Sometimes watching American cell phone carriers is like observing a line of monkeys - see the whole JUMP/EDGE/NEXT/whatever Sprint calls their interest-free phone financing saga. Now it's come again, this time after AT&T announced a limited promotion that doubled the data on some of its shared family plans. Verizon has matched their prices with a MORE Everything promotion that starts tomorrow, October 2nd. For the same $130 price that AT&T is offering, pre-fees, Verizon is giving family plan users 30GB of data.
Those of us who've managed to hang on to Verizon unlimited data after the tiered plans started showing up are not going to give it up lightly. We buy unsubsidized phones at ridiculous prices to stay secure in the knowledge that we can gobble as many gigabytes as we want for $30 a month. This does not please Verizon: unlimited data is not conducive to profits, and unsubsidized customers are more likely to bolt.
Update: In response to the rather vocal outcries of many of its subscribers on the web, Verizon has clarified what will happen to 3G/4G data plans explicitly. The takeaway is this: anyone purchasing a smartphone from this summer forward on subsidy pricing will be pushed into tiered/shared data. If you choose not to buy a smartphone on subsidy, you can keep your unlimited plan if you choose to.
This means if you renew your 2-year agreement, from this summer forward, on any line by buying a "discounted" phone, you lose unlimited.
Update: We all knew it was coming, so this shouldn't come as a shocker to anyone -- Verizon found the loophole. Not only has the "issue" been fixed, but Big Red is now taking the necessary steps to revert changed plans back to their tiered state. Sorry, guys - it was worth a shot.
So, you signed up with Big Red after it switched over to tiered plans, and now you're envious of all your friends who flaunt their unlimited data all over the place.
Let's face it -- no one likes tiered data plans. Still, it is something that most of us have to deal with, and I've never met anyone who wants to suffer the result of going over their allotted bandwidth. Fortunately, Google is offering a nice, proactive solution (not to be confused with the face cream that gets rid of acne, that's something else entirely) to help users avoid connection speed slowdowns or, even worse, surprise overage fees.
The crown jewel of Sprint's service is undeniably its "truly" unlimited data, so when rumors of the Sprint iPhone started surfacing, customers of the Now Network immediately started questioning what would happen to data plans as a result.
The other two carriers currently offering the iPhone, Verizon and AT&T, both switched to tiered data plans shortly after they started carrying the device, so it was an understandable fear coming from Sprintsters across the nation that they, too, may end up on the same [horrible] system.