Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

Summary: Fran Shammo, Verizon's chief financial officer, said that the launch of its 4G services on new devices---starting with the HTC Thunderbolt---will usher in a new "tiered pricing structure."

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Fran Shammo, Verizon's chief financial officer, said that the launch of its 4G services on new devices---starting with the HTC Thunderbolt---will usher in a new "tiered pricing structure."

Shammo, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications conference, said the following:

  • The iPhone launch "has gone flawlessly" with more than 60 percent of sales taking place online.
  • "As we progress down the LTE range and bring more devices to the table---we will be launching the HTC Thunderbolt very shortly here---that will give you a flavor of what our tiered pricing structure will look like going forward."
  • "LTE also gives us the capability to price very differently than we priced before. Not just on consumption, but also possibly on speed differentiation. So we are still working through those models. Don't know if we will do something there yet, but wireless is still working through those and that will come out with the HTC launch."

Shammo spent a lot of time talking about LTE pricing. Today, Verizon Wireless offers a 5GB a month plan for $50 and 10GB for $80. LTE will drive average revenue per unit (ARPU) accretion, said Shammo.

Related: HTC Thunderbolt coming March 4th or delayed again?

He also addressed the iPhone's $30 unlimited plan, which will be reexamined. After all, Verizon didn't want to put up any barriers to iPhone switchers from AT&T. However, Shammo noted the following.

I think everybody would know that that is not a long-term strategy. That we are going to move to a tiered price [level]. So we will probably do that probably in the mid-summer timeframe, somewhere in that perspective.

But if you take it one step further, and you think about what consumers can afford that smartphone, what consumers can afford that higher end data plan, it is interesting. Because, as I said at the Investor Day, the way I look at it is we have a very big opportunity at Verizon Wireless because 67% of our customers are either feature phone or multimedia phone. Which feature phones pay nothing in data unless you use it and then multimedia was only a $10 plan.

What we have seen since we launched the iPhone is we are seeing a fairly significant number of feature phone customers migrate to the smartphone. So there in itself, we see that --. We see the potential of our customer base is spending that $30 to $50 range which is then why we go to, I think tiered pricing will be important down the road.

Because as you mentioned, as smartphone prices come down with the competition that is coming from China and Huawei and some of the other manufacturers, it is going to push that smartphone price down, which means more and more people will be able to afford it. And we have got to give them an entry point that is sufficient for them to come in.

So we are still wrestling what that entry point is, to be honest. If you go back to December, we did trial a $15, 150 Mb plan. We saw that that stimulated a lot of activity at the lower end.

Bottom line: Verizon will entice you to LTE with low priced plans---and then bet you'll blow by your caps.

Topics: HTC, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Smartphones, Verizon, Wi-Fi

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27 comments
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  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    Sounds like Verizon is still going to overcharge. People are switching to smart phones because the data plans are the same for feature or smart phones, might as well go with the more functional of the two.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

      @Loverock Davidson Verizon and their CEO just proved...

      VERIZON IS RUN, OPERATED, AND CONTOLLED BY A BUNCH OF LIARS AND DOUBLE TALKING A$$HOLES.

      After 10 years with these liars I am running next week to AT&T the day before my billing period and signing up with them.

      Screw Verizon and Their Two Face Liars!!!
      Lindsay LilHo
      • BOYCOTT VERIZON

        @Lindsay LilHo

        JUST BOYCOTT VERIZON AND PUT AN END TO THEIR CORPORATE LIES AND MISTREATMENT OF CONSUMERS.

        I AM FLAT OUT SICK OF THE GAMES CORPORATIONS LIKE VERIZON PLAY AT OUR EXPENSE!!!
        Lindsay LilHo
    • NEW VERIZON PLAN !!!!!!!!!

      @Loverock Davidson
      They just announced a new verizon plan. First tell them how much is in your checking account. Then they will automatically deduct it for you. It's simple. Oh and they will get around to putting up a 4g tower in your area sometime in the next 10 years.
      paulcj
      • JUST BOYCOTT VERIZON AND SEND A MESSAGE...

        @paulcj

        Everyone should just BOYCOTT VERIZON FOR LIES, PRICE INCREASES, and IT'S ALL ABOUT PROFIT TREATMENT OF CONSUMERS.

        1. Verizon PROMISED and stated by their CEO that smart phones would not go over $199.00 on a 2 year upgrade. New phones now up to $299.00. A VERIZON LIE!!!

        2. Verizon told new customers when they signed up that they would get the new every 2 plan as long as they were customers. NOW VERIZON TAKES THAT AWAY, AND IN THEIR OWN WORDS, TO INCREASE PROFITS. Another Verizon Lie.

        3. Verizon only offers customers one unlimited data plan, even to those that use very little data. THIS MEANS VERIZON CUSTOMERS THAT USE LITTLE DATA *** PAY *** FOR HEAVY USERS. Verizon did this in an effort to draw AT&T customers to Verizon. BUT WERE WILLING TO SCREW EXISTING VERIZON CUSTOMERS TO DO THIS.

        4. Verizon has LIED TO ITS CUSTOMERS ON A REGULAR BASIS. Promises made and broken. CUSTOMERS SERVICE LEVELS HAVE STEADILY DROPPED OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS FOR THE SAKE OF INCREASING PROFITS. I have been a customer over 10 Years and watched more and more of their Customer Service taken away to increase PROFITS.

        Bottomline, I have both Verizon and AT&T service and VERIZON HAS GONE FROM THE SERVICE PROVIDER YOU WANT TO THE CELL PHONE PROVIDER YOU SHOULD RUN FROM.

        AT&T now beats Verizon on all levels of customer service and pricing.

        SEND A MESSAGE TO VERIZON AND WHEN YOUR NEXT CONTRACT IS UP, SWITCH TO ANOTHER PROVIDER.

        DOESN'T MATTER WHICH PROVIDER, JUST SWITCH AND DON'T COME BACK UNTIL VERIZON STOPS LYING TO THEIR CUSTOMERS AND MILKING THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR AS MUCH MONEY FOR PROFITS AS THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH.
        Lindsay LilHo
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    If they are so concerned about the reduction in smart phone prices and making data available to customers who otherwise could not afford it, then why mess with the unlimited $30 price for those who could afford it? Why not just put a tiered structure in place for usage that would cost "less" than $30/mo? This looks like a scam to increase their revenue while bilking the average consumer. This is some thanks we get for being dedicated to big red. Maybe now it will be time to move on. Between the poor communication on the Thunderbolt release, and the price increase from $249 to $299, and now a data plan increase... VZW is just begging me to switch carriers. This is their marketing plan??? No thanks! Way to go VZW, your customer satisfaction levels continue to tank!
    mspo
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    So they replaced "Coming Soon" with "Coming Very Shorty"?? They may as well have just said, "We will continue to hold over on our customers and continue to feed inaccurate launch dates in further efforts in keeping our current customers so that we may fleece them with our data rates sometime next year when the TB comes out."
    JShootz
  • LTE tiered pricing

    This may be me leaving verizon. Hike the price. Hike the price. Hike the price. That is all they think about. Verizon is already the most expensive service. Why should we put up with more unnecessary price hikes when LTE isn't even available in all areas. Bad plan verizon.
    paulcj
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    They keep saying they have the most advanced 4g network in the world. However they do not have a single phone on their 4g network...
    JShootz
    • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

      @JShootz
      And they don't cover very much area with 4G. Most people are excited about the phone. Now as usual with verizon you have to pay way too much every month just to have a nice phone.
      paulcj
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    VZN: "Here's your $30 unlimited plan. Just sign here. Thank you, you're now a proud owner of an iPhone, with your very own data plan for the next 2 years".<br>Customer: "Oh look, I'm already getting my firts text message on my phone.

    <font face="Times New Roman">VZN FREE MSG: Attention Verizon Customers, begining next month all data plan rates will double. Thank you for choosing Verizon.</font>
    John Zern
    • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

      @John Zern Love it
      ochezo
    • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

      @John Zern
      LOL! That sounds about right.
      Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

      @John Zern
      LOL. :D
      Ram U
  • 3G still has lots of life in it.

    I get >3Mb/sec on AT&T's 3G network (I know EV-DO is far below that) and I question the need for great amounts of speed on a hand-held phone device.

    For tablets it makes much more sense but 4G with its 15 Mb/sec data rates seem somewhat excessive for the vast majority of use cases for a phone.
    Bruizer
    • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

      @Bruizer Not sure about the other carriers' 4G networks but for LTE latency is much, much lower than 3G. I think we'll all get addicted that feature quickly. Also, LTE will give Verizon users the ability to talk and surf simultaneously.
      MajorlyCool
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    Agreed! Thus far this entire verizon release for lte, and the thunderbolt (or lack there of) has been one big pain in the A**! And now the new price plan....I think it is time to switch carriers if they dont get their act together
    Petaj911
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    the pricing is already high as it is. this is ridiculous
    kp1484
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    Speaking as someone who has been with the same carrier for the last decade and was planning to switch TO Verizon in the next month, this news basically just shot holes in any "enticement" that I may have had in switching.

    I have to think that a lot of people are in my situation where they have a family plan and different family members want different phones. With the addition of the iPhone, Verizon seemed to be the right fit and I was just waiting for the Thunderbolt to launch to switch.

    But if the pricing is Tiered for LTE -- screw that. I'm not going to pay "tiered" pricing for data plans. The irony here is that I'm a modest data user at best. I'm just against "tiered" plans because they play to my fears that I'll have overages.
    sidsixseven
  • RE: Verizon: HTC Thunderbolt coming 'very shortly,' LTE tiered pricing too

    I've been waiting for the Thunderbolt...and waiting...and waiting. Now, to hear there is a price increase. I might go back to TMobile. We'll see which way the wind blows as my contract is coming to an end REAL SOON. I wish they were more...customer oriented.
    GregabyteInChicago