Verizon To End 'Grandfathered' 3G Unlimited Data Plans
May 17, 2012

Verizon To End ‘Grandfathered’ 3G Unlimited Data Plans

Verizon Wireless said on Wednesday that it plans to discontinue its “grandfathered” $30-per-month unlimited data plan for existing 3G subscribers that wish to upgrade to a 4G LTE device.

Those customers will be instead be forced to migrate at the time of their upgrade to one of Verizon´s tiered “data share” plans, which will be rolled out this summer, FierceWireless reported.

The announcement came from Verizon´s chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, during the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference in Boston.

“A lot of our 3G base is unlimited,” Shammo said.

“As they start to migrate onto 4G, they will have to come off of unlimited and go onto the data share plan. That´s beneficial for us for many reasons.”

The new policy means that 3G subscribers on the original $30 a month plan will see their unlimited service axed entirely when they make the switch to 4G. Subscribers wishing to continue using 3G will be able to keep their unlimited plans for the foreseeable future, Shammo said.

However, by mid-summer, all 3G upgrade candidates to 4G will be on Verizon´s data-share plan.

"Everyone will be on data share," Shammo said.

Verizon´s data share plans allow subscribers to pay a set rate for a tiered data plan that can be shared by all the devices on the account.

Shammo said he believes the plans will be attractive to subscribers by making it easier for families and small businesses to share the same plan with multiple devices.

“If I can add as many devices as I want, that is more efficient from a family perspective and a small business perspective,” he said.

Verizon has not yet disclosed any pricing for the tiered data share plans.

Shammo said Verizon plans to have their LTE network footprint exceed that of their current 3G network by the middle of next year.

A webcast, transcripts and download of the JP Morgan investor conference, including Shammo´s remarks, can be accessed here.