21
Jun
Evil

Update: According to two separate Verizon memos intercepted by Droid-life, existing Verizon customers can keep their existing data plan pricing when renewing or upgrading. Unfortunately, as with all offers of this type, just how long it will last remains to be seen. But, given that the BIONIC is coming some time soon-ish, it seems very likely that existing Verizon customers will be able to get the device without being forced into tiered data.

verizon-existing1

This should sate a lot of potentially angry current Verizon customers, but will definitely punish those coming over from AT&T for the iPhone 5 later this year. Good news for Android, I suppose. Still, I think the way they're doing tiers isn't great, and this mercy provision doesn't change that - it just reduces the public outrage about it.

Warning: This is a rant. It's also the first time I've really been critical of Verizon's plans to adopt data tiers. But it's not the principle of tiers that upset me - it's the way Verizon has set them up.

I've been following the story surrounding Verizon's planned adoption of tiered data plans pretty closely since we heard about it last year - and I'm not even a Verizon customer. When I awoke today to news that Droid-life had inside information in regards to the pricing of those tiers, I was a bit flabbergasted by what I found. And just minutes ago, Android Central basically confirmed the pricing information Droid-life received via an interoffice memorandum that was sent to Verizon stores by a marketing VP. These snippets essentially validate the story Droid-life published:

With the new usage based pricing plans, the vast majority of our customers will be able to enjoy their typical level of data consumption for the same value that they outlay today... the new data pricing will apply to both our 3G AND 4G LTE networks.

(emphasis ours)

Translated, this guy is saying customers will pay the same data rate they already do ($30/month) as the baseline tier price, and the 2GB mark makes sense because it is generally considered well-within the average user's data habits (actually, only users in 95th percentile and up consume more than that per month - supposedly). As for the 3G/4G pricing, they'll be the same.

So, what's my gripe? 2GB for $30 - regardless of whether it is consumed on 3G or 4G. This doesn't make sense. At all. Let's discuss why.

Valued Added? Yeah, There Isn't Any

If you read my article on data usage, you know I don't have much of a gripe with data tier-ification. In fact, I think it's a pretty good idea - and it's the way Europe and most of the world have done things since the days of EDGE GSM mobile data networks. Cell towers aren't free to operate, and clearly, having a lot of subscribers on a few access points at once not only burdens the network and drives up costs, but it also makes everyone's data speeds plummet. AT&T customers in New York City and San Francisco can attest heartily to that last part.

Tiered data forces people to think about when they use data. It also allows people who use less data than the average person to save money (are you hearing me, there, Verizon?). Let me boil down my position on tiers: Tiers should reward light data users by saving them money, but they should also allow heavy users the choice to pay more to get more.

Verizon's tiers do only one of those things (the latter). Verizon's argument is, of course: inflation, increased network burden, LTE rollout costs, blah, blah, blah. That's fine and dandy, but the fact remains that it is greed, not a concern for the consumer, that has led to the baseline data pricing. If you really wanted to reward consumers who don't burden the network, you'd offer more plans. You'd offer reasonable pay-as-you-go data rates ($10 access fee plus $10 every GB starting a 1GB, perhaps?).

But Verizon has chosen to make the starting point $30 for 2GB (supposedly).  And they also offer consumers an extra 1GB for "free" if they opt to go for the $50/5GB plan - as opposed to $60/5GB if you ended up there on overages. Verizon knows this economic incentive will cause almost every single one of those top 5% of data users to go for the 5GB plan. You'd have to be stupid not to - it's cheaper than paying as you go! At least, that'll be the pitch. "You could get 3GB for $40 a month, but for just $10 more you could be getting 5GB!"

I'm OK with charging people that rate for 5GB of data. Really, I am. I'm not OK with the tiers being set up in such a way that it puts consumers in the awkward position of risking paying more via data overages than they would by simply increasing their data cap. Verizon isn't losing any money because of your 3GB of "unexpected" data use that exceeds your plan limits. This is consumer manipulation, plain and simple.

AT&T's tier pricing isn't great (2GB for $25, $10 for every GB thereafter), but it's better than Verizon's, and at least they don't actively penalize you for not getting a higher tier of data service if you incur overages.

That's gripe number one.

So, What Happened To LTE Cost-Efficiency?

I think a lot of us heard about the benefits of LTE. Better throughput. Superior load-handling. Much higher speeds. Substantially reduced network operation costs (each MB of data costs far less to the carrier than CDMA or HSPA).

Now, obviously it costs Verizon more cashola to run its LTE network alongside its full-blown nationwide CDMA service. But as more and more 4G LTE phones get sold, the less burden there will be on the CDMA network, the lower costs will be, and Verizon will be able to start dismantling redundant 3G service in major urban areas - reducing costs significantly as LTE takes over more data-handling in those regions.

Either way you cut it, LTE is going to reduce Verizon's network operation costs in the long term, and that's been most of the incentive to adopt the technology over competitive systems like HSPA+. It's what they've told investors. And it's what they've told us time and time again in press releases. But now Verizon is saying to consumers "We're going to charge you LTE users, who are saving us money [in the long-term], the same price per GB as people on our less efficient, more expensive to operate CDMA network."

This can clearly be spun the opposite way. Verizon's response would likely be that LTE users are receiving vastly superior 4G service plus Verizon's unmatched 3G coverage for the same price as non-LTE subscribers. It's a steal of a deal! You know what I want to see? How much more data LTE users are consuming per month than 3G CDMA subscribers. Really, Verizon, let's see those numbers.

Obviously, we never will - but suffice to say, I think we can all agree that LTE users are probably drinking down a lot of Netflix and other streaming media via their 4G connections. Why? Because Verizon runs more ad spots than anyone would care to see about its LTE network's ability to stream anything to your heart's content - be it Netflix, Blockbuster, or porn. And so, consumers engage in these activities. Thunderbolt, Revolution, and Charge owners are all on unlimited data, as well - so they've got no complaints about their prices on this fantastical 4G service.

And with all these consumers happily enjoying Verizon's LTE service, the rest of the smartphone-toting populous is starting to take notice. Verizon sated early adopters with unlimited data agreements, but has been sure to hold back on releasing any truly "next-gen" 4G smartphones. But we all know what's coming: the Motorola DROID BIONIC. The BIONIC will likely be Verizon's most advertised, best-selling handset of the year. And all of those new customers will likely get their LTE-enabled BIONICs subject to Verizon's new data pricing.

In fact, I'd even expect individual plan upgraders will probably be forced into the new pricing as well if they want a BIONIC - as it will likely be the most powerful and desired phone on the market when it hits. People will cave - we all know what it's like to want "the" gadget of the moment. Sure, a salesman here and there might "make a deal" to keep around a particularly good customer with multiple lines or a related business account, but somehow I doubt we'll hear many of those stories from BIONIC purchasers come July (or whenever it comes out).

And I'm Done

Anyway, that about covers it. My rant is over - I hope you took something from it. Let me know your thoughts, as well, in the comments. I'm really interested in hearing what you all think about the rumored pricing/data caps.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • modplan

    "But but but David....they have the best network, it is definitely worth twice as much more a month than the competition and the left leg of my first born!"

    Sprint is the one standing to win on this, without even having to do anything!

    • David Ruddock

      I agree. Sprint and T-Mobile just kept a bunch of customers with this news. Verizon has pretty much priced itself out of the budget market for the foreseeable future.

      Utterly idiotic.

      • Chris

        I was in New York for a few days away from home and that was when I was really glad I still had T-Mobile's unlimited data plan. Not as fast as 4G, since I'm still puttering around with my Nexus One, but I didn't have to pay the ridiculous costs hotels charge to use their in-room internet.

        All told, I gobbled up 1.4 GB of bandwidth in the span of two days, streaming episodes of the Daily Show, watching YouTube videos, and chilling on Facebook, etc.

        Granted, that's a rather exceptional situation, but it's by no means the only the only time I've been in a hotel or other public area using my phone for internet access. As a college student going to school 4,500+ miles from home I spend a lot of time in airports, most of which don't actually have 'free' WiFi in convenient locations.

        All of this does leave me wondering about the future viability of online content delivery platforms. Even landline ISPs have been considering switching to metered data plans, and in some countries, have already done it. Netflix, Steam, GamersGate, and now even Microsoft and Apple are becoming increasingly reliant on digital distribution to replace physical media, while ISPs and carriers have been looking for ways to make a fast buck on this trend.

    • TBDF

      If you happen to be a customer of Sprint or T-Mobile, I doubt this news even matters to you. I don't think we'll see a ton of VZW customers throw away their Droids and leave on account of this. Face it, Verizon doesn't make a habit of pricing itself into the budget market to begin with, yet they are still one of the top networks. And they still boast a strong number of the best handsets both on the market now, and in the near future. Taking a play from the iPlaybook, "If you're not on Verizon, well... you're just not on Verizon."

      • thegreattaurus

        I don't make a lot of money and I know the economy is still not recovered. I always wonder who has the money to stay with verizon, their prices have ALWAYS been high....

    • Hezzie

      Look people lets be real Verizon has one of the best networks out there but I don't have them I have sprint Verizon way to expensive out of all the carriers and this proves it. Sprint is the most improved company and it shows besides the value of there plans being truly unlimited including data they have a chance to capitalize on it

  • ocdtrekkie

    I'm pretty upset about it too. They need to offer a cheaper plan for low data users if they want people to be okay with this.

  • commentguy2010

    here is the only thing I have to say these plans are a rumor, and have not been confirmed

    • sb1189

      Not a rumor. Vzw employee for not much longer I'm sure.

    • sb1189

      Not a rumor. Vzw employee here. But i fear for not much longer I'm sure. Vzw is NOT a smart company. I think that they will lose a lot of the people that would switch to VZW. Now some won't. I'll even bet that our quotas go UP. BAD Verizon. Massive fail.

  • rick james

    lol 5gb is a heavy data user? i used 40gb on my unlimited iphone data plan a while back one month. Clowns..

    • Aaron Gingrich

      The average Android owner uses less than 600MB of data per month (http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/06/01/nielsen-android-users-are-data-whores-need-more-gee-bees/). 5GB would be over 8x that. I'd consider 859% more than average to be "heavy," wouldn't you?

      • Concerned Androidian

        Doesn't matter what the user of today uses. The user of tomorrow (or next year) is going to use significantly more.

        • OFI

          Exactly.

          This is what is quite frustrating in the UK now. Networks have all pushed smartphones heavily and now many people have moved over to them and their offering of 'high data packages'
          Over here a 'high data package' has been 3GB/mo at best.
          But now most of the networks have said they can't handle this and have dropped to 500mb data without dropping the price.
          How is this progress :-/

          That said i'm amazed at the bandwidth figures some of these commenters are posting..

      • Mike

        Really now, that's kind of ludacris. I myself, and more than half of the people that I know use significantly more than the caps Verizon set (the other half don't know how to do anything but talk on the phone). I use my phone as a hotspot, I watch Netflix, Youtube, and I do just about everything that the "Average" users do. I was really hoping to switch to VZW LTE within the coming months until this was announced.

  • Murd0ck_

    I agree and nobody wants to spend more money. There needs to be huge outcry boycott even to get this point across and I would support that. I am on the fence only because I complained about my fascinate and was allowed to upgrade a yr early to the charge so I might be ok since I am in an lte market with unlimited data. The real problem is the other carriers will follow suit and this is just another cost of life.

  • Horse

    If I do not get grandfathered in to some sort of unlimited plan at $30/mo, I will be leaving Verizon for Sprint, no questions asked. They can shove their early cancellation fee up their collective asses.

  • blah

    Considering your only other option is Sprint, the plans seem to match the Deathstars. Could go Tmobile, but lets not kid anyone we all know eventually the buyout will go through and just add to the Deathstar's empire.

    I'll give Verizon credit they waited alot longer than I ever thought they would for tiered plans. Who knows maybe they are looking to recoup some of the LTE costs quicker than was originally planned.

  • ALBOTZ

    Same here Ill leave in a heartbeat .I hear on xda that you wont get hit with the tiers until you upgrade your contract, or phone

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com Silver Fang

    I'll switch back to Virgin Mobile since they are now offering a few decent Android phones.

  • L boogie

    It would be understandable if verizon was hurting financially from setting up the lte operation networks but the fact of the matter is they're in bed with gayt&t to financially rape their consumer base at all angles.....I would have assumed that this could be a marketing ploy to get public reaction before actually initiating their tier plans but the agenda has and always would be GREED.

  • James Pakele

    I just started my Exodus from AT&T to Sprint past weekend. With unlimited data and the increase of integrated services with Google, it seems like a good place to be.

    • Duffin

      It's only a matter of time before Sprint goes the way of the other three, though. I know they swear they won't, but at this point, I trust pretty much nothing a CEO says.

      • Elvis

        I disagree, VZW never denied they were going to tier data, I currently am a VZW user and love my droids but if they are going to be so lame then I'm out... I don't see how it would be much (if any) loss (most likely a gain) to stay unlimited, look at it this way, you run the only all you can eat restaurant in town, you know most people will only eat one, maybe two plates, right? The guys next door have "eat up to 3 plates for the same price (or ten dollars more )" which one do you think people will go With? Obviously the unlimited one, and it's not like they are losing any money having it unlimited, sure they don't make as much PER customer, but they are bringing in 2x more simply by saying "you get unlimited" so people don't have to worry, while knowing most people won't eat more than 2 plates (or 2 gigs in this case). All in all its just them being bad at business and nickle and diming the little man.

  • Bruce

    "it is greed, not a concern for the consumer, that has led to the baseline data pricing."

    That, and a lack of competition. Since the last round of US cellphone carrier mergers, prices have been going up. What we have now is closer to a cartel than a truly competitive situation.

  • Wolfie

    Well that just burns my ass. I was with 360 communication they where bought out by Alltel, who is now Verizon I hav. Ben loyal. My plan is. 500 minutes unlimited nights and weekend unlimited mobile to Mobile and unlimited data with unlimited text blah blah. All for 69.00 a month. Plus because of thier screw up awile back I get 200 bonus minutes for life. So do I switch to sprint or stay...

    • James pakele

      Leave... it's the only thing these companies will notice. I was with AT&T since they were Cingulair, but calculated that switching all my lines to Sprint would give me unlimited data AND save me $100 a month, (I have 4 smartphone lines 2 unlimited and 2 capped).

      • Scott

        Yep, I agree. Go with Sprint. I left Verizon (after nearly 9 years) last week to go to Sprint. I knew data tiers were coming before the Bionic's release so I'd have to settle for a single-core LTE phone to lock in the unlimited plan for two years. Which I wasn't going to do. I wanted a dual-core 4G phone so I got an Evo 4G last week and I'm exchanging it for an Evo 3D on Friday.

        • Rtoodeetwo

          I did the same thing after 10+ years with verizon I just switched to sprint last week and I'm switching my Evo 4G for a Evo 3D on Friday. Besides the port in bonus its nice.

    • thegreattaurus

      You would be a fool to leave. You will never see those prices on verizon's network again.
      Stay with Verizon and when it comes time buy a phone at full price and have Verizon activate it on your line. That way you always stay with the same plan. Thats how people with grandfathered plans roll.
      Someday you can even pass down that 69/month line to your kids.

      • modplan

        Just like you are only obligated to stay for 2 years on your contract, VZW is only obligated to give you that plan for 2 years. Often they will let it go longer, but they can kill it at anytime and force you to update plans or cancel and it would surely not be able to be passed to kids (but I think you were joking).

        • thegreattaurus

          Yes i was partially joking about handing it down to your kids. You are right they aren't obligated to offer you that plan anymore but they are so greedy/hungry for subscribers that they would rather you keep paying them the same price than risk you leaving.
          This goes for all carriers, I have never heard of someone going past their 2/3 year contract and then forced to renew a new contract by their carrier.

  • rickja123

    true, i might switch out of verizon after my contract runs out but i dont see why people already in a contract with verizon are griping. You GET TO KEEP UNLIMITED DATA UNTIL CONTRACT ENDS

    • James pakele

      Because, as I found out with AT&T recently, once they are comfortable with their tiered pricing, ANY change or adjustment you want to make to that unlimited data account, will have them trying to boot you off your current plan...

    • Jaz

      Rumor is Verizon will be forcing you to change to a tiered data plan on any phone that is released after the tiered data plans go into effect. This same thing happened when they foced every phone after the tp2 to have data. I was working for them back then and if you got a phone after those changes went into effect you were screwed. I think this is not a rumor. Even if you are on the unlimited data plan when your device changes they will force you to update your plan.

  • http://allaboutitandmore.blogspot.com @TheCellularGuy

    First I'm not defending Verizon, even though I'm an agent for them I admit these plans sicken me! But the one thing not being taken into account is the rumor of "Family Share Data"

    It may work out in certain situations like mine depending on pricing. I use well over 3gb a month where my wife is under 1. Maybe I can work some voodoo economics with this.

    allaboutitandmore.blogspot.com

    • Brey

      I completely agree with this as my husband's contract ends tomorrow and they will not work with him to go to a smartphone and get unlimited data as he was told by Verizon employee to wait as he would save money to have the contract completely lapse and now he is screwed when I already have a smartphone with now unlimited data grandfathered in and he can not get it. However, I have not ever used more than 1gb. Verizon has the worse customer service and wish they would have sent a letter to the ones almost at the end of contract or grandfather them in with now contract ending and can upgrade with unlimited data.

  • Josefina

    Looks like Sprint will be gettn my business

  • Motoxer

    If this truly is what Verizon has in mind for its future data plans Android is in trouble. Almost every day the thirty-something apps I have through the Android Market seem to update with tweaks and such. Sometime the updates can be as many as two to three MB's per app. Then you look at data intensive apps like Pandora which I use everyday while driving. My average usage per month before I rooted was about nine megabytes. Doing searches, little internet radio ect. I don't see Android working under limited data!

  • Motoxer

    Oh yeah Verizon can definitely kiss the darkest part of my hairy a$$. I used 40 gigs last month via my rooted DX watching Netflix. And I still have a year left on my contract. I'm going to start going all the fék out now. They thong us data hogs are hogging data now? ha ha! WAIT!!!

    • David Ruddock

      Let me make it clear - no one at AP condones this behavior, and frankly, it's part of the reason Verizon is switching to these tiers.

      • Horse

        I sort of doubt that. 40GB of bandwidth costs Big Red hundreds if not thousands of times less than the $30/mo they're charging now. All of the cost here is in the initial equipment setup. Once those towers are up it's all profit, unless they're leasing or something like that. Tiered data is not going to save them money-- it's going to MAKE them MORE money. Bandwidth is cheap. I know I'm paying for their towers and so it's sort of insulting when they make it seem like this is a "pay what you use" type of situation. It's totally not. For the record, I use around 8-10GB/mo. 2G would last me a week.

        • David Ruddock

          I don't think you quite "get" the model.

          Mobile data networks have relatively fixed operating costs - based on the size of the network and number of towers. No one's arguing this isn't the case. But there's still limited bandwidth.

          Tiered data charges you based on the utility you're deriving from that finite network bandwidth. If everyone has unlimited data, the network burden increases over time. This requires rolling out additional capacity, eventually, to keep service at the minimum acceptable level. If you don't, service starts to suck (see: AT&T in NYC, SF)

          Therefore, the logic is those that benefit most should pay most, since they're the reason network capacity becomes crowded, requiring additional infrastructure rollout - which isn't cheap.

          Instead of charging everyone more by raising the flat rate, carriers make up the difference by charging those that use more than everyone else and model the tiers in such a way that the difference is accounted for.

          The idea of tiers makes perfectly good sense (light users benefit, heavy users make up the difference). The way Verizon is going to implement their tiers does not make sense - because those that don't use much data get little/no benefit (no rate increase, but way less service for the same $/mo). At least that's part of the problem.

      • Motoxer

        I just updated a few apps lastnight after only three days of not checking the market for updates. Angry Birds alone was a 20mb update! Altogether to update G-maps and a few other I did the math, it was around 40 MB's wtf! My problem is the average Android novice jumps aboard the Smartphone train and doesn't know the Android Market will automatically update apps for you unless you uncheck the little auto update box, and blow through their data in a matter of days with these tiered plans. I can see it now, some poor sucker gets a $200 bill, twice the amount he agreed to pay and didn't lift a finger towards the phone!
        Verizon with the help of the OG Droid helped to firmly plant the Android stake. And now will almost single-handedly sink many Android developers. How many of the apps that we use everyday are data intensive? Damn near every one of them! When people start to restrain themselves in the data usage habits out of fear they'll pay for it, we all suffer.

    • thegreattaurus

      @Motoxer You sir are the man. I am a fellow data hog but the most I have gone up to is about 20 gb on tmobile in one month. I guess I have a bar(40gb)

      • murderinc223

        I am also a fellow data hog I've still got 8 days on my cycle and I've used alittled over 40gb of data

  • Chuck U Farley

    David, I do not believe this an attempt from Big Red to punish heavy users. Its timing on their part, they have done the R&D and know that most users don't have a real option. I am in an LTE market and looked at the coverage - doesn't compare to Verizon. I do think Big Red will see HEAVY use from all the users either staying or going - they advertised it and now are upset that people are using it to their advantage, espeically knowing that next month/new contract they will have to watch their bandwidth..

    • Motoxer

      Thanks "thegreattarus!" Also I agree with "horse" 40 gigs a month from a few data hogs isn't making or breaking Verizon. I know many people paying what I pay a month for my Dx, for dumbphones that can't even stream data and they're oblivious that's verizon is breaking it off in their a$$!
      @ At David Ruddock, I never intentionally set out to use data like this. I originally wanted a way to bypass Comcast for internet and cable. So I rooted my Droid X for free mobile wifi. I pay $8 a month for Netflix I stream through my PS3.
      I been following the Droid Bionic saga very closely but now, with news like this tiered data coming, I could care less about a new phone. Im going to continue to ride this gravy data train with biscuit wheels until my DX takes a crap. Verizon is just another money hungry corporate giant taking advantage of us little fish. I say its time for the little fish to gobble some data >=)

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    Even though it's a Android-centric blog, but I think it's worth pointing out that in addition to the BIONIC, the iPhone 5 is also coming out later this year. The best Android plus the latest iOS smartphone on the Verizon's new tiered data plan for the second half of 2011? Big money in the Big V's pocket.

    • David Ruddock

      Yep, very true.

  • Rob

    I am on Verizon with a Droid X. I am not a heavy internet user. I will not pay $30 for 2G when I was getting unlimited Data. Would you buy half a phone for the same price of a whole phone? I will leave Verizon for a more competitive pricing despite it being the biggest network.

  • icebankurmom7x

    I love this news since I sell Sprint devises. Verizon is and has been greedy even when I worked for them. I think they are idiots for tiering it the way they are. People were pissed about the additional 10 bucks sprint started to charge last year because they thought it was a rip off (for unlimited data), with verizon doing this the customers will simply leave and go to other companies such as sprint.

  • Alan

    Why is this a surprise? Today's Verizon bares little resemblance to the company I signed up with more than 10 years ago. Gone is the new every two. Gone is the 30 day return policy. Gone is acceptable customer service from knowledgeable sales or call center employees.
    What's left are more reasons to find another carrier.

  • Deltaechoe

    Think about this guys, you are getting 2GB's a month on the low tier plan. What's the point of LTE at such a low bandwidth? None at all! Hopefully you guys have been grandfathered in or i would really avoid using Netflix when it rolls out to your phones and Rhapsody as you will be in over your head in penalties. I don't even need to tether, I just use some netflix when i'm riding the train or rhapsody on the drive to work and I easily go over 5GBs a month on just 3G. Looks like I'm just going to continue on this grandfathered contract and if i want an upgrade I'll just find a 3rd party to buy the phones from.

  • _aurel_

    I don't like the fact that even though I'm grandfathered in on an unlimited 4g plan, I could still be forced into a tiered system by upgrading my phone in the future. Right now, I used 1.1 Gb's this month, and I'm day 8 of my 30 day billing cycle. I don't do any thing outrageous with my phone - I just browse the web, purchase some songs off Amazon, and stream internet radio on my way to work. If I were not grandfathered, I would be forced to pay a $20 premium to continue my usage.

    Despite hating this, I'm pretty much stuck with Verizon. Until other carriers adopt "real" LTE networks, Verizon's will be the king of the crop. Don't believe me? Look at the coverage map in lte areas compared to Sprint and Verizon. Verizon is blanketed red in the San Francisco Bay Are all the way to East Bay and Palo Alto. Sprint's looks like swiss-cheese. There just simply is no comparison.

  • Topgun

    See VZW and ATT have the same mindset. They could care less about customer retention with pricing. They think that they have a "superior" network that customers will come for that. Sprint has a different mindset that is working. They want to keep their current customers happy and suck up unhappy strays from other larger carriers. In doing so they are advancing their tech. Its like the quiet kid in the back that grows up to run everything. Sprint while some would argue screwed up with WiMAX they where smart in that they covered their bets. The current WiMAX network setup can easily and very cheaply be either converted to LTE or run parallel. Also, Sprint is utilizing their 700mhz band they received with the Evo 3d. That is going to be HUGE for building penetration etc. That will be much much better than Verizon. The smart bet right now is Sprint. While Dan (CEO) said they would look into tier pricing, I think that they will see all those upset customers defecting to Sprint and keep it around as WiMAX and LTE bandwidth is very cheap to run.

  • Jaz

    Hey if you want to switch this is the best time to do it. Right now you can get the evo4g for free or .01 on wirefly or amazon respectively. Then sprint on top of that will give you $125 if you switch before the 24th.

  • Chris

    I have to say that I went with Verizon initially a year ago was because they had unlimited data plan. I stupidly at the time wanted to go with AT&T, but no way I would because of the limited data plan. Sprint & T-Mobile was out because their service just wasn't all that great at my house.

    So while I somewhat agree with what David is saying in the article I don't really like tired data if there is no option for unlimited at a reasonable price. And what BS charging $30 for 2/GB and calling that a deal for consumers. $10 for 2GB would be a deal and good for consumers who don't use a lot of data. But they are just trying to soak all the consumers for everything they can get out of them. And I for one like using Netflix on my phone or HBO GO, etc and well who will be able to use any of those services including the streaming music services with tiered data. All the streaming media companies should start fighting now to stop these tiered data plans as it will cut into their business. I know that if I had only 2GB a month then I would find my phone virtually uses for anything other than email.

    Now if Verizon would do something like charge me $50/month for unlimited data, but give me a $20 discount for not going over 2GB of data then I could really get behind something like that. I would rather be rewarded for using less data than punished for maybe using more data.

    So Verizon read my lips, I will no longer be your customer if you ever take my grandfathered plan away. I will switch immediately. And if all companies are doing tiered data at the time I will go get one of those $45/month unlimited everything phones from Walmart and use a tablet for everything else but phone calls and live without mobile data. I like having the mobile data, but it's only worth so much to me and Verizon is pricing themselves out of the market for me.

    And the interesting thing is that all these tiered data plans are happening as all the streaming media services are really getting popular and coming online. So probably the majority of users could care less about the 2GB because they will think they never will use that much. Then they will find out they can't stream anything.

    So Verizon from now own I will be recommending to anyone who asks me what service to go with to go visit the Sprint store. Gone are my Verizon recommendations. I think if everyone starts talking up Sprint for their unlimited data and talking down Verizon's tiered data then that will do more good than the few who get mad and leave now. If everywhere Verizon turns on the Internet they find bad press about this that will cost them more than if the power users who get mad and leave go away. After all they probably would like to see the power users leave. As a former ISP owner, I can tell you I was happy to see the power users leave because they cost me way more than the regular users.

    So all you power users under contract don't leave, stick around and keep using lots and lots of data. :-)

    • Ashish Raj

      Wish there was a "like" button on the comments... till then - Chris - here is my "I LIKE" for your comment!! :)

  • h8t

    All I know is I'm going to download gigs and gigs of porn before my contract ends. Wonder if I can hit 50 gig this month.

  • Darkseider

    Thankfully I gave VZW the finger a couple months back and went to T-Mo where I have been enjoying my G2X and phenomenal family pricing. Verizon is declining fast especially with this data pricing.

  • GergS

    Once all you 5GB+/month data users switch to Sprint... be prepared to pay for tiered!

    Verizon is kinda screwing the pooch on the pricing schemes though... AT&T's are much better.

  • orlanka

    If you want the best, you have to pay the price.

    VZW Customer Service is above and beyond any one else's. (And yes, I've been through most of the others). When I went unemployed for 7 months, they continued to work with me. If had months where conference calls took up all of my minutes, customer service would throw me extra minutes that months so I wouldn't pay for going over.

    Traveling nationally, coverage has never been an issue. Even now, ATT users in my office have issues getting a signal and I never have. Sprint's coverage is as much of a joke as their customer service.

    Verizon does lack in their phone offerings lately but my Dinc will be running strong for another 6months to a year so I have time for them to catch up.

    At the end of the day, not worried about this at all, especially not to the point of anger and thinking you're really gonna hurt them by bailing. Those that are downloading gig after gig of data are not the mass majority of users. Have fun with at the other junk companies.

  • jbonics

    Hopefully metro pcs will come up, or some other carriers like virgin will step it up. Verizon I'm out of here i don't care about getting grandfathered in. 8 mb/s when using free teather that's why it's going to tiered plans.

  • MadErod

    Big Fan. I've always read the news here and here's my first comment. Please don't hurt me... I'm a virgin here.

    This Verizon Tiered Pricing is disturbing. I'm with Big Red now and I currently have the DroidX. Got it the first day it came out. Love my DX. Now, I was looking forward to the DX2 but the lack of a front facing cam turned me off and I will wait for the Bionic,... I think.

    Here's my rant: This kind of tiered pricing caps innovation, slows adaptation, and will stunt this tech/cellular revolution.

    I just checked my bill. I use a little over 1(one) gig a month. I have Wifi at home and work. I use my phone on the go, especially Google Maps for directions and Latitude for seeing where my friends are. I know it's capable of SO MUCH MORE. Netflix, Blockbuster, Android Market (and updates), Amazon, eBay selling & buying, Live Sports, Google Music, Video Chat and that's the tip of the iceberg. But, the things I just listed is what I want to do with my NEW PHONE With a 4G network. Now with this pricing? I cant imagine using Video Chat and staying under a reasonable plan. I can't imagine downloading a new movie and enjoying it under the stars, I can't see updating all my apps while counting all this data in my head. This will drive me mad. It's like counting calories at the salad bar. Geez. Better hope these games, that look sooo good and play like a dream stay under 15mb. Sometimes you need to re-download the whole thing. AngryBirds = 20mb. Galaxy on Fire 2... = 527mb. Need that update really bad? Better wait until you get home. And seriously, I've never had to ask my friend, while visiting his house, "hey um... can I get the password to your wireless router please, my phone has an update but it's going to cost me 10 bucks to download this if I don't use wifi". Ew.

    Why? Why now? I don't care if I'm "grand-fathered" in my other plan. Whats the benefit for others to join 'us' at the Big V. Everyone here early gets the cake, but you new guy, nah, there's the tofu. HEY, don't like that to my mom.

    Hey Big V, you have to remember, you're not just a company giving product and I'm a customer. I'm a consumer representing you and your product to my friends, family, co-worker and passer-by's while holding my phone in my hand, or paying for my latte with my fancy new app, AND RIGHT NOW, I have nothing nice to say to THEM. Except for maybe: Nani-nani-boo-boo I have unlimited and you have tiered poo poo!?

    I'm going to leave with THEM. Hello Sprint? What's that? Oh you will be getting the Nexus 4G? I'll be right over.

  • Djkoz78

    Ok I'm a little confused about this article. I get that tiered data plans are the issue & how this is all about VZW screwing over users who don't use very much data at the same time making users who do hog data really either think about how much data they use or pay the price for going over all while raking in the dough bcoz of their greed. We all know data cost money for VZW but its fractions of what they're making. What I'm confused about is for VZW customers who have unlimited data...Are we grandfathered in even when upgrading to a new device? Or are we only grandfathered in if we keep the same device & not change our plans? Or is it tiered data plans will go into effect only if after you upgrade to a new device that you decide you also want to change around your plan?

    I was reading the update & the way it seems is that for unlimited customers with VZW when they upgrade to a new device & new 2 year contact nothing will change as of yet. That we still get the unlimited data along with possibly a new 4g device. But no one ia sure how long this deal is in effect. I'm also confused on the fact that I thought only tiered data was going to effect only 4g lte users only. I mean it really wouldn't be fair to customers who only have a 3g device yet are getting charged the same price that customers with 4g devices are paying. I guess that goes along with the customers who don't eat a lot of data vs.heavy data hogs yet they're being punished for it.

  • SleepinInCA

    Cricket and metro pcs are building LTE networks. When they have them in place....I will leave Verizon with my middle finger waving back at them. Unlimited data is the ONLY option for a smart phone user. You people are fooling yourself with your 3g data using shit phones. Try LTE phones for a day...then tell me 5 gigs is enough. Idiots.

  • mike

    Instead of just factoring in the amount of data usage they should also go by the quality of their network in areas that get spotty service. I personally live in northern Wisconsin and its sketchy outside of the cities and I'm paying to much for 3g that i hardly get. Also some of the cell towers need to be majorly replaced here because they hardly work. So a LTE upgrade here would be much appreciated and most People would drop ATT for Verizon if they do, and I use lots of data because its faster than my internet at home.

  • Susan

    I am a long time Sprint customer. I have the evo and the hotspot for 30 a month unlimited 3 and 4g data usage.

    Note on air cards they do cap the 3g at 5 gigs per month. A rep told me (if it is believable) that they will never cap the 4g because on the wimax technology they can not track data usage. They also said that on wimax it does not matter how many people are on the system it will never overload the tower.

    I certainly hope they stick to their word on what they have said about not capping. (even if they really can track the usage) The 4g is rolling out a little slower than I like but overall the customer service is great. By the way Sprint is ahead of Verizon on 4g availability in my state.

  • BMJ

    Wow, alot of info to digest. Question ????
    My contract is finished with AT&T. Im looking to switch to Verizon and get a new iphone. I would like to switch to verizon before 7/7/11 to get the unlimited data and keep that data pricing for long term. We dont know if the iphone 5 (or some say it might be called iphone 4s) thats coming out in the next couple of months will use LTE 4g network. What do you think my best route is to eventually get a LTE 4g iphone and keep unlimited data plan. I'm wondering if I get the iphone 4 now from verizon and then upgrade to iphone 5 in a few months, (if it uses LTE) is it likely that I will be able to keep the unlimited data plan even though I would be upgrading from 3g to 4g network? I know it will cost alot to buy iphone 5 since I will get reduced price for iphone 4 but this might be the only way. Any other suggestions on how to achieve my goal?

  • http://pureloveclub.com bob marley

    My contract is with Verizon

    My contract is NOT WITH other people

    NOT my problem what Verizon need do to service other people

    Time for yet another class action lawsuit