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Verizon: 4G may end unlimited mobile data plans

updated 11:10 pm EST, Mon January 11, 2010

Carrier to adopt usage-based pricing

Verizon Wireless is allegedly set to change its pricing structure for mobile data plans as the company transitions to the 4G LTE standard, according to a Washington Post report. Although the company's current "unlimited" data plans are capped at 5GB per month, with overage rates of $0.05/MB, the upcoming business model is said to adopt a form of usage-based pricing across the entire range of data consumption.

"The problem we have today with flat-based usage is that you are trying to encourage customers to be efficient in use and applications but you are getting some people who are bandwidth hogs using gigabytes a month and they are paying something like megabytes a month," said Verizon CTO at a CES interview. "That isn't long-term sustainable. Why should customers using an average amount of bandwidth be subsidizing bandwidth hogs?"

Verizon has announced plans to offer 4G service in select markets before the end of the year. The 4G network will also expand the list of supported devices beyond just cellphones and USB modems. Verizon is expected to connect other third-party products, such as TVs or other gadgets, through its open development initiative.

"The whole paradigm of how we sell devices into the public is changing," Lynch said.

Although Verizon has pointed to changes in the 4G data pricing, it has yet to announce specific details.

by MacNN Staff



  1. macslut

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why bother then?

    If you're going to cap at 5GB and over-charge, then why bother with the faster bandwidth of 4G?

    s**** you Verizon.

  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fair Pricing My A**

    Oh, Verizon would so very much like to charge the heavy users some heavy prices, but do you think for a minute that the very light users would be charged a very light price?

    This sword cuts both ways, Mr. Verizon, so be careful what you wish for. The FCC just might step in and make sure you do this fairly.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Twisted Logic

    So, one PAYS for 5GB, but if you use it, you're branded a "data hog"?

    By that logic, to be a "good customer", you pay for 5GB of data service, but should only use a few megabytes of it.

    That works out real well for Verizon and yet another reason to avoid them.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. DanielSw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Complain all you want. . .

    . . . but the carriers have learned a thing or two about real and/or potential loads on their systems from the impact of devices such as the Apple iPhone have had on data traffic volumes.

    It's only fair to charge proportionately for data usage, and the advent of 4G will be a logical starting point for a different billing system.

    I'm for it if it means better signal availability and coverage.

  1. LEStudios

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Where's the People who want Verizon so bad?

    This is what Verizon do and do best: nickel and dime their customers to death! They been doing since their name was GTE. A lot of people was crying about AT&T well let see how many will come back after dealing with Verizon.

  1. snork

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The sad part will be...

    that it is all well and good that they want to tier their plans based on usage, but how much do you wanna bet that the "megabytes" plan will still start @ $30/month and only go up from there? So in affect, the "average" plans/user will end up paying more! Unless VZW starts their data plans at $5-10, this is just a bunch of BS.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If you dance to the music...

    you must pay the piper. The carriers are in business to make money, so it does make sense for them to charge you what THEY feel is a fair price. The faster bandwidth allows you to reach your limit much faster and then they can sock overcharges for exceeding the cap to you that much sooner. The industry needs to get a lot more WiFi hotspots. You smartphone users are like the goose that lays golden eggs to the carriers. They figure you're the ones with plenty of money to spend. I'd really thought that 4G would end bandwidth problems and lower prices, but I guess it just gives the carriers another reason to charge more instead of less.

  1. NapMan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How about this then...

    How about they ONLY charge you for the data that you use, kind of like water or electricity? So if you use NO data in a month you pay NOTHING.

  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    This is why i got out of the iPhone game long ago. The iPhone is a revolutionary product, but it's not worth the extra price tag. I'm with iphonrulez that the industry needs to go more wifi hotspots. These carriers are in it for the money not the customer. They will continue to attract people with products like the iPhone and hook you to the point where you feel like you can't live without it. At that point they can essentially charge you whatever they'd like for your wireless data usage and you can't do anything about it, if you HAVE TO HAVE IT!

    This rant goes for Verizon, At&T, T-Mobile, etc. if you have to have their service, they will get your money one way or the other.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sprint PCS 4G

    Am I missing something or is Sprint PCS 4G actually available for $59.95 unlimited? I was actually looking for a way to get rid of my Time Warner cable modem since it sucks and Spring PCS 4G actually looks like a much better option now. Except for the not available in NYC part anyway.

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