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Verizon's CFO says "Unlimited is just a word"

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Verizon's CFO says
At the Goldman Sachs Investor's Conference on Thursday, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo took some time to talk about three controversial carrier topics including unlimited data plans,the push to add more spectrum and subsidies on new phones. When it came to unlimited data, he spoke exactly as you would expect an executive working for a carrier not offering an unlimited data plan, to speak. Shammo said that consumers think that they use more data than they really do. As a result, he sees them leaving unlimited plans for shared data plans as Verizon reps explain the true amount of monthly data used by these customers. Once these Verizon customers realize that they don't use as much data as thought, they open their wallet to buy an LTE enabled phone and another unlimited customer bites the dust.

"So what customers are understanding and through our good sales routine is once you explain to a customer their usage on a monthly basis, unlimited is just a word, it doesn't really mean anything and that people don't really -- I think a lot of consumers think they consume a lot more data than they really do. So that whole unlimited thing I think is going by the wayside and they see the benefit of going to the shared"-Fran Shammo, CFO, Verizon Wireless.
Unlike most carriers, Verizon has enough spectrum to last over the next four or five years says the CFO. Now that the Apple iPhone supports LTE, Shammo sees 3G usage dropping enough for Big Red to refarm a lot of its 3G spectrum and use it for more LTE coverage. The executive did say that Verizon will still be opportunistic and buy spectrum as it becomes available. He adds that Big Red will take place in the FCC auction of spectrum.

Another controversial issue, subsidies on new phone sales, was another topic discussed at the conference. Verizon's CFO had some interesting things to say about the pressure on profit margins from Verizon paying for a piece of a new phone. Shammo noted that in Verizon's second quarter, the carrier did sell 200,000 more units of the Apple iPhone than the figure sold the year before. If subsidies were a problem, you would expect to see Verizon's profit margin go down because of the extra 200,000 phones that Big Red reached into its pocket to pay for. Instead, profit margins hit an all time record for Verizon.which would seem to indicate that there is too much worry about carrier's continuing to subsidize the cost of new phones.

For Verizon, things will continue to improve as more and more of those grandfathered unlimited users start upgrading to new LTE phones and the new Apple iPhone 5 should certainly be an incentive for many to leave unlimited for a shared data plan. As that happens, more 3G spectrum becomes available to be refarmed meaning more LTE coverage for the carrier. Sounds like the nation's number one carrier still has a bright future ahead of it.

source: Verizon via AndroidCentral

43 Comments
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posted on 20 Sep 2012, 23:48 2

1. nicholassss (Posts: 348; Member since: 10 May 2012)


Nooooooooope. unlimited means i use 13 to 50 gigs of data and my phone bill for 3 phones (2 with data) is 190ish + taxes and fees.

posted on 20 Sep 2012, 23:59 5

2. Goldeneye (Posts: 353; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


Unlimited means "no overages" just that, who cares right?

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 00:41 1

29. ambrown (Posts: 29; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Ain't that the truth! I mean if customers aren't using as much data as they think they are then why does Verizon have to go to this tiered "share" plan nonsense?

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 21:12 2

36. shamu (Posts: 3; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


Shammo is the second biggest douche in the world, his boss is the first. You can have all the nicest phones in the world, but with a meager data allowance and extremely high prices, they're worthless. Plus, their LTE is weak where I'm at. I'd only consider T-Mobile (which I probably will when my contracts run out in November), because the only people that are currently bigger idiots than Verizon executives are the dirt bags at AT&T. Telecommunications is a whorehouse, and the government let's it slide legally. Terrible.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 00:00 3

3. JC557 (Posts: 1071; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Nope, I have that handy little VZW widget that shows my data usage along with the ICS data counter. I know how much I use and there are times that my usage breaks the 2GB mark. With high speed LTE I tend to just browse on my phone more often, check my emails, get timely weather updates, Google maps with points of interest, and get the latest files or info for my forensics based job. 2GB limit is a joke. Either up it to 4-6 GB or STFU and GTFO.

Cloud based services aren't going to make things better. Neither is the growing number of streaming media.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 19:43

28. lsutigers (Posts: 723; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


I am currently on a Verizon shared plan and we always have to worry about data usage and limit what we do on our phones because of it. I like to listen to Pandora, Spotify and podcasts in my morning and afternoon commutes to and from work and while at work and I find myself constantly checking my data usage to not go over. I was thinking about upgrading the plan to a higher limit but I will probably just switch to Sprint's unlimited data. I have a Sprint work phone and my home market is currently being upgraded with Network Vision 3G and 4G LTE. I tested LTE on a recent business trip to Atlanta and the speeds were better than my Verizon LTE. Of course, there's fewer people on the Sprint LTE Network since it just launched but once how much will it drop from 25mbps? Besides, most of my data use runs great on 3G, the only benefit would be when I'm tethering.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 00:46 1

30. ambrown (Posts: 29; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


This comment thread is totally right on with my arguments about Verizon's new plans. I mean I wouldn't mind limited plans if they gave us a little more. On my account on Verizon's site I calculated my usage based on my actual usage (not that lame excuse for a data calculator on their site) and found that I averaged 1.5 GB monthly...but some months my usage was low (when I got busy) and other months my usage often exceeded 2.5 GB and in a couple of cases I neared or exceeded 3 GB. And that's on 3G! If I had LTE I would certainly go over 3 GB nearly every month!

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 00:00 3

4. kingjr243 (Posts: 31; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)


Having unlimited means using internet radio whenever you want

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 00:16 3

5. Sniggly (Posts: 7012; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


There are some customers for whom unlimited mobile usage would truly be awesome. There was a couple last week who travels a lot and would love to use mobile broadband to watch a netflix movie in their camper each night. LOL NOPE, they would use roughly 120 gigs doing that, according to VZW's data calculator. It's frustrating that just as mobile Internet has become so truly useful that it can begin to really take a role in peoples' lives, we're being throttled like this. I mean, why even advertise how fast LTE can download a movie if downloading that movie would tear through your entire monthly limit?

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 01:00 1

33. ambrown (Posts: 29; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


You are so right!! I mean Verizon and others keep saying how awesome LTE is and how you can do so much more with it, stream more, web surf more, etc. And with Verizon saying people can facetime over LTE with their iPhones, and tethering is free...but using those services will just blow through your data limits even faster! With the advent of the Razr HD and their advertisements that it's the "all day" phone, and how you can stream several hours of video--oh that is until you reach your limit, or you just pay a lot more to get that content with 10 freaking dollars per every 1 GB above your plan!

I'm due for an upgrade as of yesterday and I'm not sure what I want to do. I'm thinking of waiting till December to see if they have some good holiday deals to score some extra data since I'll have to ditch my unlimited plan to stay on Verizon. But if that doesn't work out then my contract is up in January and Sprint will at least give me unlimited for the same price Verizon is charging for two smartphones (my wife's and mine). Well at least Sprint has the EVO...

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 00:46 1

6. Bernoulli (Posts: 1445; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


Glad Good ol magenta returned their unlimited data, better yet since I have a value plan I only pay 20$ for true unlimited data, that surely beats paying 40$ a month for 300 mb in a shared plan, better yet my phone and coverage are both hpsa+ 42, where I pull 15 mbps in average, so I'm not missing much on LTE, except for a much cheaper bill

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 01:39 3

9. Whateverman (Posts: 3199; Member since: 17 May 2009)


I'm never going to a shared plan, and I plan on getting the Note 2 with a discount. So if VZW tries to make me drop my unlimited plan, I will be joining you at T Mobile. I love VZW, but not enough to keep taking it up the... Well you get what I'm saying.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 08:15 2

20. Bernoulli (Posts: 1445; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


Yes I do man, but dude look into value plans, sure the phone comes at no subsidy, but everything else is retarded cheap!! Like 5$ for unlimited texting, 10$ for unlimited data with 2 gigs of high speed(isn't just that normally 50$ with Verizon?) Value plans are the way to go

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 12:12

23. laheelahee (Posts: 213; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)


you cant "upgrade" w/o switching to the new shared plans. you would have to pay full price. how will you get the Note2 w/ a discount?

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 12:28 1

25. Whateverman (Posts: 3199; Member since: 17 May 2009)


By waiting out this BS mandate, or going with T Mobile. It's really that serious to me. VZW is getting all the money I'm willing to pay right now. Going to the shared plans with my current usage adds an additional $40+ to my already high bill. I would rather leave than to keep forking over more and more money every month for absolutely no reason at all, especially when T Mobile is about $50 cheaper.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 01:43 1

34. Bernoulli (Posts: 1445; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


Well said man, plus you may want to join ship because the unlimited data with no caps was brought back for limited time, so yeah who knows how soon they will get rid of it, I jumped on it since day one that it was offered :) plus don't forget our hspa+42mbps won't drain your battery like Verizon's release 8 equipment currently does, not to mention were getting lte advanced and brand new release 10 equipment ;)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 01:12 2

7. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Okay guys get ready to sue Verizon for false advertising

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 01:25 2

8. TechnoTechyes (Posts: 56; Member since: 24 Jan 2011)


Verizon would have never mentioned this, if they were not feeling pressured to offer a real unlimited data plan.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 01:51

10. HTCOE (Posts: 469; Member since: 20 Nov 2011)


idk if phonearena knows this but ummm yal should look at this crazy news about the iphone5http://www.newschannel5.com/story/19587738/thieves-grab-100k-worth-of-iphone-5s

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:17 2

22. PilotHead (Posts: 18; Member since: 26 Apr 2009)


yes because there isn't enough iPhone 5 news going around....

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 00:47

31. ambrown (Posts: 29; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


No joke. It makes me sick of how many blasted iPhone articles are on the web right now. Well I don't give a **** about the iPhone.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 03:14 1

11. Kostas_13 (Posts: 43; Member since: 07 Sep 2012)


Unlimited is indeed just a word, and it means NO LIMITS.
If your product has nothing to do with that, just do not use that word, use something else!!!
This is called fruad right in your face, and noone does anything about it!

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 04:51 3

12. longhairbilly (Posts: 61; Member since: 23 Aug 2010)


I'm sick of these carries telling us how stupid we are.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 08:20 1

21. Bernoulli (Posts: 1445; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


It's just Verizon and AT&T, especially the AT&T CEO when they were planning in buying T-Mobile, when he said in a press conference, "T-Mobile customers will keep the same bill, their rates will not go up" that publicly said how AT&T is more expensive than magenta lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 05:20 2

13. Ruckus (Posts: 276; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


He's right unfortunately. Most customers don't even use 2GB of data. I personally use 6-8GB so I know getting rid of "unlimited" is totally bogus. But we will get customers in to buy a phone freaking out over losing their unlimited when all the more they use is a gig lol.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 05:32

14. andro. (Posts: 1951; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Any carriers 'unlimited' parts are subject to fair usage. I've heard of a case of somebody racking up 1tb of data before on a mobile broadband connection in 1 month becuase a carrier hadn't put a fair usage cap on it. Its annoying a cap has to be put in place but for every 1000 people that use an unlimited plan within reason there is some idiot out there ruining it for everyone downloading 1tb of R rated movie content!

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 06:00

15. Sniggly (Posts: 7012; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Hey now, R rated content could be something like Terminator 2.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 06:49 1

16. IHuntInDE (Posts: 11; Member since: 31 Mar 2009)


What I want to know is... if most people aren't even using 2gb of data, so they don't need unlimited, then why do the carriers have to go to tiered plans anyway? If the majority is using so little data, it's not costing them any more or less to run the network than if they left everyone on unlimited...

I currently have an old family plan with 2 smartphones both with unlimited data plans. When I go to upgrade my phone here shortly, they are going to force me onto a shared data plan and it's going to cost me $20 more a month to have 2gb shared... I can tell you that I easily use 2gb per month by myself on average.. So now, I am going to have to pay $30 more per month for 4gb shared than I currently use, and even then I am going to have to watch my usage..

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 07:44 1

19. ibap (Posts: 697; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


Buy a new phone on ebay or pay full price and keep your current plan. Do the math, and then decide.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 06:57

17. IHuntInDE (Posts: 11; Member since: 31 Mar 2009)


Plus, those people only using 2gb or less per month are obviously not going to use more just because they are on unlimited, they haven't been for the last year or more that they've been on the plan...

The main issue I have is, I live in an area that only has 2 methods of broadband internet right now.. Satellite or Mobile Broadband... There is no Cable, no DSL, no Fiber... With satellite being expensive, having terrible latency, and being effected by weather and obstructions, Mobile Broadband is really my only option for a decent internet connection. If it weren't for Sprint allowing me to keep my grandfathered unlimited plan I am not real sure what I'd do for internet so that I could use cloud services, hd streaming, online gaming, etc...

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 07:18 2

18. Aeires (unregistered)


Stop making excuses and just offer an unlimited plan like Sprint and T-Mobile already.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 12:28 1

24. kellkeezy (Posts: 57; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


I just want to add to this as a verizon wireless employee, you do not need to go to the shared everything plan, you can easily stay on your plan and pay the seperate $30 a month (which in some cases is alot cheaper then these new plans) especially if you dont have more then 2 data devices. Dont let any rep tell you otherwise

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 00:50

32. ambrown (Posts: 29; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Yeah but what if I want to get the subsidized price? Do I still get to keep my unlimited in that case?

posted on 27 Sep 2012, 15:00 1

43. kellkeezy (Posts: 57; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


you can you just have to use an upgrade on another line and switch the phone to your number. if you on a plan by yourself...well 2GB and wifi usage will be your sword and shield

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 18:05

26. tedkord (Posts: 4747; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Liar, thief and scumbag are also only words. And I'd imagine he hears them frequently.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 18:18

27. items17070 (Posts: 70; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


hey Fran Shammo, stay BEHIND your desk and push those papers, you do NOT know what your talking about!

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 21:21

38. shamu (Posts: 3; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


Truth be told.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 02:17

35. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


unlimited means a lot to most of the users!

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 21:20

37. shamu (Posts: 3; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


If I ran into this dude in a dark alley, it wouldn't be pretty. This guy is rich trash. I bet he still gets unlimited data on his executive plan. He's probably mashing to streaming porn on his phone right now, dreaming of how many customers he has and is back siding for his $3 million bonus. I'd pay real cash, at least half of my overpriced Verizon bill, to see somebody hit this prick across the head with a giant, fresh-caught, ice-cold salmon.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 14:56

41. items17070 (Posts: 70; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


dont tempt me shamu! lol

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 22:17

39. Apocalypse (Posts: 5; Member since: 26 Jun 2012)


Who hoo. Verizon is killing it with LTE speeds. Tmobile gets 42mbps in like 1 street corner and AT&T barely has any LTE let alone speeds that get out performed. I'm so glad I switched plans to share I have 5 smartphones and now only pay $275 plus tax with 10gb data. Only I use 6gb of it the rest don't use crap so as individuals tell how this is bad?? I can't wait for Note 2 so I can hotspot to my iPad while watching porn and jerking off to all u guys crying about Verizon sucks. It's retards like u that overpay to AT&T and Tmo. If u want ur unlimited plan pay retail like Verizon does for u. Who wants to drive on a unlimited tank of gas if the highway has potholes and cracks and then the freeway changes to one lane for 24 months with all u unlimited data hogging cry babies. Please QQ more plz

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 19:11

40. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)


unlimited is just a word when you have wifi. if you want to use your wireless provider as your sole internet source then that's you on that, i wouldn't do it that way tho. i like the flexibility of having both residential & wireless internet services. its like trying to make a tablet your only computer source...it could work, but in the end you are sacrificing just to save a buck & complaining about it all the while.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 15:04

42. items17070 (Posts: 70; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


LOL, talk about one VERY BIG HYPOCRITE like yourself Apocalypse! $275 /month, LOL MOST people know verizon is so OVERPRICED! , I have to agree with you on that MYSTERY speed for TMOBILE that is supposed to see 42mbps!, but your being generous saying its on ONE street corner ( I have yet to find that street corner - LOL), thats too much credit! EVEN I have yet to see that kinda of speed with TMOBILE! but your experiences are NOT everyones experiences, here near baltimore, I get same speeds with verizon LTE as with ATT, so verizon isnt the best everywhere!

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