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Verizon CEO: Unlimited data plans are a dead end, despite Sprint and T-Mobile

Published Sep 24th, 2013 3:40PM EDT
Verizon CEO McAdam Unlimited Data Plans

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Do you regret giving up your unlimited data plan when you first made the jump to capped 4G LTE services? Well too bad, says Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam: Unlimited data plans are gone for good. CNET reports that McAdam this week said during an investor conference that there was no way rival carriers Sprint and T-Mobile could keep offering smartphone users unlimited data forever because “if you allow unlimited usage, you just run out of gas.” McAdam then went on to blame the usual suspects for the death of the unlimited data plan: Bandwidth-hungry mobile users who keep clogging up Verizon’s precious spectrum with their high-definition videos.

In the same speech to investors, McAdam also ruled out cutting his company’s prices to compete with Sprint and T-Mobile’s budget plans.

“We never have and never will lead on price,” he explained.

Verizon and AT&T have traditionally gotten away with implementing monthly data caps and charging higher monthly prices because their networks have traditionally been superior to those used by Sprint and T-Mobile. But now that Sprint and T-Mobile are both set to acquire significantly more spectrum, it will be interesting to see if those companies’ more aggressive pricing strategies and unlimited data plans start having more of an impact on the wireless industry.

And given the success T-Mobile has had with its “uncarrier” initiative so far, it looks like competition in the wireless world could heat up sooner rather than later.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.