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Unlimited data plans aren't making a comeback at Verizon

Posted: , by Mihai A.

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Unlimited data plans aren't making a comeback at Verizon
As some of you guys may know, yesterday Verizon published its earnings report for Q4 2015. Shortly after the earnings call, in an interview with CNET, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo dismissed the notion that Verizon could bring back unlimited data plans, a major blow to data-heavy Verizon subscribers.

Back in 2010, Verizon and AT&T - the largest carriers in the US by subscriber count - stopped offering unlimited data plans. Since then, both carriers stomped down heavy on those who wouldn't let go of their grandfathered unlimited data plans, raising the price of these plans as well as forcing subscribers to shift to a new (data-limited) plan when opting for a subsidized on-contract smartphones.

In a recent development, AT&T brought back unlimited data earlier this month, although the company's new plans are limited to DirecTV and U-Verse TV subscribers. As such, many were wondering if Verizon is going to match AT&T's new offer, but following Shammo's claims, it looks like the option is off the table for the time being.

Verizon's CFO also noted that his company will not be engaging in any promotions war with the other carriers in the US. Here's what Shammo had to say about Verizon's position with regards to promotions offered by other carriers:

"Promotions come and go [...] We can't react to everything in the marketplace."

What do you guys think? If you're disappointed to learn that Verizon isn't bringing back unlimited data plans anytime soon, make sure to voice your frustration in the comment section below!

source: CNET


55 Comments
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posted on 22 Jan 2016, 09:14 4

1. tedkord (Posts: 10299; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Not reacting to the marketplace is a mistake. Ask BlackBerry. But not surprising from a non customer oriented, arrogant company like Verizon.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 09:29 2

2. dcgore (Posts: 226; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)


It's fine if they don't react to the marketpace often as long as they continue to be the best in the country. People will pay premium for best service.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 09:56 1

6. tedkord (Posts: 10299; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


The problem with that is, their product and service aren't good enough to justify that attitude.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:38 4

13. applesnapple93 (Posts: 20; Member since: 06 Jan 2016)


It is completely good enough to justify their actions..... I will hold onto my unlimited grandfathered data plan until they make me terminate it. I have LTE everywhere i go and i average 25/15mbps speeds which is awesome. I have a wide spread variety of friends that have every other carrier and they are the only ones that will ask me to borrow my phone to make a call. Unfortunately for you their actions are justified and i am willing to pay for their services and my unlimited data because i now never have to worry about if my phone will work or if im reaching my data cap. And don't come back at me with some tmobile speedtest pulling 70+mbps... your connection is only as fastest as its weakest link so if a server along your connection is only pushing 10mbps... guess what? your throughput is capped at 10mbps.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:10 1

25. 14545 (Posts: 1461; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I'm glad you get that kind of numbers. I almost never get over 20. And I haven't even seen that in a long time.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:47

27. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


It depends on where you live. Some places got stronger corverages than others.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:02 1

35. 14545 (Posts: 1461; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I get that. But I live in Charlotte. If you live in a major city, like I do, then this shouldn't be an issue with any carrier.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:59 1

31. Acdc1a (Posts: 115; Member since: 21 Jan 2016)


I'm glad you're everybody! Verizon doesn't even hold a candle in this neck of the woods. AT&T has been king until recent network improvements by T-Mobile. You can't even take a Verizon phone on the Interstate by the airport and keep a call.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:38

40. badfishie (Posts: 15; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I agree 100%. I have my grandfathered unlimited data and I will keep it and pay for it. I too am the one who gets asked to turn on tether or to use my phone by my ATT, Sprint and T-Mobile friends. I never have an issue with my phone NOT working or NOT connecting. I have service when no one else on a different carrier does. My speeds range from 10 to 70mbs depending on where i am. VZW is hands down the best in the nation and those of us who want the best, pay for it....

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 13:58 1

33. KParks23 (Posts: 583; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


Ted what world are you living in? verizon is making money hand over fist and and gaining customers left and right even when the other 3 companys are doing promotion after promotion and you say there product and service dont justify there attitude well its a fact they have the best network by far in the US and apparently thats all you need! And there earnings prove that!

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:35 1

12. 14545 (Posts: 1461; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I am a VZW customer, and I live in metro charlotte. Not exactly a small, rural area. Everyday I have call drops. Everyday, I have issues with data. This is after changing phones, sim cards, etc. The only consistent thing in this category is....... VZW. I would say I'm not getting what I pay for. So please stop perpetuating myths.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:46

22. Bernoulli (Posts: 3748; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


not necessarily, I laugh at verizon people when they are reaching out for wifi, I'm like, "not that great service eh?" lol

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 09:29 2

3. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 509; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


How is Verizon non-customer oriented? They are the largest, by customer base, along with a low churn rate of 0.96%. Hardware companies not responding is different from a Wireless carrier not responding to "The Marketplace" since they are both different. Not offering a promotion is different than not offering latest hardware in your device. But those two things seem to be the same for you some how.

You think Verizon is arrogant because they wont offer unlimited again/anymore? Well you have to ask yourself, if you had an Unlimited data plan, did you take the necessary steps to keep your Unlimited plan ? If not, then maybe you should accept your half the fault as well. There as ALWAYS been options to keeping it. I have two on my account, and will keep them FOREVER with Verizon.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:01

16. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3794; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


In many places, Verizon is the only game in town. Get out of the major metro areas and you lose Sprint and T-Mobile, and in many cases AT&T as well. If you only have one option, you're stuck. And the worst part is their coverage isn't as great as their maps would lead you to believe. My area is shown in full LTE service for about 10 miles in any direction, yet I need a Network Extender to be able to use their service in my house and need to travel about 5 miles to get a signal. When I asked them about it they said the maps don't show actual coverage, only areas where they CAN offer service. Without my Network Extender, I wouldn't be able to use their service at all, yet looking at their map, one would expect excellent signal quality. But they have a disclaimer so it's OK.

What I find funny is Shammo's statement that they can't react to every change in the marketplace. The reason it's funny is that when it benefits them they seem to have no issue doing it. Elimination of 1 year contracts, early upgrades, phone subsidies, unlimited data, and adding extra charges and tiered data plans, all of those they had no trouble jumping on them. But anything other companies do to reward their current customers, that's too much of a burden.

I've been with Verizon since 2000, and have seen their quality go downhill, both in terms if signal and customer service. They used to be all about making sure their customers were satisfied, now they could give 2 $hits about their current customers, only getting new ones. They're riding on their past reputation and apparently plan to continue to do so. If I had another option, I'd jump in a second, but as it is I don't have that option.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 09:32 4

4. HASHTAG (unregistered)


I think Verizon can easily survive without offering unlimited data. They stopped offering the data plan in 2010 and they're still growing. So saying ask Blackberry is such a stupid comment.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:32

18. torr310 (Posts: 786; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Nothing to worry about.

Once VZW feel the pressure from other carriers (if customers jumped ships for the Unlimited Data Plan), they will follow.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 09:38

5. bucky (Posts: 2460; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Personally i dont even think unlimited data is smart for mobile-people will simply abuse it. What i would like to realistically see is 15-30 gb caps on mobile internet for under $80 a month.

We are getting absolutely hosed by the phone providers. In Canada, its $95 for unlimited voice and text but only 2gb of data-that to me is a joke.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 09:58

7. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


How do mobile-people abuse it, when the unlimited data plan is a 2G connexion massively throttled after 20gigs?

So it isn't fully unlimited.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:01

8. Br125 (Posts: 13; Member since: 11 Mar 2015)


I haven't been throttled by Vzw in years. using well over 20gb/month

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:46

23. torr310 (Posts: 786; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


I am sorry for most customers that few people occupied the most bandwidth.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 17:04

46. eN16HTMAR3 (Posts: 230; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


If you ever had a 3G phone and unlimited data you were certainly throttled if you used over 2GB. Been there and done that.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:45

41. badfishie (Posts: 15; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


VZW doesnt throttle unlimited 4G LTE plans...no matter how much data you use

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:04

9. dsDoan (Posts: 229; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


2 Gb is the base-standard in the States, as well.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:28 1

10. Goldeneye (Posts: 419; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


Why would Verizon offer unlimited when is doing just fine adding customers quarter after quarter? Plus Verizon is the only one that can't throttle speeds on its LTE network per FCC conditions on its C block spectrum.

I'm just sick of people whining or expecting Unlimited data plans to be all you can eat at full speed. It clearly say "unlimited data" not "unlimited data at full speeds" so if you can't understand that you're being an idiot period. Still unlimited data just throttled at certain point and most carriers clearly specify that.

So don't expect Verizon to offer unlimited data ever again. Its unlimited data plans HAVE to be unlimited at full speeds for the reason mentioned above. They have enough with the few of us that won't give it up.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:32 1

11. CreeDiddy (Posts: 607; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


If Verizon wants to make a statement they should increase the data on their pricing tiers:

1GB should go to 5GB
3GB should go to 15GB
6GB to 25GB
12GB to 50GB
18GB to 100GB

It's that easy, while keeping everyone happy. 100GB is more than plenty for heavy streamers.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:39 1

15. 14545 (Posts: 1461; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I don't think there needs to be that many tiers. 30 should net you at *minimum* 5 gb. 40 should give you 15. And 50 should give you 25. Anything over 25 should be charged at $1/gb. Honestly, if one is using more than 25gb a month, they are using it to replace their home internet, and that is not acceptable.

Then, the line fees should revert back to 10/line. So a 25gb package+4 lines would be 90/month.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:45 1

21. RTAberu (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Jul 2011)


The high users are such a small percentage that it doesn't impact vzw LTE towers at all. The only way vzw is bering hurting by the "abusers" is by not being able to make more money off of them. Verizon would still be profitable with unlimited data plans and their network and certainly handle it. Think of it this way, the old 3g hardware in a tower could handle lets say 1,000 users and they had 1 or 2 3g setups in a tower. Now, there are 6 or 7 LTE servers in a tower and ONE of the LTE servers can handle 3x the capacity of a 3g server could handle.They have you thinking they are worried about network hogs, but there is plenty to go around. It's all about the profit, and that's how the world works, but they are lying if they say unlimited plans are not feasible. I kept my unlimited plan, I use 50 plus gb, and sometimes I let it keep streaming just because I can. I know I'm only hurting their bottom line and not their network. It is perfectly acceptable. (Yea, I worked for them for 10 years and was there for the migration of 3g to 4g. The numbers I used were just for the analogy because I can't say everything, but hopefully you get the idea.)

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:36

26. 14545 (Posts: 1461; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I'm not saying that from a "they don't have capacity" point of view. I am saying that from a, if you need more than 25gb a month on a cell phone, maybe you should reevaluate your usage patterns. Sure, they may have 6-7 servers now, but they could easily use only one if it weren't for people using 100gb. I get you "can", that doesn't mean you should. As a whole, it raised the cost of service, as they had to plan for greater capacity that they otherwise would have. Maybe the costs aren't that great, but the point still remains that they are there, and we all end up paying for a select few users.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 18:27

48. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3794; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Verizon doesn't care about usage, only how they can make money off of it. Before data was the cash cow, minutes were where they made their money, it was offered, and they charged for it, and quite a bit too. And data was unlimited because hardly anyone used it. Now that the landscape has shifted from voice to data, voice is unlimited and data is tiered.

And what tactic did they use to accomplish this? They pushed the hell out of smartphones telling any and everyone that it was going to change our lives being constantly connected. And once they got everyone on board, they switched it up and now data became a precious resource. It's also no surprise that once they started moving everyone towards a smartphone, features beneficial to customers like early upgrades, 1 year contracts, their VIP program, etc got axed.

I liken the whole scenario to a drug dealer, the first one is free to get them addicted, then charge as much as you can after that.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:53

28. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


Pretty steep, though.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 14:06

34. KParks23 (Posts: 583; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


I use wifi when im at home and average around 50gb a month, its yall fault that u dont have unlimited right now so stop bitching about it! they warned you and you could of took the necessary steps to keep it and you didnt. Only way imma be pissed is if they force me off on a tiered plan then i will leave, till that happens ill keep buying my phones at retail and use as many GB as i want and be happy with the rest of the grandfathered boys and girls!

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:36

39. 14545 (Posts: 1461; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Dude, stop. I actually had unlimited until they wanted me to pay 20/month/line more. I just cancelled it last month. I wouldn't have done it if it didn't save me 30 bucks a month (160->130, 3 lines, 2 smart)

That being said, I am fairly certain you don't have home wifi if you are using that kind of data. Either that, or you literally have no life outside of your phone. Also, it is people like you that cost all of us more money. So thanks jerk. It's also people like you that likely ultimately cost us the unlimited plans.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 17:09 1

47. eN16HTMAR3 (Posts: 230; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


People like "you". Them's be fightin' words right there!!!! LOL.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 18:29

49. 14545 (Posts: 1461; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


In my 7? or 8 years of having unlimited data, I never used over 10 gb in a month. And that "10" was me being abusive, as I was using it for a sole internet connection for about 3 weeks over christmas.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 10:38 1

14. Brewski (Posts: 317; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)


I'm still on unlimited from 2010 so I don't really GAF.

How can you say that "...Back in 2010, Verizon and AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans..."?

I know people who got their phone after me and still have unlimited.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:25

17. Astonvan (Posts: 237; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


in my country there is FUP on 2g internet :(

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:42 1

19. Bernoulli (Posts: 3748; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


Back in 2010, Verizon and AT&T - the largest carriers in the US by subscriber count - stopped offering unlimited data plans.

Not Verizon, they stopped offering unlimited data plans by 2011 summer.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:00

24. Goldeneye (Posts: 419; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


Verizon stopped offering unlimited in July 2011 before the iPhone 4 launch on Verizon that happened around February - March of 2012 if I can recall right.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:56

29. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


Nice giving him a factual correction

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:06

36. Bernoulli (Posts: 3748; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


Summer solstice begins on July 21st so yes "by summer" most certainly means "by July "

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:50

42. jlb128 (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Jun 2014)


Well actually, summer solstice starts on June 21st, and the iPhone 4 launched on Verion on Feb 10, 2011.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 18:30

50. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3794; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Which gave them enough time to sign everyone up on an iPhone and then kill unlimited a few months later.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 11:45

20. Bernoulli (Posts: 3748; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


U-Verse TV subscribers.

Seriously?! U-Verse is an internet only service.... writer, do proofreading or google stuff if you have a question!

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 12:57

30. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


But everyone does mistakes.

Come on!

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:13

37. Bernoulli (Posts: 3748; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


True but when you're writing for a blog for a living like come on!

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:51

43. jlb128 (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Jun 2014)


Maybe AT&T doesn't offer U-Verse where you live. But They have TV, Home Phone and Internet. I would know because I have them all. In case you don't believe me, go to their website.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 13:39

32. snatchlax17 (Posts: 17; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


I'm surprised Verizon doesn't come out with an alleged unlimited plan like Sprint had done, and the little carriers do, where you get unlimited LTE up to 2GB then throttle you down. I'm sure people would jump onto Verizon for that, if they were desperate for Verizon or forced onto it.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 15:18

38. Goldeneye (Posts: 419; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


You shouldn't be surprised. And you answered your own question Verizon is not Sprint or a little carrier. Sprint is struggling to keep their current subscribers and Verizon doesn't need to appeal low profit customers. Overages is where the money is.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 16:42

44. JunitoNH (Posts: 1614; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


That's not going to happen anytime soon, not the way they are gaining new post paid subscribers.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 17:01

45. colbatronbmw (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I still have my Unlimited plan and last month I used 127 gigs. Every time I go into the store they try to up-sell me. Until they open my account ahahahaha.

posted on 22 Jan 2016, 23:15

51. Bernoulli (Posts: 3748; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


1 post and you've been member since Feb 2012? Seems legit.

posted on 23 Jan 2016, 08:21

52. goodmorrow (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


Everyone arguing who's service is better just really needs to STFU. Use the service that is best for you. I live in a major city where I have perfect signal and fast data with T-Mobile. I don't travel to mountainous or rural areas, so I don't I don't need Verizon.

posted on 25 Jan 2016, 22:56

53. netizen (Posts: 52; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


I saw on the screen for AT&T's advertisement for the "Unlimited Data" that they may throttle you after 22 Gig of "Unlimited Data" on up to 4 lines. So it's really about a 4 line 6GB plan with likely throttling after the 22 Gig is reached.

posted on 01 Mar 2016, 22:48

54. Danoz (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Mar 2016)


Question still exists about those with the unlimited data plans of when is Verizon going to remove the old phone subsidies fees from these grandfathered plans. I have paid full retail price for two Galaxy phones so I can keep the data. When storms or any event comes through sometimes cable tv inop and i-net with it so the phone is back up for watching news reports live..

posted on 02 Mar 2016, 06:26

55. snatchlax17 (Posts: 17; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


Never, if I follow your question correctly, since your plan is grandfathered with the subsidy built into the total pricing you would have to re-"negotiate" -or- "sign" a contract that allows the fees to be dropped after the subsidy is paid off (like their current plans where they drop the subsidy charge after the 2-ish years). This wouldn't allow for you to keep UDP since they no longer offer them. Furthermore to keep unlimited data now they do allow you to use the device payment plan as well as raised the price by $20 a month.

Therefore the answer to your question is as long as you're considered a grandfathered plan you cannot reap the benefits of newer bring your own phone options that remove subsidy fees.

I could be off base tho

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