It’s inevitable, tiered data plans for mobile devices are coming. It’s a reality that wireless providers and consumers are soon going to have to deal with. As phones add more features and become more data-centric, they tax wireless networks, and ultimately, the network provider’s bottom line. Verizon’s CTO, Tony Melone, had this to say when he was asked about unlimited data plans by the Wall Street Journal: “As much data as you can consume is the big issue that has to change… It’s one thing to say all you can eat is gone, it’s another to have consumers worrying, ‘Can I stream this radio?’ That’s what we don’t want.” It is mildly comforting to know that Verizon’s CTO understands — you can get rid of unlimited data… as long as we can have unlimited data. One thing we’re sure of: when the first major U.S. carrier institutes a tiered data pricing policy, the others are sure to follow suit. You can look for this to roll out prior to Verizon’s first 4G handset dropping circa summer 2011.