updated 07:03 pm EDT, Wed May 16, 2012
Forcing 3G users off unlimited with 4G LTE migration
As users move to 4G LTE data sharing plans, Verizon will slowly eliminate grandfathered data plans left over from the $30-per-month unlimited data era. Verizon's planned replacement for the contracts, a "pooled data" type plan, is scheduled to launch mid-summer, but no concrete dates or pricing details have been announced. All the legacy data plans are left over from contracts established prior to July 2011.
The shift off of unlimited data isn't optional. As customers shift to LTE from older 3G plans, they will be required to be on the new data-share plan, allowing the company to completely retire the unlimited 3G plan. "A lot of our 3G base is on unlimited," Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said. "When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us." With the launch of the new data share plan, Verizon is shifting to a new user financial metric -- average revenue per account. This should provide a more accurate measurement of the company's business.
Speaking at the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media, and Telecom conference in Boston, MA, Shammo added that the new data-sharing plan should make it easier for families and small businesses to connect multiple devices in one convenient to the user plan. Shammo said "If I can add as many devices as I want, that is more efficient from a family perspective and a small business perspective."