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Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the end-of-an-era dept.

The Almighty Buck 302

itwbennett writes "The rumors have converged and now it appears that Verizon will be dropping its unlimited data plans on July 7, says blogger Peter Smith. Droid-Life lists pricing, starting at 2 GB for $30/month and going up to 10 GB for $80/month. 'The one ever-so-slightly bright side,' says Smith, 'is that 4G LTE will cost the same as 3G. Of course, you'll be able to burn through your data even faster.'"

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Pay-you-go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36512758)

Time to drop Verizon, methinks.

Re:Pay-you-go (1)

Life2Death (801594) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512780)

I didnt like verizon before, but got drug with alltel to them. Alltel had great things like unlimited 3G modems for laptops and unlocked phones (basically oem fresh) with maybe a logo or some minor branding installed.

Verizon steps in and wipes out the only company doing this, and takes everything away from the users. I dont need a phone that bad, I guess.

Re:Pay-you-go (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512906)

and go to sprint with their spotty coverage?

Sprint spotty? (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513270)

Not where I live. Sprint never gives me less than three bars even around tall buildings.

Re:Pay-you-go (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513352)

They roam onto the verizon network, so their coverage is only as spotty as verizon for voice.

Re:Pay-you-go (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513050)

Metro PCS ...here I come.

Flat rate, unlimited, service quality is good where they have coverage, and coverage is much better than it was a few years ago.

Re:Pay-you-go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513782)

I may be going there when the AT&T/T-Mobile merger is complete (with T-Mo now, and happy with them). My ex-wife just signed up with Metro PCS. I'll let her be my guinea pig and see if they still deserve the "Ghetto PCS" nickname.

Re:Pay-you-go (3, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513200)

Just in time for the netflix app. Coincidence? I think not. Honestly, as a member with 5 lines, they'll feel the sting as more people like me switch. I'll go through the hassle of switching before I take it up the ass with a plan change like this.

Re:Pay-you-go (1)

Scyber (539694) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513606)

If you have multiple lines, then there might be something in it for you depending on your usage. There is a rumor of shared family data plans. That is you can pay the $50 once and share 5gb across all of the phones on your plan. Obviously it depends on your usage, but I know that it could save me money. I currently pay $30 each for "unlimited" data on my two lines. I use ~3-4GB/month and my wife uses 200mb/month. The 5GB plan could save me $10/month if it was shared across phone lines. Of course this is merely a rumor at this point.

Re:Pay-you-go (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513318)

I just hope the T-Mobile merger doesn't go through. I may only have 2GB with them, but if I go over there is no overage, just the possibility of being throttled (note: I have yet to be throttled, even at 3.8 GB last month).

And They'll Encourage Tethering (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512802)

pricing, starting at 2 GB for $30/month and going up to 10 GB for $80/month.

With prices like that I bet they start encouraging tethering (or maybe even give it away for free). The overage penalties are high so the 10GB will actually appeal to some. Will they let victims, er, users change their plans on a monthly basis?

Re:And They'll Encourage Tethering (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512826)

RTFA:

Adding tethering gives an additional $2 GB and an additional $20. So for example, 4 GB with tethering will cost $50/month. Additional data will cost $10/GB.

They're not giving it away for free.

Re:And They'll Encourage Tethering (3, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512834)

From the Droid-Life article:

Data plans w/ tethering:
4GB – $50/month
7GB – $70/month
12GB – $100/month

If you go over your purchased amount of data, it will cost you $10 per 1GB.

I can't call that encouraging tethering ... yikes!

Re:And They'll Encourage Tethering (4, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513186)

Don't forget the best part:

If you under use your plan, it doesn't carry over. Have a 12GB plan, use 3GB one month and 13GB the next? You just paid an extra $10.

Re:And They'll Encourage Tethering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513598)

Charging for tethering reminds me of when ISP's tried limiting the number of computers per activated line. "Oh, you have a NAT router and three unauthorized PCs? Sorry, that's not allowed."

Questions ... (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512830)

From the article:

Nice spin, eh? Here's an idea, Verizon. If you want to "tailor" things to our unique needs, how about going all the way. If we're paying $30 for 2 GB, how about you refund us $15 for any month we use less than 1 GB? If bytes are the commodity you're making them out to be, that sounds fair to me. Alternatively, give us 'roll-over' data.

Uhhh, why stop there? Why doesn't everyone just pay for what they use? My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal. There could be a set of people that would actually pay more in this scenario but at least the charges would feel justified (I don't even know if I would be in that set).

And also, now that I've just recently signed myself up for your standard two year have-me-by-the-balls-via-smartphone-subsidy "plan" ... what of my preconception that I will have unlimited data? I'm sure somewhere in the depths of the weighty tome that I signed for you has some fine print about how not only can you alter our agreement but you can also rape me with a pineapple in front of my wife and children. Could you at least grandfather us in though? I did make an agreement and purchase on that assumption.

Re:Questions ... (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512902)

My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal.

Because the electricity delivery industry (as well as many utilities) are closely controlled by the government and sometimes even require special permission to raise rates.

Mobile phone companies don't fall under those same guidelines and thus they're going to charge you how they want to charge you. I have a feeling that with the current administration and the rest of those in office, more government regulation isn't going to happen in the foreseeable future.

Re:Questions ... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513096)

True true. Things have to get much worse before they get better. It took all sorts of stupidity and abuse before Bell got broken up and regulated. After that, things got somewhat better. But since the medium has changed from wired to wireless, the rules no longer apply. (Actually, I think they should apply. The rules put into place were earned by the abusive industry and that same industry should not be allowed to escape the rules simply by shifting the medium.)

Re:Questions ... (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513278)

With the break up of Ma Bell and a change of medium, we have gone from a monopoly to an anti-competitive price setting oligopoly. It's much harder to prove collusion than monopoly, so we'll be stuck with this garbage for some time. Instead of competing for our business, they're busy competing for the most inventive way to screw us.

Re:Questions ... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513210)

Funny thing is, as a customer, I pay what I want to pay and not a penny more. If their service costs to much I will switch to T-Moble or AT&T. There service sucks? Perhaps Verizon's higher price is worth it. Perhaps I should just go back to a land line. Just because the produce cell phones, doesn't mean they should be required to provide cell phones.

Re:Questions ... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513502)

T-mobile will not be around much longer. AT&T is more expensive and Sprint will probably grow. I don't even have a landline, nor would I go back to one. I would go without a phone before that. Since they use public easements, get government loans and subsidies they should sell at a reasonable price, or return the tax payers money and buy or lease any piece of land they want to crossover.

Re:Questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36512916)

In that agreement there's a clause that lets you leave if they alter the deal (pray they do not alter it any further).

Re:Questions ... (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512954)

I'm pretty sure they've always grandfathered plan changes like this...if you have unlimited now you should have it for the duration of the contract. It sounded like it was up in the air as to whether if you renew a grandfathered contract you would continue to have unlimited data or not, but I guess we'll see. Hopefully there are some good controls to measure your data usage and projections.

Re:Questions ... (1)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512976)

Why ? Because people had been sold "Unlimited Plans" which mean unlimited. Its not the end users' fault if they oversold their network or "oversold" the network.

If I paid for unlimited electricity and found it being metered, I'd be pissed.

If you have an active contract for unlimited, and they're defaulting, ask a lawyer about it. They would be in breech of contract at that point and you could (potentially) sue for damages.

Re:Questions ... (1)

lobsterGun (415085) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513454)

They aren't going to default on existing contracts. They just won't offer unlimited contracts in the future.

Re:Questions ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513626)

They aren't going to default on existing contracts.

It's not called 'defaulting' when you can change the TOS on a whim because the contract says you can.

Do you really think there isn't a clause in there that says they can change the definition of 'unlimited' or simply stop offering it to existing customers at their discretion? Those contracts are written in such a way that they can do pretty much anything they like.

Re:Questions ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513064)

not sure about US contracts but we recently went though something similar in the UK with T-Mobile.

they had a unlimited plan with a 1GB fair usage policy. basically it meant it's unlimited but don't take the piss.

they decided to drop ther fair use to 500MB in febuary.

they were forced to back track as in the contract it, while it says they're allowed to change the contract at anytime, if the change is to your material detriment then the contract becomes null and void. they argued that the fair usage policy was seperate to the the contract but buckled under presure.

in the end they brough in the new policy but it only applied to new contracts.

(if you're interested the cheapest contract that 1GB was available on was £10 (currently ~$16) a month with a sim only contract... but you guys don't have sim cards, right?)

Re:Questions ... (2)

c0nner (123107) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513088)

I would be almost okay with a real pay as you use pricing except that I have no faith in the wireless industry to not "make mistakes" in calculating the charges.

At least with the electric company there is a box on the side of the building with a little spinning disk and a count up meter that lets me look and see how much I am using at any time I feel the need. Want to know how crazy that new bandsaw is going to be for your electric bill? No problem. Mark the meter for 5 minutes and see how much power you use normally and then run the saw for 5 minutes and see how much that little disk spins. And when you get a bill from the power company that says you own $1000 when you normally have a $150 bill you can go out and look at the meter to see if there was an error. On the other hand the wireless companies have no such transparency. AT&T customers with iphones have the problem when every they travel where the pay for the international plan and check the meter on the phone to be sure they don't go over their allotment and even if they shut the data off before the meter says they have to they end up coming home to huge bills. When you can't trust the count on the phone and the wireless company's solution is to make you go to a web page to check your usage and when you do it from your phone it is adding to that usage.

Re:Questions ... (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513244)

Why doesn't everyone just pay for what they use? My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure

And you know what, they are telling what your 'rate' is, you are allowed to consume an unlimited amount of electricity. Verizon (and most cell companies) is responding to a bandwidth problem with a fixed amount of usage, not a 'rate' of usage.

I don't think anyone would have a problem if Verizon limited your daily bandwidth speed to what their network could actually support. But that wouldn't look good in the marketing proposal.

Re:Questions ... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513458)

My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal.
Well, I for one would be more than happy to go metered as well. Rather than pay $40 for an unlimited amount whether I use it or not, I would happily go to a plan where they charge a reasonable amount per GB and you just pay that. 50 cents a GB seems like a reasonable amount to pay.

Re:Questions ... (1)

BOUND4DOOM (987004) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513688)

Well the big problem and difference here is, your electric company does send huge surges of power to your house and force you to pay for them because someone else thought it was a good idea. Specifically I am referring to advertising. When you go to a majority of pages if you look at the actual data size and what comes through on a page the actual content is minuscule as far as data. However Flash ridden advertisements and JavaScript making call backs to the servers and things is what is chewing up your bandwidth. So why should I pay for advertisers to send me things? First things that going to happens is you are going to see apps being built that actually start refusing connection to advertising sites and blacklisting DNS services to advertisers. I know I will be looking into this because I am not paying for some advertiser to send me adds. I have created massive host files to block advertising servers before and this might actually be a great startup business for someone. Right now you don't care about huge flash ads cause they cost you nothing. Now you have to start paying for them because what would you want your usage spent on ads or the stuff you want. Second, information is power. The more information and data you have at your fingertips the more powerful you can be. What you will see here is Rich getting more powerful because they can afford more data real time. Take a stock broker for example. Getting multiple emails, data on stocks and exchange rates sent to his or her tablet constantly. Powerful tools right there. However, the richer person will now have this access and this data because they can afford it, the poorer person can not.

Re:Questions ... (1)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513734)

My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal.

Shhhh!!!!! Don't give the electricity company any ideas!

Re:Questions ... (2)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513740)

Uhhh, why stop there? Why doesn't everyone just pay for what they use? My electricity company is totally cool with charging me at the end of the month for a very specific usage figure ... and you know what? I've never complained about or felt like I was getting the raw end of a deal. There could be a set of people that would actually pay more in this scenario but at least the charges would feel justified (I don't even know if I would be in that set).

It's psychology. People don't want to be worrying about being billed every time they look something up on the Internet, even if it costs less money. It is easier for consumers just to pay one price and never think about the costs of data for another month. The caps are high enough so it creates the illusion of an unlimited data plan for the majority of customers, so it isn't different than the broadband service they receive at home. Being billed per actual usage brings them back to the days of dial up modems.

Ring-Ring... (1)

secretplans (1489863) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512874)

Cell phones give you cancer!!!

Re:Ring-Ring... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512900)

Cell phones give you cancer!!!

And these types of pricing plans give you poverty. which one do you think will do Verizon users in first?

Re:Ring-Ring... (1)

secretplans (1489863) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513080)

Fortunately for me, my poverty saves me from the cell phone cancer. But I detest the multi-billion dollar mega corporate telecommunications dudes, so... Cell phones give you AIDS!!!

Re:Ring-Ring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513460)

Cell phones give you AIDS!!!

Hint: you are doing something wrong

Re:Ring-Ring... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513260)

Cell phones give you cancer!!!
No, they give you high blood pressure and anxiety.

Text messaging (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512876)

At least they're not getting rid of the unlimited text messaging plan, I just might go over my data quota

Re:Text messaging (2)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513116)

That's the new protocol. HTTP over SMS. It's going to be a hard winter this year.

drop them across the board (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512880)

Verizon sucks DOT COM. Does anyone have the testicular fortitude to do this? Or are all of you phone weenies?
NIGGERZ!!!

Meh (2)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512890)

2GB is plenty for me. The most mobile data I've ever used in a month is a gig, which included heavy 3rd party tethering use. I usually use 500-700MB. Maybe 4G LTE speeds will change my usage, but I doubt it will more than *double* my usage.

I understand that won't be enough for some people, but with apps like Llama https://market.android.com/details?id=com.kebab.Llama [android.com] it's really easy to set up location profiles that turn wi-fi on and off at places you trust. If that still doesn't sate your usage needs, get your workplace to pay for it or *gasp* put your damn phone away and interact with the real world.

Re:Meh (3, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513016)

I'm not a VZW subscriber (I have AT&T unlimited data) but just with regular use alone I'm bumping up close to 2GB monthly (just e-mail, web, and social media use).

That said, I can burn through 2GB in a day in an airport watching Netflix over 3G. Hell, I've burned through half of that on the Stairmaster doing the same.

The bandwidth caps are entirely too low especially as the carriers roll out bigger pipes to the devices. This is nothing more than a money making venture for them (much like GSM networks charging for SMS) and it needs to be stopped by the people voting w/their feet to some new startup carrier that is smart enough to buck the trends.

Re:Meh (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513368)

I am a VZW subscriber, for a little while longer. Once my current contract runs out and I'm forced into the 5GB cap, I won't be any longer. Verizon used to be reliable. My wife and I have a new joke: "Can you drop me now? . . . DROID!" Strangely enough the Ntelos/US Cellular/small carrier network/market covers more area around me than Verizon does. Now if they could only get decent phones.

Re:Meh (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513550)

So the carriers are "rolling out bigger pipes", and somehow that means you should not have to pay more? Please explain that logic. The bigger pipes are for your (not the carriers) benefit. If you are requiring bigger pipes, you should be expected to pay for it.

Re:Meh (1)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513072)

2 gig isn't a hell of a lot when tethering.
Especially if you're using it for your primary internet.
That's a whole 60MB/day.

I am having trouble sticking to 30M/day - and that's using opera with 'turbo' mode on to compress text, and turning off images for most websites.
Not to mention that one several minute video eats your days quota, and a movie eats the whole thing.

Re:Meh (1)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513528)

But, clearly, Verizon either doesn't want you to use your data connection like that, or they want you to pay out the ass for the privilege. I think it's very backward that they're doing this, but it's not going to make me switch to another provider since the major telcos are all doing the same thing.

Contracts about up any how. (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512922)

I dont really mind tiered pricing, but I do mind having my data plan change without options. So guess I'll be moving on to another carrier.

Re:Contracts about up any how. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513004)

I do mind having my data plan change without options. So guess I'll be moving on to another carrier.

Isn't that an option?

Re:Contracts about up any how. (1)

cforciea (1926392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513184)

Less so as the years go by and carriers consolidate. If he needs any chance at rural coverage at all, his alternatives after T-Mobile gets bought are AT&T and Sprint?

Re:Contracts about up any how. (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513350)

So guess I'll be moving on to another carrier.

Who to? At this point all the U.S. carriers have capped data plans that cost (gouge) more or less the same. Time goes on and you get less for paying more no matter who you are with (I'm looking at you: $0.20 per SMS). It almost as though they are in collusion! But that's ridiculous - everyone knows that capitalism and competition invariably leads to a consumer's utopia.

Re:Contracts about up any how. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513758)

I might have forgiven the tiering, but the new bottom tier is no cheaper than the older 'unlimited' tier.

okay but not awesome (also not terrible) (1)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512924)

if they had a sub-1GB plan for less money, i would be pretty excited

as it stands, AT&T's 200MB plan is still the best value for the majority [nielsen.com] of cellular data users, even compared to unlimited plans

Re:okay but not awesome (also not terrible) (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513724)

T-mobile has a 200mb plan too. I'm on it. So far its okay. I'm on wifi 90% of the time anyway. Costs about the same as AT&T but the big benefit is that I'm not on AT&T. *shudder*

Tethering, bah. (1)

getto man d (619850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512942)

If I'm going to pay for a capped connection that rarely meets advertised speeds why the hell should I pay extra for tethering? I don't understand how explicitly defining a cap for myself justifies the extra cost to use a device either than a phone.
I do have a droid with unlimited but I'm seriously contemplating dropping any kind of smart phone whatsoever; I just don't see the value anymore.

Re:Tethering, bah. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513046)

This comes up every time....

Data usage on a mobile phone produces different usage patterns than usage on a regular PC.

So while the same data cap applies, the tethered device can put a higher demand on the network. That is what the tethering charge is for.

Re:Tethering, bah. (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513158)

I have to disagree with you there. If I can use netflix on my phone and google on my tethered laptop, I fail to see why I have to pay extra to use my alloted transfer.

Re:Tethering, bah. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513494)

Uhm, for the reason I gave... usage patterns on regular PCs are heavier than usage patterns on mobile devices?

Its not just about "I can stream Netflix, so why can I....", its that people tend to not just do one thing on a regular PC - I have some torrents going, I'm listening to some streamed internet radio, I have two files downloading, I have 10 tabs open in Safari, my PC might be downloading updates etc etc etc.

Re:Tethering, bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513238)

And what''s the difference between tethering to a phone and using a mini with its own internal cell modem on the same fucking network without the additional charge!?

Re:Tethering, bah. (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513424)

I did the same thing. Just did it. Was switching carriers. Had an iPhone. Was going to get a new 4G Android phone because I hate latency (4G is almost at local wireless router latency times) and slow download speed. 4G is the one truly useful feature to come out since the smartphone. But anyway, I thought about it for a few weeks. I read online journals, text, and call on my smartphone. On the rare occasion I use Google Maps. Coming from using computers since '92-93, nothing is more refreshing than using crappy, slim-featured, buggy apps on a small screen and then going back to a nice 22" monitor on a desktop with a great designed mouse and mechanical keyboard. Aaah.

So I said u know what, f* it. I'd rather just use a desktop when I need it, or not use a computer at all. If I need to kill time, I'll bring a magazine or book (I know! Heh crazy right? :-) ). Besides, even though I love reading them for 30 min in the morning everyday, most tech news sites are just garbage. I'm probably better off.

The only exception is Pandora. That's freakin awesome. But since I get no cell reception in my gym anyway, I'd need a mp3 with local storage anyway, so might as well just get a cheapo mp3 player for the few hours in a week I need it. Why get a smartphone and the associated extra $360/year it entails.

What Good is 4G if You Can't Use It? (1)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512966)

I already have a 3G android smartphone. It works just fine for what I need to do on my phone. I get email, I can surf the web, and I can stream music (but I don't go crazy with it). I very rarely use it for watching video. I just checked my usage this month, and I've just now cracked 2GB, about three weeks into my billing cycle. If I'm using this much data now, what happens when I get one of those 4G smartphones that they advertise showing people watching videos on them? If you're to watch those commercials, you'd think they were designed to be portable TVs more than phones. But even with their very hefty plans, you'll get overage pretty quickly pulling that much data down regularly.
My next phone will likely be Sprint, unless they go to a tiered pricing before my next contract is up. I know their 4G isn't as good as Verizon's.... but honestly, I can already stream Youtube video at 3G speeds if I put up with a little buffering, and Sprint's 4G is plenty fast enough to watch good quality video (the only thing I really see me needing 4G for any time in the foreseeable future). And, hey, you can actually USE it!

Re:What Good is 4G if You Can't Use It? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513262)

Sprint's 4G has terrible coverage. I've had it since day one on both an Epic 4G and and EVO 4G...

I also live in NYC.

Pricing!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36512970)

With how we are laced with charges, and they are spining profits out the wahzoo.. it's like the gas companies saying, "we still need to charge you more!" no reason everything shouldn't be unlimited. they know we need/want it, just like fuel, so they are going to gouge us!

Switch! (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36512974)

That's OK, I'll just switch to one of those other carriers providing unlimited wireless data.

Re:Switch! (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513236)

So.. Sprint.

Glad I Dropped 'Em (2)

Forthan Red (820542) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513026)

Switch from Verison to Sprint several years ago. I get unthrottled, uncapped, unlimited data access for $15 extra, and I can tether my laptop when I'm traveling.

Re:Glad I Dropped 'Em (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513544)

I get unthrottled, uncapped, unlimited data access for $15 extra, and I can tether my laptop when I'm traveling.

For now.

Droid 3 (1)

openldev (925511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513062)

Darn! That lines up with the rumored release date of the Droid 3 ...

Re:Droid 3 (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513174)

Much in the same way that Verizon stopped offering unlimited global packages (useful while traveling to Canada) right before they introduced the iPhone.

What uses what traffic? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513098)

I've got a Droid2 myself. Almost all of my data traffic gets routed through someone's WiFi (I've got a long list saved). But when I'm away, it's generally only Google Maps data and e-mail traffic. How about the rest of you out there?

Re:What uses what traffic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513560)

I'm halfway through my month and I've already racked up 4.5 gbs of data. I travel a lot, so I download podcast on the road, I stream netflix to the tv using my usb to component cable, and I use Amazon and Google Music cloud storage for my music. These prices blow. Guess I've got Sprint in my future.

Re:What uses what traffic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513638)

I drive a lot for work and I am constantly either streaming music via pandoa or google music. Along with a little netflix streaming thrown in while I am waiting somewhere. Always using maps and I eat up a lot of bandwidth. If verizon tries to switch me to a tiered plan I will take my service elsewhere.

Re:What uses what traffic? (1)

noc007 (633443) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513662)

I use my phone more when I'm away from an AP. Having to setup an AP profile and use the web login at a restaurant, coffee shop, or store just to look up something is a bit of a PITA and I'd rather use the wireless connection I'm already paying a hefty fee for the privilege. When I'm at home or in the office, I use my computer and really don't have much of a need to use my phone. I stream music and occasionally use navigation while I drive. Even when I don't stream music over the internet, I can still hit 2 gigs easily.

We are watching the beginning of an epic battle (3, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513122)

This is a battle that I have no idea who will win. The lines are drawn.

On one side, we have companies like Comcast and Verizon that are developing faster and faster technologies, but cap the amount of data that their users can consume. They are also companies that that have dreams of vertical integration of products, where they control the content creation, distribution, and consumption, and the profits that come with each.

On the other side, we have companies that are located in the "info space", who are innovating new ways to deliver stuff (entertainment, business services, communication, whatever) to the people. They are the ones advertising "the cloud". Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, etc. They want access to consumers over an open communications network. However, they can't have users afraid to use their bandwidth allotment in order to use the cloud.

So, here we have competing goals, and only one can dominate. Who will it be? I, personally, hope that the Netflix/Google crowd somehow wins. "Give the people what they want." That is a quote that Comcast and Verizon have never understood. They are anti-competitive by nature. This battle will spill out into mass-media debates and government regulation. It will be ugly.

-d

Re:We are watching the beginning of an epic battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513284)

So, here we have competing goals, and only one can dominate.
 
Stop living in such a black and white world and you'd see things differently. Is it that hard to do?

Re:We are watching the beginning of an epic battle (2)

imric (6240) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513594)

The goals are opposed. (The companies may adapt) Is that so hard to see?

One goal is to limit access and reap the rewards of scarcity by hiking rates. This limits expenses and keeps the income, meaning higher profit. (verizon)

Another goal is to use ubiquity to profit by volume, as OPPOSED to scarcity. (google, facebook, netflix).

If they cooperate, competition is lost.

If they compete, one or the other goal will be eliminated. The market is all ABOUT minimizing competition (co-opting or eliminating), because competition lowers profit. The only way for both models to exist in the market is regulation.

Re:We are watching the beginning of an epic battle (4, Interesting)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513472)

Seems like the easiest way for Google and Netflix to win would be to get into the business of delivering bandwidth. There's obviously a market for it.

Re:We are watching the beginning of an epic battle (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513546)

All it takes is at least one network provider in each major market to go along with the Netflix/Google model. There may be legitimate smaller (than Verizon or Comcast) operators in most cities that can do it. Now all we need is for the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Netflix to recognize those players and incentivize them.

Never forget, it was the cable companies that once charged for a commercial free service, because we were paying them directly. Now we have a product with commercials even on many of the more upscale channels. They change their deal when it's convenient, the same way Verizon is acting with their Cell Data service.

thanks VZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36513124)

thanks Verizon ... I was waiting for a reason to more to a different provider and this was just the push I needed.

Re:thanks VZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513416)

and just where are you going to go exactly?

Poor Americans (2)

Cobra_666 (777517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513164)

And in Poland, I pay 33pln (less than $10) per month and I use that for calls/sms AND get FREE 6GB of data.

Re:Poor Americans (0)

Airdorn (1094879) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513246)

Yeah but then, you have to live in Poland.... :(

Re:Poor Americans (2)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513312)

How fast is it? I envy the cost of your plan, but I also wonder how it compares to Verizon's LTE network. It is not unusual to see 20Mbit downstream on their LTE network. The 3G EV-DO on Verizon could do something like 2Mbit.

Pricing!! (1)

Taft138 (1536207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36513178)

I use between 8-12 GB a month. I know, freakish, so staying grandfathered in with AT&T was smart. The companies, however, are just gouging us like the gas companies. Theres no reason everything shouldn't be unlimited. I mean seriously, think about what they draw in monthly, just on base plans alone!

Ugh..really? (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513272)

I just dropped at&t and went to verizon for this same reason. Seems as soon as this contract expires, I'm going elsewhere.

Re:Ugh..really? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513474)

Where? Back to AT&T? How many cell providers are there in the US now?

Devil's Advocate (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513298)

I can see why Verizon is moving down this path. Higher speed, more reliable connections, and more users makes for a very expensive network. If people really don't like it, they will switch to another carrier who offers unlimited data, or resort to only connecting via Wi-Fi or tethering. What I don't understand is this low cap. 2 Gb is not very much data, especially considering all the advertising that shows streaming video and watching TV on your phone or tablet. The 2Gb limit is especially confusing when you look at tablet's. The tablet's will (IMHO) eat up a lot of the market share for laptops and netbooks very soon and people will want to surf seamlessly between connections (LAN, WLAN, 4G, etc.). In the end, I could easily see Verizon making a lot of money in the short term, but as other networks grow and offer better deals we will see the bandwidth caps go higher and possibly more data tiers.

Not terribly surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513308)

I'm not hugely surprised.

Mobile phone networks have spotted the downward trend in bandwidth costs and know there's only two things they can do about this if they want the bottom line to continue to trend upwards:

1. Encourage as many people as possible onto their networks in order to compensate for the loss of income.
2. Figure out some way to bump up their prices without losing customers hand over fist.

The problem with (1) is - AIUI - for it to work they'd need to dramatically boost the bandwidth their network can offer. And this is rather more expensive for a cell network than it is for a fixed-line ISP. This leaves (2).

Right now we're seeing this done in pretty much the only way they can and it's fairly crude - eliminate unlimited data plans and charge the earth on a per-megabyte basis. Expect this to become a lot more subtle with time - I know of one company that is looking to sell a centrally managed QoS solution that goes into the handset itself, which if they succeed would allow very fine-grained control over what the network can do to charge their customers.

"You're making Skype calls over our network but you're finding the call quality is poor? You need our Skype addon, Sir, it's only £3/month extra. Shall I add it to your account now?"

(Posting anonymously for obvious reasons)

Re:Not terribly surprised (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513540)

"You're making Skype calls over our network but you're finding the call quality is poor? You need our Skype addon, Sir, it's only £3/month extra. Shall I add it to your account now?"

They already do something like this, in reverse. They have deals with Facebook and Twitter to get uncapped access to their sites. In-flight wireless providers and some ISPs do it too (ISPs often giving uncapped access to Windows Updates - not so lucky if you're a Linux or Mac user).

Ridiculous (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513310)

This is utterly ridiculous. The 2GB plan is what their current Unlimited plan is set at price-wise. I do about 2.5GB per month on my phone and I literally use the data solely for email, VERY sparse Facebook/Twitter/Web usage (about 90 minutes of active usage per month tops), and podcast downloads (the bulk of my data usage).

I barely use the data plan and I'm still over that mark. If these numbers are true, and there is no grandfathering, then I will NOT be sticking with Verizon.

This'll drive me away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513344)

My wife just re-upped our contract in April. If they grandfather me in, ok. If not, I'll have to jump ship because I use about 6GB/month. If they were to family this out, .. so if I can get the 2GB plan for 30 with $10/GB after that, spread across two phones, then, that's $70 for what I currently pay $60 for (two phones). If not (And I bet not) then I'll have to pay $30 for wife's and another $70/80 for me! That would take my bill to about $200/month for two phones. That just ain't gonna happen.

Well, that's wonderful news! (3, Funny)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513360)

This is good news. You see I have an unlimited data plan with Verizon and my bill is about $60 a month. With this new 2 GB cap plan, they must surely be offering it at a much lower price than the unlimited plan, and so I should be able to switch and save money.

Re:Well, that's wonderful news! (1)

Huckabees (1929306) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513590)

My sarcasm detector is going off the charts!

More shots in a long war (4, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513380)

This is just part of what will be a contentious battle between the bandwidth owners and the content / service providers. Both sides want to extract as much of the consumer dollar as possible for themselves. Bandwidth owners see content / service providers using their lines to make money and as usage increases they see an opportunity to extract some of that money through tiered rate plans. content / service providers, OTOH, want the pipe to be as big and cheap as possible so they can sell more things to the consumer.

As bandwidth gets more expensive, consumers will use less and be willing to pay less for content since it carries an added cost for bandwidth. By introducing tiers early in the bandwidth demand growth phase carriers can start getting their customers used to limiting uptake of new services (and pay more to boot). Why is this important - it gives carriers some leverage to extract money form content/services providers to unthrottle the pipes since the providers want to keep growing and grab as many customers as quickly as possible.

I expect this battle will play out in the commercial and political arena as well - with lamentations about jobs, infrastructure costs, "staying competitive withe (insert country of choice)" being heard as each side tries to gain and maintain the upper hand. In some cases, a company is both - my cable provider is more than happy to sell me a subscription to HBO which I can access on the go via my phone as well (which is provided by another company). My phone company no doubt looks at that and says "Why are we helping our competitor for free?"

Make no mistake, it's an important battle since, if rate caps become the norm, this cool vision of getting everything anywhere over the internet will be a long time coming. I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of tyins between content /service providers and carriers that allows you to get premium services w/o being charged for data and the company's splitting the revenue. In fact, I think that may be the end game some have in mind.

Blame it on the iPhone (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513398)

I know it's not the popular comment but it's true. Verizon and Sprint had unlimited data plans as long as they were offering ghetto phones (Android, Samsung, etc). What's the difference if you're downloading unlimited data on an iPhone or a ghetto phone? Give up? Apple gets a cut of the revenue (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/the-real-cost-of-at-ts-basic-data-plan/7362) that's why. And don't feel like you're sneaking by with Sprint. They are next to be assimilated (http://www.eldergadget.com/report-sprint-testing-iphone-4s/). I guess I'll go to T-Mob... Oh wait, that's right. We gave all our money to the monopoly and have no alternatives left. Oh well, guess I'll go back to my Tracfone.

Re:Blame it on the iPhone (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#36513470)

ghetto phones? I hate summer because the kids are out and have nothing to do but post on Slashdot.
I chose my Evo 4G on Sprint over going with an iPhone or AT&T.

Re:Blame it on the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513672)

I agree I have owned both a iPhone and now my Evo. I will take the Evo anytime of the week.

It's you cheap over-users that are causing this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513676)

Fact is most people don't even need more than 300mb a month. Why is this happening? Yes, partly because of carrier greed. The other reason is a few cheap asses decided to take advantage (as is their right true ) of the unlimited wireless plan (ignoring the spirit of what was fair) a to use levels wireless was never designed to support for lots of people. So while most of us could easily deal with 1gb or 2gb a month, likely why it's priced this level, the jerks out there who used 10s of gb a month are the reason the carriers are getting an excuse to cap us all. If you want to download movies, linux ISOs, do it via your cable/DSL home ISP you cheap assholes. Wireless was never really made/designed/intended for this type of use.

Not an official press release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513712)

This article is on Droid Life, it's not an official press release. None of us Verizon customers have received notice about that, and when I contacted Verizon, they denied it. Everyone's making a big deal about speculation again...

Do I think it's inevitable? Yes. Do I think it's going to happen when they say it will? Maybe, but I won't believe it until I see a press release.

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36513796)

So all that encouragement from Verizon to use their service instead of a regular physical line ISP is all for nothing? What a waste. What's the point of having 4G then when the prices are the same as 3G, but now with an even smaller cap?

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