Verizon plans to kill unlimited data plans as the global iPhone 5 draws near

Summary:Verizon CEO Fran Shammo had much to reveal today on both the future of Verizon's unlimited data plans and whether the next iPhone would run on its LTE network.

It's official: Verizon's unlimited data plans don't have much longer to live.

The confirmation comes from Verizon CEO Fran Shammo, who told Reuters that the the unlimited data plans would be replaced by tiered service plans aimed at heavy users. Verizon's tiered data plans would likely mimic AT&T's own, which offer 250MB of data for $15 per month and 2GB for $25.

Shammo also said that Verizon is also preparing "mega plans" for data aimed at families. These plans, which would offer a set amount of data for one set price, would be shared among multiple phones in a household. These plans would operate in a similar fashion to Verizon's current shared minutes plans.

Both of these changes come as Apple readies the release of the iPhone 5, which is widely expected to appear this fall. Shammo had a few interesting details on the Apple front as well. For one, the CEO confirmed a detail that most already suspected: Verizon and AT&T will get the iPhone 5 at the same time, thanks to the nifty GSM/CDMA Qualcomm chip included in the iPhone 4.

Shammo, however, could not say whether the next iPhone would take advantage of Verizon's steadily-expanding 4G LTE network. While the consensus so far seems to point to Apple nixing LTE support, the possibly can't be ruled out just yet. Either way, Shammo said that he isn't concerned, and that a 4G iPhone was a bigger deal for Apple than Verizon.

Curiously, China Mobile today confirmed that it had reached a deal with Apple to offer 4G access to iPhones on its network. So don't kill the 4G iPhone dream just yet.

[Via Reuters]

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Verizon

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Ricardo Bilton writes for ZDNet's The ToyBox.

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