Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

Summary: There are two ways that the Tuesday's Verizon iPhone will be different than AT&Ts: a) it will run on CDMA networks, and b) it will come with unlimited data.


There are two ways that the Tuesday's Verizon iPhone will be different than AT&Ts: a) it will run on CDMA networks, and b) it will come with unlimited data.

iPhone owners that signed up with AT&T before June 2010 are grandfathered into AT&T's $30/month unlimited data plan. But in June 2010 AT&T dropped unlimited data and switched to 200MB and 2GB plans with steep charges for exceeding data caps.

AppleInsider reports that Verizon will offer unlimited data plans with its new, CDMA-based iPhone. The oft-rumored device is reportedly being announced at a Verizon media event in New York on Tuesday, January 11 and due to ship around the end of the month.

"It wasn't clear how long Verizon would offer unlimited plans," the report said. "Its executives have said repeatedly that the industry needs to move to some form of tiered pricing as data use rises, but for the moment the carrier is sticking with its current data plans."

Now that would be a good differentiator and a quick way for Verizon to grab a few million extra subscribers: "we have unlimited data, AT&T doesn't."

If this turns out to be true, will unlimited data only be offered for a "limited time?" Will VZW grandfather unlimited data if it changes its mind in the future (like AT&T did)?

How important is unlimited data to you? Would you jump to VZW for it?

Photo: Redmond PIe

Topics: Verizon, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

    Lately AT&T has been so bad, that I probably would have jumped over to Verizon anyway. However, with unlimited data (which I now have) it will be a no-brainer. As long as the costs of a family plan aren't in the stratosphere, I will be taking the whole family to Verizon.
  • How about unlimited 4g on the iPad2?

    I would go for that.
  • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

    I am a current Verizon customer with a Droid phone and I love my unlimited data. When the iPhone comes I would like the same plan to be in place. I wouldn't mind paying $5 or $10 more a month than my current $29.99/month data charges if in the future they went for a tiered pricing plan. One of my friends is on AT&T for the iPhone and he constantly complains about his 2GB data limit per month. He ends up using all of it within the first week and then has to rely on WiFi for the rest of the data usage on his iPhone. I don't want to have the same burden. Verizon has a good thing going for them and should keep it. If they do want to make some more money like the hogs they are, they can just charge a little more for folks like me to continue enjoying my unlimited data every month.
  • Doesn't anyone wonder?

    What if Apple were buying Verizon with a combination of stock and cash? Wouldn't that answer all the questions nobody is asking? Whence 5-year exclusivity with AT&T? (It doesn't expire until 2012) Why is Verizon having an event but not Apple? Where is the white iPhone? Where is Apple's January (iPhone) event?
    Rip Ragged
  • This Is Gonna Be HUGE

    Wonder how many iPhone 4 users who couldn't get unlimited data are going to pay the early termination fee and move to Verizon...

    AT&T is going to end up regretting this.
  • So where are all the Apple zealot CDMA haters and liars?

    You know who you are. You were the ones talking about how much CDMA [b]SUCKED[/b] because your phone wouldn't ring if you were using the Internet. You were lying.

    You also talked about how [b]INEXCUSABLE TERRIBLE HORRIBLE UNACCEPTABLE LOUSY HORRIFIC[/b] it was that you couldn't watch YouTube movies on your cell network while talking on the phone to your mom!

    Gee, where did all of you go?

    Cue the double standards...
    • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

      Uhhh, CDMA DOES suck, it's why I never went to Verizon eventho I never have used a data plan or traveled outside of the US and needed cell service.

      Just because you don't like anything that Apple does, does not mean that it's not a good marketing move for the company. Some wont care that they cant talk & surf at the same time.
    • Not hating on CDMA but

      @NonZealot I have a device on both (iPhone 4 with AT&T and Blackberry Curve on VZW) and I get clearer calls, better signal, and less dropped calls on GSM where I work. Does that mean CDMA is worse? Does that mean my BB sucks?

      I have found that with my iPhone I'm able to be on the phone and look up something online or contact info on my iphone but I'm unable to do so with my BB... however anyone who rants about not being able to watch youtube while on the phone is an idiot...
      • AT&T Sucks In Metro Areas -- Where Most People Live...

        CDMA has advantages, as does GSM. There is no reason CDMA could not support web browsing and voice at the same time, it is just the bandwidth -- the number of bits in the very broad CDMA channel, which is shared by MANY users -- is limited. A cellular CDMA channel is 1250 kHz wide. A GSM channel is 30 kHz wide, and is shared by three users.

        I carried two phones for years. First, I had a Bell Atlantic Mobile phone, which became Verizon Mobile of course, and I carrried a Cingular phone, which became AT&T Mobility. Verizon turned off the AMPS (analog) service, so I let it go as it was that AMPS service that served me so well in very rural areas, areas where AMPS is STILL in use.

        I went to work for a company that provided me with both a Verizon Blackberry, and a Verizon data card. I still carried my AT&T Mobility phone. I would be in areas where AT&T had no service, so I would use my own phone for business calls, and tell people who asked about the number on the Caller ID that I was borrowing a phone.

        This mostly happened in central Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, rural Arizona, rural Nevada and north Texas. OH, and parts of Washington. I'm sure the same would have happened in West Virginia, but I never worked there.

        The fact is, no carrier is perfect, but I have to admit, as an AT&T user -- AT&T really sucks.

        With my Cingular AT&T phone, I had nine bars out of nine. AT&T sent a SMS to my wife's phone at 3AM, waking us up, welcoming us to the new AT&T about four months after they reconfigured their network because of the purchase. Her phone went from nine bars to five. About four months later, I got a SMS to my phone at 2 AM, waking us up, welcoming me to the new AT&T. Our phones now read AT&T on the LCD where they used to read Cingular.

        Both of our phones now had four or five bars out of nine. We couldn't really complain because the phones still worked, though they no longer worked in our basement.

        We bought iPhones. We had three bars out of five most of the time, but sometimes two.

        Then in 2008, we went from three bars to no bars.

        AT&T researched as a result of several letters from me to the president of AT&T. The "engineers" reported there is a hill between my home and the cell site. Yea, right, somebody built a hill that wasn't there before June 2, 2008! The removed the 40 year old houses and trees, brought in millions of yards of dirt, and replaced the homes and trees OVERNIGHT.

        What jerks. They did something to the system, like turn the antenna to cover the highway, or something broke and they have yet to discover the problem.
    • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

      @NonZealot Of course they were lying, they were trying to keep people from wanting a CDMA iPhone...

      Verizon + AT&T = Windows Mobile 7 FAIL.
      • Another important Windows Phone 7 message brought to you by...


        the Champion Village Idiot.
  • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

    Go get some anger management counseling before you end up doing something stupid. Jeesh !
  • Bad Move

    Unless you are badly abusing your smartphone data, you don't need more than 1gb/mo, so AT&T is $25 for practically unlimited while Verizon is $30 for actually unlimited. Also, it's so annoying how people are all excited about a Verizon iPhone when Verizon already has many phones that are MUCH better, like most of their Android phones. I wish the iPhone would just go away. BTW, I'm on AT&T with a Captivate, because Android>>>iPhone.
    • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

      @BiggAW PRACTICALLY??? Yeah, ok....I've got unlimited for my iPhone (I was grandfathered in), and I have gone over the upper limit of AT&T's "limited" plan several times just doing my normal online business....

      AT&T is going to regret this..big time.
  • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

    With unlimited data, I would tethered my whole house on that plan, including watching Netflix.
  • Short answer: Yes, I'd switch for unlimitted data

    I'm lucky enough to have the grandfathered plan on AT&T already, but AT&T refuses to let me use my iPhone as a data access point for my PC (tethering) unless I agree to switch to their 2GB capped plan and lose my unlimited plan.

    Presumably Verizon will let me tether my data and offer an unlimited data plan. I'll pay a reasonable charge for this (say, $60/month) but do NOT want overage charges, even though typically I can't see myself going over. If I want to watch a Netflix movie while in a hotel away from home, I don't want to worry about overages or if I should pay $15/day for the hotel WiFi, I just want it to work and be on a budget.

    There are two things that would make me switch in a heartbeat:

    1. AT&T doesn't let me use my iPhone as a WiFi access point (bluetooth and USB won't cut it - I need a way to wirelessly send photos from a camera with an EyeFi card). The iPhone can do it, but I'd have to jailbreak it and install MiWi. I want it with the blessing of the carrier.

    2. If the iPhone-V (That's a "V" for Verizon not a Roman "5") has LTE, I'm switching, absolutely, as fast as possible. I'll pay whatever ETF fees AT&T hits me with and recoup what I can on eBay.
  • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data

    If you travel to Europe as much as I do, there is not much benefit in using a CDMA phone. GSM is therefore the only choice and a good one, at least in Europe. When I compare the GSM extensive coverage and superb voice quality to the limited ATT or coverage, the non-stopping dropped calls and the not -so-good transmission quality, I am saying to myself that it has nothing to do with GSM but everything to do with ATT.

    Finally, CDMA to CDMA communication is beautiful.
    GSM to GSM communication is beautiful.
    But CDMA to GSM and back is awful.
    There is no excuse for that and the only explanation is one of marketing ploy.
    When in Europe, making calls from my BB Curve GSM to partners here in the US using Verizon, the quality of the connection, the clarity of the voice etc.... is just amazing.
    If I call CDMA users here from my ATT iPhone, the quality is horrendous, for both sides. ANd it is not the iPhone. I have tried with various other phones, and the same repeated true.

  • Unlimited data won't last

    I used to think that someday a mobile operator would recognize that the "bit pipe" business is an honorable one and that operator would become everyone's mobile ISP (well, almost everyone's). Now I'm not so sure.

    Operators have always wanted to bill for individual services, not bandwidth. I suspect tiered data pricing is a backdoor strategy for achieving this. Can't stream all the podcasts you want for a reasonable per-bit price? Well, we'll sell you our streaming podcast service for an extra $4.95/month with unlimited bandwidth for that service. Want to stream as much video as you like without worrying about how much it going to cost you per bit? For $9.95/month additional we'll sell you our video streaming service with unlimited bits.

    Not saying its a strategy that will work in the long run. But I wouldn't be at all surprised to see operators try it.
  • RE: Verizon to differentiate its iPhone with unlimited data to me
    show details Jan 14 (2 days ago)
    Dear Paul Branson ,

    Hello, my name is Nikkie. I certainly understand your desire for a new IPhone! I have great news for you: our unlimited data plan for $29.99 is not currently scheduled to change any time soon, and if you choose that plan while it is still an active option, then you may stay on it as long as you want, even if we stop offering it in the future. I'll explain how this works.

    We respect that when our customers choose a plan or feature to add to their phones, you expect to be able to use that plan or feature for at least the next 2 years. It is our normal practice to allow you to keep the plan and features that you choose at the start for as long as you want, even if we stop offering that plan or feature during the course of your contract. We still have a few customers that still have old plans from years ago, just because they never felt like changing. That said, sometimes when you get a new phone it becomes necessary to change the plan, so at the end of your 2 year IPhone contract, I cannot speak to what will be necessary in a plan at that time to accommodate any new services that may come out by then, but I can guarantee that if you get an IPhone now, and get the $29.99 data plan, you may keep it for as long as you want, even after this contract expires. Please note that if we ever stop offering this data plan, and you choose to try a different data plan, it may not always be possible to go back to the $29.99 plan if it is no longer an active plan choice.

    The $29.99 unlimited data plan only applies to data that is used directly on your new IPhone. It does cost extra if you wish to purchase the Hot spot data addition, and you will not be able to use the Hot spot function unless you add the extra Hot spot feature for $20.00 more per month, which gives you 2 GB of Hot spot data allowance in addition to your unlimited phone data plan. You are not required to purchase the Hot spot service, it is completely optional, and may be added or removed at any time without affecting your contract.

    Paul, it has long been our goal to create a plan set that allows our customers to purchase what they want and need, without having to pay for services that they don't actually use. We try to see it from your point of view, which is easy because we all use the same services and plans on our own phones, so we completely understand how frustrating it is to have to pay for services we don't want or need. We are always working to improve our plans, but we do so with attention to balancing the needs of our business with the needs of our customers, in order to offer you the best service possible at the lowest possible prices, while still affording to improve and expand our network to provide new services such as 4G data. This business approach of caring for our customers has served us well so far, and we have no intentions of changing that, although I can say with relative certainty that we will be offering different plans at some point in the future. At this time, I don't know when that will happen, possibly not for a while.

    Please remember that you are eligible to upgrade right now, which also makes you eligible to pre-order the IPhone on our website if you would like to be among the first to receive it without waiting in line at the store on 2/10/11. We do expect long lines at the store, so pre-ordering could save you a lot of time and waiting outside!

    Paul, I'm glad that you are excited about our new IPhone,I expect that you will love the features and service that it offers. Now that I have explained how our plans work, and what you can expect from us in the future, I hope that you will feel comfortable ordering your new phone. Thank you for choosing Verizon Wireless.



    Verizon Wireless

    Customer Service

    If you have received this e-mail in error or are not the intended recipient, please notify us immediately by replying to this e-mail and deleting it and all copies and backups thereof. If you are the intended recipient and are a Verizon Wireless customer, this response is subject to the terms of your Customer Agreement., which can be found here:

    -----Original Message-----

    SSN: v

    Primary Subject: Internet and Data Products

    Secondary Subject: Mobile Web

    Message Body: I am one of your customers who plan on getting the iphone. I am

    reading that the charges for data will probably go up. I am hoping

    the price doesn't go up any or much. I have 5 phones and pay

    about $220 a month now. My line is on the old unlimited $15 data

    plan. I am planning on going with the $30 unlimited data plan for

    smart phones, which will bump me to $235. I'm hoping that this

    will remain the same for unlimited. I do know that the iphone will

    offer the hotspot feature. I know that if someone who would

    connect their computers, ipads or whatever will incur lots of data.

    If thats a concern for data usage, I'm hoping that you will have a separate fee for those who use that function and NOT punish

    those of us who don't need or want to use that the personal

    hotspot feature. This could stop me from getting the iphone or

    any smart phone. Can you please forward this to whomever is

    involved in changing the plan/data rates?

    Thank you. Paul Branson. Verizon customer for about 8 yrs..