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

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.

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

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36 Comments

1. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 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.

2. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

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

29. ambrown

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 06, 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?

36. shamu

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 22, 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.

3. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 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.

28. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 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.

30. ambrown

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 06, 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!

4. kingjr243

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

Having unlimited means using internet radio whenever you want

5. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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?

33. ambrown

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 06, 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...

7. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Okay guys get ready to sue Verizon for false advertising

8. TechnoTechyes

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 24, 2011

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

10. HTCOE

Posts: 650; Member since: Nov 20, 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

22. PilotHead

Posts: 18; Member since: Apr 26, 2009

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

31. ambrown

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 06, 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.

11. Kostas_13

Posts: 43; Member since: Sep 07, 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!

12. longhairbilly

Posts: 66; Member since: Aug 23, 2010

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

13. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 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.

14. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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!

15. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

16. IHuntInDE

Posts: 15; Member since: Mar 31, 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..

19. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

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

17. IHuntInDE

Posts: 15; Member since: Mar 31, 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...

18. Aeires unregistered

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

24. kellkeezy

Posts: 57; Member since: Dec 17, 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

32. ambrown

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

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

43. kellkeezy

Posts: 57; Member since: Dec 17, 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

26. tedkord

Posts: 17311; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

27. items17070

Posts: 70; Member since: Dec 20, 2011

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

38. shamu

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Truth be told.

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