Looks like Sprint is going to be the only game in town when it comes to truly unlimited data plans. In a move that will follow AT&T and T–Mobile‘s lead(AT&T caps data at 2GB while T-Mobile throttles data after 2GB of use), Verizon Wireless will eliminate unlimited data plans in favor of tiered data plans.
At the Reuters Global Technology Summit, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo spoke about Verizon doing away with unlimited data plans and switching to tiered data plans. While giving no information on exactly when, besides the mention of Summer, the new data plans would take effect or what pricing would be, Shammo also mentioned that Verizon would institute Family Data Plans. Normally, on a family plan, while the users would share minutes, each user would have to pay individually for data for each phone(If the users had five lines open under the old plan and each line had unlimited data plans, the users would be paying $30 a pop extra for each line. That’s an additional $150!) Under the new shared data plans, users on a family line would now only pay one price and share the data usage between lines.
Now while family data plans will save families a nice chunk of change the tiered data plans for individual users is going to be horrible. If you’re like me and you use your phone for everything from phone calls, to surfing the web, to email to GPS, that’s alot of data. And having that capped at 2GB and then having to pay extra for each additional 2GB(or however their going to do it)… Well, let’s just say that can get pretty expensive. Hopefully Sprint keeps(and they’ve already stated they will)their unlimited data plans because owning a smartphone is about to get even more expensive.
For the record, I’m a very happy and loyal Sprint customer. I’m currently rocking the HTC EVO 4G, which I won at last years HTC NYC Meet Up/Party.