Say goodbye to your grandfathered plan: Verizon to discontinue unlimited data plans starting this summer

by: Mike AndriciMay 17, 2012

verizon unlimited data plans

In a recent earnings call, Verizon has announced that subscribers who have grandfathered into a $30 unlimited 3G data plan will be forced to move to the new Verizon data-share plan expected to arrive in mid-summer. This happens as an increasing number  of Verizon subscribers migrate to 4G LTE devices.

The announcement was made by Verizon Communcations CFO Fran Shammo, who stated: “LTE is our anchor point for data share, so as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan, moving away from the unlimited world. A lot of our 3G base is on unlimited. When they migrate off 3G they will have to go to data share. That is beneficial to us”. I’m sure many will pick on the last sentence. When will carriers start considering what is beneficial for their customers instead of what is beneficial for their already fat wallets?

It’s obvious that we’re seeing Verizon retracing the steps of AT&T (their main competitor), which has recently started aggressively “encouraging” subscribers of their unlimited plans to migrate to tiered plans. According to Shammo, the new Verizon data-share plan will allow you to add as many devices as you want that will share data caps with other Verizon customers. Shammo said, “If I can add as many devices as I want, that is more efficient from a family perspective and a small business perspective.”

It turns out that if you really want unlimited data, the only carrier in the US that can tend to your needs is Sprint, although it would not surprise us to see Sprint discontinuing their unlimited data plans in the future.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you find it more efficient to pay for exactly the amount of data you use? Drop us a line in the comment section below and share your opinion!

  • not cool. I’m already on a 4G device AND i have an unlimited plan. the whole move is BS. and with sprint moving to LTE, they are looking better and better. i think that verizon will lose a lot of business for this by trapping people into a tiered data plan.

    this is a huge middle finger to loyal customers who have upgraded to 4G devices or who are planning to. i already feel robbed for my phone service, and doing this doesn’t make it feel any better

    especially because i am a heavy data user already.

    • If in a Sprint 4G area, it might be worth it. I use 6-8GB/month and typically get over 6Mbps, sometimes up to 12Mbps. Not everyone gets Sprint 4G but for those who do, nice to not have to worry about meter watching or going over caps.

      Will help as they rollout LTE because it will have better coverage than WiMAX. Sprint has stated they plan to stick with unlimited for LTE as well.

  • alby91a

    This is terrible. I am already frustrated with verizon’s current smart phone offerings. On top of that we have no official word that they are going to be releasing any of the hot phones in the near future.

    The only reason I am staying with verizon is that they have by far the best and most reliable signal in the areas that I spend most of my time.

    • Apparently the Galaxy Nexus is a crap phone then?

      • alby91a

        Who said anything about anything being crap? Im sure the Gnex is a great phone but there are things about it that I dont like especially camera. My point is that I would like a bigger selection of top tier phones, or at least some offisial word that new phones are on the way.

  • Ickyfehmleh

    “… the only carrier in the US that can tend to your needs is Sprint…”


    Granted they may not be considered “a carrier”, more of a MVNO, but at least they offer (contract-free!) “unlimited” data. We’ll be moving to them as soon as our Sprint contract expires.

    • nope its T-mobile as well but their offerings are by far the WORST!!!! Even though their 3G network is so fast it’s 4G like. Straighttalk is not TRULY UNLIMITED quote”Straight Talk’s mobile web is more limited than competitors, though. You can’t access all web pages or stream audio. ” However the phone selection can change when t-mobile changes it’s 4G/3G bands to 1900/850 ohh ATT HAS A LOOPHOLE

  • Guest

    In Israel, for 24USD you get an Unlimited plan that includes unlimited phone calls, unlimited SMS and unlimited data.
    that’s like the best plan ever !!

    p.s : its a 3G network.

  • Oz

    This is totally crap, and just another way for Verizon, who is overpriced as it is, to make even more money. And for those of us not on a family share plan, this is going to seriously suck. Thank goodness for WiFi! Bad Verizon, bad.

  • Not a smart move. So question to clarify: If you stay on a 3G phone and don’t migrate, are they going to honor their Grandfathering? If not, isn’t that a breach of contract for those that were promised this?

    • Neal

      or how about still living in a 3g area

  • Jaysann22

    Bad form Verizon. I will definitely be switching carriers. I am already aggravated about their device inferiority but this is the last straw. FFFFFFFUUUUUUUU!!

  • Does nobody understand what they’re doing? So my three lines cost $30 each and I use around 1.5GB total – a new shared plan with one price for all three lines? If it’s 2GB+ under $90 it’s a deal for me.

    • Jaysann22

      5GB is nothing for serious users who regularly download apps, music, updates, and stream video. If you have a family plan of multiple 5GB will be used even faster. $30 for 2GBplan maybe fine for amateur users, but for moderate to serious users this move is nothing but rape. When I had a limited plan with AT&T there were several times I went over 5GB in a month and I received bills for $400+ for overages…

  • RNWhite

    Welcome to the future, Verizon. Glad y’all finally caught up with Ma Bell lol

  • Guest

    My question is this: If you upgrade your device before they get rid of the grandfathered unlimited data, will you get unlimited data for the duration of that next phone? Or is this going to be the type of thing where all 4G phones are going to have to switch over to a tiered plan at the same time?

  • Qwe

    Looks like I will discontinue being a customer for Verizon.

  • Neal

    I wonder if a law suit can be charched for unethical treatment?

  • Hey Verizon: can you hear me now? You’ve been netflixed! Customers are leaving in droves for companies that provide better service at lower cost. The netflixing of Verizon is already underway.

  • Timothyhowle

    The rich just keeps getting richer….enough said

  • R102250

    I’ve been with Verizon for along time but will be switching soon; this is unbridled greed.

  • todd calvert

    I am on unlimited data now. I will not have any one to share data with. this is a bad move for people like me.