It looks a lot like Verizon is going to follow in the much-criticized footsteps of AT&T and their tiered data plans, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Before you scream "travesty!", consider this: Nielson (the company that analyzes everything so others don't have to) has reported that 99% of the 60,000 phone bills they had looked at would benefit from a tiered pricing structure.

The average monthly consumption of mobile data has risen from last year's 90MB up to 298MB this year. This is, obviously, nowhere even close to 5GB that some "unlimited" plans include but also takes non-smartphone users into account. The usage for smartphones is said to be about half of the allotted 5GB. Smartphones are becoming not only more powerful but, especially with the dawn of Android, much, much more common. If I had to guess, I would speculate that this average would increase drastically over the coming years. The switch to tiered data, however, is not up to me or my awesome powers of speculation. Coming back to Verizon, the WSJ report says that the carrier will start rolling out the tiered data plan system in the next 4 to 6 months but has not yet decided on pricing. One thing is clear, the report goes on to say: Verizon will not copy AT&T's pricing structure ($15/200MB or $25/2GB).

With AT&T already doing this, Verizon planning the rollout in the near future, and Sprint potentially knocking on tiered data's door, according to Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse, it looks like the days of unlimited data pie in America may be numbered. This makes the power users among us pretty sad. How about you?

Source: Reuters

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • neanderthal0

    I personally worked for at&t and the overage costs that some people receive, because the don't wanna pay 25 dollars on top of the 65 they pay for a couple hunderd minutes and 200 texts are rediculous, somewhere around 2cents per kb, this is a huge rip off and something I would expect from at&t but not verizon...the only winner in all of this will be the company, not the customer.

  • Enigma

    I typically use over 4GB a month, I'd rather not have my bill go up any more just because I'm an above average user. I'm hoping producing will be reasonable.

  • shanem

    I love how the people who think this is a good idea are using last years numbers to make their point.. Just look at all the advances in streaming media in the past 6 months with android and even iOS devices.. Those numbers are going to rise quick and the ones who will pay - consumers.

  • Happaz

    I disagree with this concept from several stand points for the mere fact I just played Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 with my Tethered Nexus One on my T-mobile phone and used 82MBs for one hour. Now obviously people are not going to be doing this all the time but those of us who live by our phones and are constantly browsing, streaming video downloading email attachments, have come close to this 2GBs. I did that last month just resetting my phone with all the Apps I had to reinstall. Rebuttal?

    If you're curious on how to check this out look at netcounter on you're phone.

  • Mike

    I personally, have the 200 MB data plan for AT&T ($ 15/month); I also have a wireless network at my home. I use my phone's wifi therefore I don't use any of my data. I also make it a point not to do anything internet related if I'm away from home and can't find a hotspot.

  • Mike

    Bye, Bye streaming audio like Pandora. This is one of my main uses for my Droid. I listen for 2 hours minimum a day and it chews up way more than 2 gigs of data per month, actually it more than 4 gigs per month. This sucks!!

  • Thanatos

    As soon as my contract with Verizon is up (or when they start charging me tiered pricing, whichever comes first), I'm jumping ship. I'll go to Sprint, and if they go to it, then I guess I'll just do with a cell phone or just get a cheap pre-paid for emergencies. I really have no use for a cell phone, especially an Android, without the unlimited data plan. I rarely make actual phone calls, but use a boatload of data each month. If the 95% of my minutes plan that I don't use doesn't pay them for my data, then screw them!

  • Tim

    It's all about money, farewell to customer satisfaction!

  • Switched Carriers

    "99% of the 60,000
    phone bills they had looked at would benefit from a tiered pricing structure"

    A misuse of statistics occurs when a statistical argument asserts a falsehood.
    Discarding unfavorable dataData dredgingData manipulation
    Wonder what 99% of the 100 million phone bills would benefit from. Unlimited data?