May 17, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo touched a wave of questions yesterday when he said that Verizon would force customers off their unlimited data plans. It wasn’t the first time that Verizon had signaled that it would do away with unlimited data – the company stopped offering such plans in July 2011 – but it touched off a wave of confusion over what would happen to unlimited users on 4G devices.
Today, Verizon issued a statement that doesn’t answer any of these questions or provide any clarity on the matter. However, Verizon did assure that if and when it does away with unlimited data plans completely, the company will give customers ample time to know and decide if the terms will be suitable.
Brenda B. Raney, executive director of Corporate Communications at Verizon, issued the following statement a short time ago:
As we have stated publicly, Verizon Wireless has been evaluating its data pricing structure for some time. Customers have told us that they want to share data, similar to how they share minutes today. We are working on plans to provide customers with that option later this year.
We will share specific details of the plans and any related policy changes well in advance of their introduction, so customers will have time to evaluate their choices and make the best decisions for their wireless service. It is our goal and commitment to continue to provide customers with the same high value service they have come to expect from Verizon Wireless.
There’s no definitive word that Verizon will force all customers off their grandfathered unlimited data plans, but Shammo’s comments and Verizon’s refusal to clarify makes it appear as that’s likely to happen. However, anyone currently on an unlimited plan will not suddenly see their phone capped tomorrow. Verizon will make changes official some time this summer and give customers a heads-up about when it will be time to pay up for extra data or pay someone else.