Verizon to End Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans When Customers Move to 4G LTE Smartphones

Verizon iPhone

When Verizon started offering Apple’s iPhone on its network in early 2011, it offered customers unlimited data plans. But in less than 6 months, it followed AT&T’s footsteps to kill the unlimited data plans and moved to tiered data plans.

It however allowed customers to grandfather their unlimited data plans when they wanted to upgrade to the new iPhone on a fresh two-year contract.

That’s going to come to an end soon, as Fierce Wireless reports that Verizon is planning to end the grandfathered unlimited data plans when they want to switch to 4G LTE, leaving them with no option but to switch to their shared data plans.

As these 3G unlimited data plan customers migrate to 4G LTE, they will have to purchase the company’s data-share plan (which Verizon plans to launch in mid-summer) and move off the $30 per month unlimited data plan. “Everyone will be on data share,” Shammo said.

Apple’s next generation iPhone coming later this year, is widely speculated to support 4G LTE networks, so this will be applicable to iPhone customers.

Sprint has said that it will continue to offer unlimited data plans even if the next iPhone supports 4G LTE, which is one of Sprint’s differentiator. AT&T is yet to make any statement regarding this issue. But we won’t be surprised if AT&T also decides to end the grandfathered unlimited data plans based on AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s comment few weeks back. In the on-stage interview at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, Stephenson said that his only regret was to offer unlimited data plans to iPhone users when it was launched.