for a bargain.

    • Re:Hyperbole much? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:00PM (#40314483) Homepage Journal

      The new "share everything" plans are designed to make it easier (and a bit cheaper) for families with a bunch of smartphones, a tablet or two, and text-messaging addicted teenagers. Not for single-device customers looking for a bargain.

      Indeed; that is addressed in a Q&A page linked from TFA: [usatoday.com]

      Q: I'm single and I just want a smartphone, that's it. The cheapest Shared Everything plan looks pretty expensive at $90 per month, and that's with just 1 gigabyte of data. Is there no alternative?
      A: There's one cheaper plan, intended for first-time smartphone buyers. It gives you unlimited calling and texting, and just 300 megabytes of data per month. If you're frugal with data usage, that will get you by. It costs $80 per month.

  • by Galestar (1473827) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:51PM (#40314351)
    Just a jump over the 49th parallel (Canada) we have Wind Mobile (major cities only). $40 for pretty everything unlimited, no contract. You guys in the U.S. are getting screwed up the ass.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Yeah, I'm using them too. One small caveat. They only work in the city, and are only available in a few cities, although their network is growing. For the number of times I travel in a year, it makes much more sense to have a phone that only works in the city. I'll buy a disposable SIM card from Walmart for the two weeks a year that I might happen to be out of town. Unlimited data and long distance for $40 a month is much easier to stomach. Oh, and I signed up during the back to school rush, so I only pa
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The key phrase here is "major cities only". If you were in the US and you were only going to use your phone in major cities, you wouldn't have signed up for Verizon, which has always had the highest prices in exchange for deep penetration into rural areas. Instead, you would sign up for Cricket, Boost, MetroPCS, or a similar carrier that only has coverage in major cities.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yup. I have a lot of friends and family in rural areas. For most of them, it's Verizon or nothing. They put a lot of effort into remote areas; I've even heard of them doing things like airlifting towers into forests and on top of mountains.

        I live near a major city and have Virgin Mobile, which uses Sprint's network. I'm paying $45/mo for 1200 minutes and unlimited text/data (4G even, although it's crappy WiMAX), no contract. The coverage in my neighborhood is actually better than Verizon, and I have no prob

  • Q: Will Verizon convert me to a new plan, or can I keep my old plan?
    A: Verizon won't switch you over to the new plan unless you ask. You can keep your old plan, even if you trade up to a new phone after that date and extend your contract.

    Q: What if I have an "unlimited data" plan? Can I keep it?
    A: Yes, you can. But —and there's a big "but" here— Verizon will no longer let you move the plan to a new phone after June 28, unless you pay the full, unsubsidized price for it. For most smartphones that will add hundreds of dollars to the price. A subsidized Verizon iPhone 4S costs $200. The price you'll pay if you keep your unlimited plan: $650. (Verizon stopped signing up new customer for unlimited a year ago)

    So for me, nothing will change, at least for a while. I'll still have my 30$ a month unlimited plan. This may shift when it comes time to get a new phone, but thats a ways off. In two years who knows what the wireless landscape will look like.

  • Unlimited xfer (at throttled speed, mut meh) for 50/mo.
    Unlimited xfer (at 4g speed) for 90/mo.

    The only carrier in the us that rewards you for owning the damned handset.

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      I agree! I'm not sure exactly which plans those are that you're listing, but after getting an unlocked phone i'm paying $65 for 500 minutes, unlimited text and "5 gb of data." (Perhaps the plans vary by area? Or is there a surcharge for 4g? I'm only at 3g.)

      I am _so_ glad that AT&T didn't manage to buy them out!
  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:56PM (#40314413)

    At $50/gig its cheaper to rent a video at redbox or netflix than to download and watch the trailer on youtube to see if its worth renting.

    The cost superficially appears astounding. However I'm actually using about 10 megs a day on average over the air (non-wifi) according to "data counter widget" and paying $20/month to republic wireless for unlimited service... so I'm paying about $66/gig if I did my math correctly.

    • by jschottm (317343)

      Please note that I disapprove of the new pricing plan, so don't take this as an endorsement of it.

      It's not a truly terrible thing to be discouraging users from doing heavy duty video on cellular connections. 3/4G data connections can push a lot of data but the tower's network connection can easily get swamped. Encouraging users to load movie rentals at home from their broadband connection is a good thing - other than the spur of the moment aspect, there's no reason that users have to transfer those files

  • It's pretty obvious the new pricing is a "screw the single user who wasn't using a bazillion bytes of data or talk time" plan. Maybe it's Verizon's way of saying I should get hitched? My mom would like that, for sure.

    Or maybe they're abandoning the singles market in dense urban centers to Sprint (about the only place Sprint works well, so it plays to their strengths).

    Honestly, I was thinking about switching to Verizon when my AT&T contract ended later this month or when the next iPhone came out. It woul

    • This plan is for those with multiple phones. They will still have plans for those with single lines which are not discussed in this article and will be cheaper.
  • This includes unlimited texts, plus tethering & wireless hotspot, each of which costs extra (unlimited texts is, I know, normally $20/mo by itself). So when you start to compare prices, make sure you're comparing apples to apples.

    I'm more interested in when the new individual plans, though. With wifi hotspot, there's no need to have a dedicated plan for anything besides my phone that I'm likely to be using.

  • I have a verizon sold android, and have been wanting to change carriers for a while. Can my current phone be switched, or do I need a new phone? I have not really kept up with this aspect of phone plans. I am grandfathered in on a verizon unlimited plan, of which I use about 10 minutes talk and 1 megabyte data a month on, and pay $100 as it is. So even though $90 would be cheaper and probably fit me, I would just as soon switch to a $50 plan from sprint or someone else, if the phone switching hassle is not
  • by byteherder (722785) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:20PM (#40314803)
    Shouldn't they be calling the the 'Screw Everyone' plan instead of 'Share Everything' plan.
  • "can you pay me now?"
  • Those of us still grandfathered into the unlimited plan will be forced (when upgrading)

    Whelp, looks like I'm going to be stuck with this Palm phone forever. Ah, WebOS, I guess you're not that bad...

  • Look, $50 for 1 GB is insane. 10 GB for $90? Not so much.

    You get unlimited text/voice/etc for $40 per smartphone. Get 2 other friends to split the cost. Now, you're paying $70 (total) per month for your smartphone w/3 GB worth of data. That's not a bad deal, especially considering the unlimited voice/text and tethering. You can't get that good of a deal right now.

    Hopefully, they'll come out with more frugal plans for us single folk, but I wouldn't count on it.

  • Can anyone cite a technological reason why unlimited data should cost any more than the $30 or $40 per month that normal broadband does? Is the infrastructure really that bad or telcos really that greedy?
    • by blueg3 (192743)

      More? Yes. Wireless access is difficult to predict and properly engineer, has highly nonuniform demand (huge per square mile in cities, low per square mile rurally), suffers from nonuniform demand because of its design, and is fundamentally limited by its licensed bandwidth. Wired access pretty much works when you run wire and install appropriate networking equipment. Providing high-bandwidth wireless data access is a reasonably challenging and expensive problem.

      Can I justify why it should cost such obscene

  • That is all this is. What most people seem to have missed is the fact that verizon has not currently stated how users will be notified.. sharing 1G of data between two phones.. when 1 might be a heavy user, will the other user be notified when they reach the 1G limit.. or will they just be charged an overage fee.

    Data is data, and should be sold as such, you pay for 1G through 10G of whatever, and you use it as you see fit, no matter the number of devices or uses, then you pay for more data when you run out

  • So time for wireless cellphone dial up then? It sounds like this is AOL's big chance to return to profitability.

  • Assuming I am understanding these plans and packages correctly, I will need a phone data plan AND a computer data plan (another $50)? I can't use the current phone data plan, in Apple iPhone 4S with its Verizon's 3G, to use as a wirelesss hotspot to the computer devices through their wireless connections?" It's dang expensive already!

    I'd like to use it as a backup in case my home's Time Warner Cable's Internet connection goes down, or need to go out that has no open/free wifi for quick Internet usages.

    Maybe

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