Verizon to offer family data plans by mid-2012, says CFO

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: February 28, 2012

Verizon Wireless

We've heard in the past that Verizon is planning eventually to roll out family data plans, with Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam saying back in December that we may finally see such offerings some time this year. The carrier hasn't said much on the matter since, but today CFO Fran Shammo shared a slightly more precise window of time in which family data may arrive. Speaking at a recent conference, Shammo said that family data plans are expected to launch "midyear," but didn't open up on any other details of the new offerings.

Shammo also touched on Verizon's LTE network a bit during the talk. When asked about Verizon's double LTE data promo, the exec explained that the LTE network "has a ton of capacity" and that only five percent of Verizon customers are currently on it right now, so the promotion is a way for the carrier to try and convince its subscribers to make the leap to 4G. Shammo added that Verizon built out its 3G network to be able to handle the arrival of the iPhone, but now it wants to spend as little as possible on its 3G network and focus instead on its 4G coverage. 

Rumblings about Verizon family data plans have been around since December 2010, with the most recent bit of news coming at the tail end of last month when an image purportedly showing the arrival of Verizon training documents for account level data plans. Considering that we're always seeing more smartphones and tablets coming all the time and that more and more people are adopting these data-hungry devices, it's good to hear that Verizon is getting closer to offering family data plans to simplify the process of getting all of those devices hooked up with a data connection. It should be interesting to see what kinds of data allotments Verizon plans to offer with these shared plans and how much they'll cost when they do finally arrive. What kinds of family data plans would you like to see on Verizon later this year?

Via Fierce Wireless, Wall Street Journal, Verizon transcript (PDF)