Yesterday, we reported that Verizon is planning to end grandfathered unlimited data plans when customers switch to 4G LTE smartphones.
Verizon issued a clarification to the New York Times today regarding the changes noting that the loss of the grandfathered unlimited data plans will be limited to customers upgrading to subsidized handsets.
Customers who choose not to upgrade their devices or to purchase devices at their original, unsubsidized prices will be allowed to keep unlimited data plans.
– 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 4G LTE smartphones.
While some customers won’t lose their grandfathered plans, the majority of Verizon subscribers will probably be affected regardless, as they’re interested in regular handset upgrades at subsidized prices. The next-generation iPhone is widely speculated to support 4G LTE networks, so iPhone customers looking to upgrade to this device while simultaneously preserving their unlimited data plans will have to pay the unsubsidized price for the handset.
Sprint remains to be the only major U.S. carrier to offer truly unlimited plans, and they plan to continue to do so even if the next-generation iPhone supports 4G LTE. AT&T hasn’t its plan yet, but based on CEO Randall Stephenson’s comment a few weeks back, though, we won’t be surprised if AT&T decides to discontinue grandfathered data plans with similar conditions as Verizon.
[via The New York Times]