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May 21, 2012

Verizon Responds to Rumors about Eliminating Unlimited Data

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Late last week, there were some pretty definitive rumors going around which claimed that Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless would soon begin to force users off of their unlimited data plans if they upgraded to a 4G-capable device. The $30 unlimited plan, which hasn’t been available for quite a while now, has been retained by some users as a grandfathered plan but apparently, Verizon is just itching to get rid of the plan altogether in order to better keep a lid on data usage.

Well, Verizon responded to those rumors today, stating that they aren’t eliminating their unlimited data plans — well, not entirely true. The mobile provider said that there will still be options for customers currently under unlimited plans that are looking to buy new phones.

The official story goes like this: users with unlimited data who want to switch phones are going to be forced to switch off of the unlimited data plan for a shared 3G/4G plan if they want their new devices subsidized. However, those with an unlimited plan, who want to upgrade to a new device at full cost, will be rewarded with being able to keep their grandfathered unlimited data for the foreseeable future.

So, as it turns out, the truth isn’t quite as bad as the initial rumors were suggesting but it isn’t ideal, either. This is a masterstroke for Verizon; however, as the company is trying to reduce data usage as well as get more customers to buy their phones outright, this does get at least some of the company’s user base to do one or the other.

Obviously, reducing data usage will allow Verizon to keep costs down as well as charge overage fees, expanding its bottom line. But subsidized devices are also apparently hurting the mobile provider’s bottom line, so Verizon will continue to try and sell users on buying their phones outright while also implementing a $30 fee for upgrading from a subsidized device.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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