Looking to make the best of Verizon’s upcoming shared data plans and bring your old, grandfathered, unlimited data plan for the ride? Don’t. Verizon Wireless’ Fran Shammo, Executive Vice President and CFO, told a room full of investors this morning that once customers upgrade to a 4G LTE device making use of the new data share plans, they would no longer be able to have their unlimited data plan grandfathered any further. Users wanting access to LTE will have to choose between slower 3G data with no cap and faster LTE data with a hard set cap. According to Shammo:
“LTE is our anchor point for data share, so as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan, moving away from the unlimited world.”
While the new plans will have a data cap, they should make multi-device families/customers’ lives much easier by allowing multiple devices to share a pool of data on their plan — something we’ve been dreaming of for years. Also, Verizon has been throwing “Double Data” deals in recent months giving customers double the data they’d normally get at any given price point. The downside, of course, is that as media-heavy online content increases daily, so do our usage meters for data consumption.
LTE and the next-gen of media and media consumption is making higher speed wireless technologies more and more crucial. Likewise, the devices we use to consume said media are increasing in number not only per household, but also per person. (We have ~5-6 devices at any given time.) So while the wonderful world of unlimited is pretty much extinct, the cellular world is about to enter a new, exciting era thanks to shared data plans catering to multiple devices.
In other VZW related news, Shammo also stated during the same financial conference that Verizon is planning to launch their Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service “by years end”, but will hold off on heavily pushing it until mid-2013 when their LTE network is larger. Speaking of which, Shammo stated that by the end of 2013, VZW’s LTE network should as big or bigger than their current 3G network — no small claim mind you.