Verizon CEO discusses unlimited data, device upgrades at investor conference

September 24, 2013
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Lowell McAdam

At an investor conference on Tuesday, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam had some interesting thoughts on unlimited data. McAdam said “With unlimited, it’s the physics that breaks it. If you allow unlimited usage, you just run out of gas.”

As streaming video and always-on location detection increasingly come into play, our data plans become more and more important. If we intend to truly be connected at all times, then we will be dependent on cellular data plans. The move to 5G will help with these data concerns, according to McAdam, but Verizon’s stance against unlimited data remains unchanged.

The CEO of the nation’s largest carrier went on to discuss pricing, and opined that Verizon wouldn’t be interested in a pricing war. “We never have, and never will, lead on price” McAdam quipped, noting that the models recently adopted by rivals like T-Mobile and Sprint — who both offer unlimited data — would have no effect on how Verizon plans to proceed.

Speaking to the process of upgrading a device, McAdam believes programs like Verizon Edge can help to create a “friction” that ends up beneficial for the company. The Verizon CEO also said that creating barriers in allowing customers to upgrade freely is better for Verizon’s bottom line. While programs like Edge can help to soften the blow of spending on devices, McAdam believes that having the right devices is what will bring consumers back, calling customer retention a “virtuous cycle”.

When it comes to Verizon’s plans for the future, McAdam touted their network reliability and LTE expansion. “We’ve got footprint we like. We’re going to press that advantage.”

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