It looks like Verizon Wireless will be ending unlimited data plans in favor of tiered pricing, but the timing of that isn’t entirely clear.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that Verizon Wireless plans to kick off pricing changes this summer by eliminating smartphone plans that allow unlimited Web access for a flat fee, replacing them with tiered pricing that forces heavy data users to pay more for mobile data. The report quoted Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo at the Reuters Global Technology Summit and was widely circulated on the Web.
According to Reuters, Shammo said that data likely will follow the same evolution as that seen on the voice side of things, with a progression from individual minutes to shared family plans.
“It’s safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans (for data) and people are going to share that mega-plan based on the number of devices within their family,” Shammo was quoted as saying.
Verizon has made it clear that its unlimited plans wouldn’t last forever, specifically relating to Apple’s iPhone. In March, at a Morgan Stanley conference, Shammo said such plans are “not a long-term solution.”
Regarding the timing of the end of unlimited plans, a Verizon Wireless spokesman today confirmed it’s something the company is looking at but wouldn’t reveal any kind of road map in terms of timing.