Verizon has confirmed to FierceWireless that it will move to tiered data plans on July 7th, and the new plans are in line with earlier reports for the most part. If you’re worried about losing your existing unlimited plan, fear not; only new customers will be required to subscribe to one of three new data plans: $30 for 2GB of data per month, $50 for 5GB, or $80 for 10GB. Verizon Wireless will then charge $10 per GB of data past the monthly allotment. Mobile hotspot users will need to start paying a monthly fee starting on July 7th, too. Current 4G hotspot owners will be charged $30 for unlimited use and new customers will have to pay $20 per 2GB of data consumed. The good news? Verizon confirmed that existing customers can upgrade on or after July 7th and still hang on to their unlimited data plans — for now, at least. More →
AT&T has started to issue warnings to customers unofficially tethering their smartphones to its network. In an email to unauthorized tetherers, the company writes, “Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” The correspondence goes on to note that users will be automatically enrolled in the $45 per month “DataPro for Smartphone Tethering” plan if they ignore the warning. “The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan,” the email continues. The standard DataPro offering is $25 per month and provides users with 2GB of monthly data, although some users are still clinging to a discontinued, $30 per month 5GB data plan. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the unofficial, tethering populous is jailbroken iPhone users and rooted Android users. “If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.” A copy of the email tethering-cheaters are receiving is after the break.
T-Mobile has introduced a new Even More 10GB webConnect monthly data plan, although it costs a hair more than was suggested by early rumors. For $84.99 per month and a new two-year agreement, you’ll get a 10GB bucket of data and unlimited Wi-Fi access at T-Mobile hotspots with your 3G or 4G webConnect device. T-Mobile says it is not charging overage fees with this new plan, but data speeds may be reduced after you hit your monthly cap. The new plan joins T-Mobile’s existing 5GB option, which costs $49.99 per month with no overage fees, and a 200MB option that costs $29.99 per month with overage charges. More →
iPad Wi-Fi + 3G users who have been paying $30 each month for unlimited data can now rest assured that they’ll have the option to continue doing so if they opt to upgrade to the new iPad 2. AT&T made an unlimited data plan available to early iPad owners last year, but decided to pull the plan in favor of the capped options we have now. Users who purchased their iPad on or before June 7th had the option to grab the unlimited data plan, however, and as long as they kept paying for it each month since, the plan is still alive and kicking. Now AT&T has confirmed that these data-hungry iPad owners will be able to transfer their grandfathered unlimited plans to the new iPad 2, should they choose to upgrade. While the iPad 2 is thought by some to be a modest incremental update, current iPad owners yearning for that sleek new case and Apple’s speedy A5 processor can now remain calm knowing that they won’t lose their data plans when they buy the new model. More →
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam on Tuesday confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that Verizon Wireless will offer a $30 unlimited data plan for the iPhone 4. McAdam said that offering the iPhone with a capped data plan would create an unnecessary barrier for customers looking to switch from AT&T. “I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” he told the Journal. The move also gives Verizon Wireless an advantage among customers looking to make their first iPhone purchase. While existing iPhone users on AT&T’s network may be grandfathered into the carrier’s old unlimited data plan, new subscribers are forced to choose between two capped plans, the larger of which only provides 2GB of data for $25 per month. Set to launch on February 10th, Verizon Wireless bills the iPhone 4 as the device that millions of its subscribers have been waiting for.
UPDATE: McAdam later stated that the iPhone’s unlimited data plan will be a limited time offer, after which Verizon Wireless will move to capped data plans similar to the plans offered by AT&T. More →
Last Friday, technology-centric Internet sites exploded when news of a January 11th Verizon press conference broke. The nation’s largest wireless provider is expected to finally announce the highly-anticipated, oft-rumored, CDMA iPhone. Media outlets ranging from AllThingsD to the Wall Street Journal have emphatically proclaimed that an iPhone announcement is in the works. The publications have also reported that the unannounced device will have a truly unlimited data plan. Speculation is not, however, isolated to this one event and this one device. Digg founder Kevin Rose has thrown his hat into the ring with a next generation iPad prediction. Reporting on “good authority,” Mr. Rose notes:
Apple will be announcing the iPad 2 in the next “3-4 weeks”, possibly Tuesday February 1st. The iPad 2 will feature a retina display and front/back cameras.
Mr. Rose, who has speculated about Apple-specific announcements before and has a fairly reputable track record, did not offer any additional details about the device.
Whatever Verizon has planned, we’ll know at 11:00AM ET tomorrow.
As rumors of iPad subsidies becoming available from U.S. carriers this year gain momentum, The Times reports that similar strategies in the U.K. do not appear to be paying off in the short term. Orange, T-Mobile and Three each recently began offering discounts on the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G when purchased alongside a new service contract. The 16 GB iPad model, which typically costs £529 in the U.K., is available for just £199 when purchased with a £25-per-month data plan. While sales performance at T-Mobile and Three is still a bit of a mystery, The Times reports that Orange sold just 1,000 subsidized iPads during the first week of availability. The sales figure has not been confirmed by Orange, but if it is anywhere near accurate it could indicate that customers don’t have much interest in signing up for yet another data contract — especially one tied to a device that is anything but a commodity at this point. More →
Reuters is reporting that retail giant Best Buy has signed a partnership deal with WiMax network operator Clearwire. Beginning in 2011, Best Buy will be offering wireless 4G data plans, on Clearwire’s WiMax network, under their Best Buy Connect service offering. No details on pricing, availability, or hardware have been announced. Currently Clearwire’s 4G network covers 43 major cities around the U.S. More on this as it develops… More →
Yesterday, we broke news about Bell Canada’s plans to offer a $30 per month 6 GB smartphone data plan that permits iPad users to share their 6 GB monthly data bucket with their iPad for an additional $10 fee. Today, on the eve of the iPhone 4 launch, Rogers Wireless is following suit. Rogers customers will be able to purchase a $30 per month 6 GB data bucket as long as you sign a new 3-year contract. The iPad sharing option is explained like this:
Starting July 30, and for a limited time until Sept. 30, customers on a 6 GB plan will be able to share data between iPhones and iPads for an extra $20 (plus Government Regulatory Recovery Fee). For details, visit a Rogers retail location.
Not quite as cheep as Bell’s offering… but there you have it. What do you say Canadian friends? Sound off! More →
Wireless billing vendor Validas analyzed the billing records of 20,000 wireless customers from January to May 2010 and discovered that Verizon Wireless customers top the charts in smartphone data usage. According to the compiled data, Verizon Wireless smartphone users consume 421MB per month, a figure that surprisingly tops iPhone users on AT&T who consume an average of 338MB of data per month. Despite the popularity of the iPhone — and its perception as a data-hungry device — Verizon Wireless also saw the largest increase in data usage per user, jumping from 48.2MB to 147.2MB per month. Verizon Wireless customers also topped AT&T amongst heavy data users with 4% of customers using 2GB or more per month as compared to 1.6% on AT&T. Not surprisingly, only 1/5th of 1% of Verizon and AT&T customers consumed more than 5GB per month, presumably due to usage caps imposed on some data plans. Wonder how those tiered data plans already in effect on AT&T (and rumored to be coming to VZW) will effect these numbers in the second half of the year? More →
Engadget is reporting that Verizon Wireless may switch to tiered smartphone data plans — similar to AT&T — starting on July 29th. The blog cites the same source who is prognosticating an August 12th release of the DROID 2 (along with some sort of Star Wars limited edition version with R2-D2 on the back). No details on pricing, data caps, or terms were listed in the report. We don’t have to stretch our minds very far to imagine this happening, but let us hope this piece of intel retains its rumor status well past the 29th. We’ve reached out to Verizon for comment and will update if we hear back. Thoughts? More →
Ladies and Gentleman, unlimited smartphone data from AT&T is a thing of the past. Or at least it will be as of June 7th. Starting that day, AT&T will introduce two new data plans to replace its current $30 unlimited smartphone plan. Without a bunch of preamble and crying over the changes, here’s the skinny on the plans that AT&T says will make it possible for “more affordable for more people to enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet.”
- 200MB of data for $15 per month. AT&T says this will be enough data to meet the needs of 65% of its smartphone users. If you go over the 200MB cap, AT&T will charge you $15 per 200MB of overages.
- 2GB of data for $25 per month. According to AT&T, only 2% of its smartphone customers manage to blow through more than 2GB of data per month. Go over the limit and you’ll be charged $10 per GB.
- Smartphone users that want tethering and have a DataPro plan can add the feature for $20 per month. This means you’ll be sharing 2GB between your phone and your laptop for $45 per month. Not great at all, but remember this: A 5GB data card plan costs $60 per month. This means — with overages — you’ll be able to have 5GB of smartphone and tethering data for $75 and not have to worry about two contracts. Oh, and “Tethering for iPhones will be available when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer.” About bloody time.
- The $29.99 unlimited data plan for the iPad has not escaped the chop. Starting June 7th, new iPad customers will have two options: $15 for 250MB and $25 for 2GB of data. Any iPad customers who wish to stick to the $30 unlimited plan are free to do so, but AT&T is hoping most people will opt to save $5 and change plans.
As much as it hurts to see unlimited plans die off (and don’t pretend we didn’t know it was coming), the new rates will make data more accessible to those who don’t have a lot of coins in their coffer. And again, to be perfectly clear, you are welcome to stay on the current $30 unlimited smartphone data plan, but if you think you can squeak by on the new plans and save $5 to $15, AT&T will move you over to the DataPlus or DataPro plan without renewing your data commitment. Awww, so sweet. More →
Speaking to a crowd of investors at a Barclay’s conference this week, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said that the introduction of its LTE network later this year will see the company introduce tiered data plans. According to McAdam, one of the reasons Big Red has opted to go this route with its next-generation network is because “people will have four or five or perhaps even more devices they will connect to the network.” Before anyone starts to wig out, McAdam made it clear that the tiered pricing won’t be as expensive as it sounds. Thanks to the efficiency of LTE, Verizon’s cost per megabyte will be approximately one-third of what they are today. At the same time, McAdam also said that LTE will offer further savings to customers, as he expects that all calls made come 2012 will be done via VoIP as opposed to its CDMA network. Verizon is expected to have LTE in place in 30 to 40 markets by the end of 2010.