I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but Verizon's unlimited all-you-can-use 3G unlimited data plans are coming to an end. That means all of you on grandfathered-in data plans who want to upgrade to 4G LTE plans will have to give it up.
In a move to transition its customers to "data share" plans, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo unveiled at the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference that the wireless carrier will effectively kill off the $30 unlimited data plan it provided to customers before last July's unlimited data plan end.
Lucky customers who joined before the cutoff date last year were "grandfathered-in." Basically, Verizon customers had a gentleman's promise that ensured they would not have any data caps and could pay $30 forever and receive unlimited data.
However, Verizon's new initiative essentially says that any customers who have the old 3G unlimited data plan and want 4G LTE will have to drop their old grandfathered plans. This is a major blow for Verizon's customers.
Shammo even admits that a lot of its customers are on unlimited data plans. Shammo says the move to migrate these users off 3G unlimited data to data share plans will be beneficial to the company. Well, duh, Verizon will be able to nickel and dime its customers into oblivion.
Data share plans which are expected to launch mid-summer will allow families to share one data plan.
In the meantime, you might want to consider Sprint's promise (for now) to provide true unlimited 4G LTE plans.
Update: Verizon issued an email clarification on the matter to The New York Times:
- Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
- When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
- Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
- The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.
Angry Verizon customers, you can now put your rotten tomatoes away.