Around the time Verizon began to carry the Apple iPhone last year, instead of incorporating tiered data plans, the provider stated that it would merely expand its network to accomodate the bump in data use:
Verizon Wireless has been beefing up its network and believes it will have no problem handling iPhone-type loads, a claim that could be put to the test this year if the carrier signs up millions of subscribers using the Apple Inc. device. Verizon Wireless, the country’s largest wireless carrier, is confident enough in its network that it will offer unlimited data-use plans when it starts selling the iPhone around the end of this month, a person familiar with the matter said. Such plans would provide a key means of distinguishing its service from rival AT&T Inc., which limits how much Internet data such as videos and photos its customers may use each month.
In time Verizon did indeed follow suit with AT&T, adopting tiered data last July. Customers who had already been paying for the $30 a month unlimited plans were able to maintain this contract, though now Verizon plans to migrate all of the older, 'grandfathered' data plans to its new 4G LTE network within the year. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo states, "Everyone will be on data share," and old customers will have to buy into the provider's new tiered plans. No word on how much this will cost.
Still, the new plans facilitates shared plans for multiple devices, in which Shammo states, "If I can add as many devices as I want, that is more efficient from a family perspective and a small business perspective." Verizon had been mentioning the move toward shared data plans for some time, and now it looks like the company will finally be moving forth with the change.
Though many users will likely be a bit irate, all unlimited data plans must come to an end. There is likely no way Verizon would be able to support the infrastructure needed to support all of the iOS devices on its network at the grandfathered price point on a technical level, and if it wishes to realistically compete with AT&T, the change in necessary.
In related news, below is an SNL spoof of a Verizon 4G LTE commercial: