Verizon: End of Unlimited Data Plans Likely Coming Soon

Illustration for article titled Verizon: End of Unlimited Data Plans Likely Coming Soon

Verizon has beaten this drum before, but it seems that AT&T's move to tiered data has inspired them to cut unlimited plans as soon as this year. It's time to say goodbye to the all-you-can-download buffet.

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The comments this time came from CFO John Killian, who came out more explicitly than past Verizon execs in favor of a tiered system in a recent Businessweek interview

"We will probably need to change the design of our pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate."

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Killian also mentioned that they're currently in the process of finalizing new 4G data plans, so there are no specifics but they're coming soon. 4G is again the scapegoat, as Killian mentioned that "explosions in traffic" will make unlimited, flat rate plans unfeasible.

Well, it was fun while it lasted. At least Clearwire's committed to keeping unlimited 4G plans alive. For now. [Businessweek]

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DISCUSSION

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Carriers are getting rid of unlimited data because we're reaching the point where almost every person in the country has a cell phone.

They're publicly traded companies who need to grow profits every year in order to keep shareholders happy. When you can't do that just from signing up more customers, you need to figure out ways to raise ARPU (average revenue per user).

To a point, getting voice-only customers to sign up for data was doing it for them, but now with so many people paying for data they need to figure out how to get more money out of them, or offer the lower tier plans to the remaining voice-only customers to at least get some data revenue out of them.

But since coming out and plain admitting that they're trying to squeeze their existing customers for more money doesn't exactly do the PR department any favors so you have all these vague arguments about doing this to make sure their capacity is better managed.