Verizon to eliminate grandfathered unlimited data plans as customers move to 4G LTE

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| May 16, 2012

Verizon Wireless logo

Last year Verizon introduced tiered data plans and ceased offering an unlimited data option to new customers, but existing customers that had already signed up for unlimited data were allowed to keep their bottomless plan. It looks like that'll be changing soon, though, as Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo has revealed that Verizon plans to phase out grandfathered unlimited data plans. Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference, Shammo explained that when 3G unlimited data customers upgrade to 4G LTE, they'll need to sign up for a new Verizon data share plan. "A lot of our 3G base is on unlimited. When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us," Shammo said. Verizon expects to launch its shared data plans in mid-summer.

Shammo also noted that Verizon plans to launch Voice over LTE service at the end of this year. However, the carrier won't actively push the technology until mid-2013, when it expects to have a larger LTE footprint. Shammo said that by the end of 2013, Verizon expects its LTE network to be the same size as its current 3G network, if not bigger.

While Verizon's plan to move customers away from grandfathered unlimited data plans may be a disappointment to some, it's not a surprise to hear that the carrier would want to move the unlimited holdouts onto its new tiered and shared options. Not only do the tiered plans allow for Verizon to keep customers within certain amounts of usage, but as Fran Shammo notes, a shared offering also allows users to add multiple devices, making it easier for customers to be convinced to buy more products for the plan. Obviously there's still some information concerning Verizon's plans that's up in the air, like what happens to the 4G LTE customers that already have unlimited data, but we should learn more as Big Red's data share plans get closer. How many of you Verizon customers are still on an unlimited data plan?

Via Fierce Wireless