Verizon Preparing for the iPhone? Cancels Unlimited Data Plans

by Matt Klassen on June 21, 2010

As much as everyone seems to hate AT&T, with its unreliable network, its inability to handle iPhone 4 preorders, or its penchant for charging you multiple times to utilize its network, at least the wireless company isn’t running guns to third world countries or enacting a systematic genocide of some unfortunate minority group—at least not that we know of.

The point being, AT&T’s crimes against humanity are non-existent, and the only thing it is guilty of is simply being a really bad wireless broadband company. So with that said, I have little sympathy for those that knowingly enter into contractual agreements with AT&T and I, in fact, consider it a special form of masochism; a willing contractual decision made by those who seem to want the headaches associated with America’s second most popular wireless broadband company.

Therefore, with this reality check, perhaps for a moment we can focus our unrelenting anger or our misplaced hope on another unfortunate target…how about Verizon instead?

In a move that I consider very AT&T-esque, Verizon announced this past week that it was planning on implementing its own tiered data plans, forever doing away with its own version of the popular unlimited data plan. The company’s official reasoning behind this move is that it is a proactive measure designed to ward off any future network instability caused by the perpetual growth of mobile wireless data traffic. In short, limit your data transfer amounts now in hopes of avoiding AT&T-like network problems down the road.

Many consider these sorts of tiered data plans an inevitable response to the rapid exponential growth of mobile wireless data transfers, as in the near future company’s like Verizon predict that mobile data traffic will comprise a whopping 70 to 80 percent of wireless customers; a significant jump from the 17 percent wireless customers currently make up.

But as with many innocuous moves, could this data traffic restriction be a sign of certain other developments that Verizon has in the works; perhaps the addition of a particular data intensive device that Verizon’s chief competitor AT&T has struggled to manage on its own network? In my mind, while AT&T is gearing up for the inevitable loss of exclusivity with Apple by implanting overly punitive early-cancellation methods, perhaps Verizon is gearing up for the same move by proactively dealing with the problems the iPhone will supposedly bring with it.

AT&T has never been shy about scapegoating the iPhone for its own network instability, often proclaiming that any network that supported the iPhone would invariably experience similar difficulties. While it has subsequently been proved that Verizon handles far more traffic than AT&T’s iPhone-laden network, it would still be prudent to take measures to avoid the same fate as AT&T, if, in fact, network instability does turn out to be the iPhone’s fault.

In the end, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Apple has informed both Verizon and AT&T of the impending end of exclusivity. Apple has given the latter time to sign up new iPhone customers and initiate punitive measures designed to avoid early cancellation, and it has given the former time to get its network prepared to handle the copious amounts of iPhone data traffic that AT&T has long struggled to support…or perhaps Verizon just didn’t like unlimited data plans either.

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callingcards4us December 15, 2010 at 11:18 am

Very interesting, I am waiting Verizon iPhone.

ThinkBright Business VOIP & Hosted PBX Solutions December 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

It would be interesting to see verizon get into the iphone. Great move by verizon.

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