Yesterday, following an earlier report (citing Verizon’s CFO) regarding the upcoming discontinuation of existing unlimited data plans as customers make the upgrade from 3G to LTE, Verizon issued a clarification statement to The New York Times.
According to Verizon’s update, there are one of two avenues customers can take to secure their unlimited plans in the future as the carrier starts switching to limited shared data plans. First, if a customer choses not to upgrade their device and remain on 3G (or 4G if they already have an LTE-capable device), their current plan will remain intact. Secondly, when a customer goes to upgrade and they decide to pay in full, their plan will remain unchanged.
– Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
– When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
– Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
– The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4G LTE smartphones.
While it seems there are loopholes to circumvent Verizon’s upcoming restrictions and downgrades, which are scheduled to take affect this summer, most customers will presumably lose their unlimited data due to a lack of awareness regarding their options or the inability to purchase an upgraded device at the unsubsidized price.
Stay tuned for more coverage regarding Verizon, their plans to inevitably drop the majority of unlimited data customers and updates on other wireless carriers as the industry becomes more competitive.