For the record, Verizon Wireless has stopped offering unlimited data options to new subscribers for some time now, but the biggest wireless carrier in the United States still does have quite a number of existing long term customers under grandfathered unlimited plans. There are reports surfacing however that the Big Red may be planning to crack down on users who gobble up data excessively under those old unlimited plans.
As reported by Droid Life, it appears that Verizon Wireless is moving to implement an Unlimited Data Plan migration. In this new initiative from the major US mobile operator, those subscribers who consume too much data will receive a notification (starting July 21st of this year) that their time on a grandfathered plan has run out.
So what options do these subscribers have? Well, they are free to shift to a new, sort of customized, tiered My Verizon plan not later than August 31st of this year, or elect to have their line of service terminated. What happens if they do not make a decision before the August 31 deadline? Their line of service will be disconnected anyway, but they will be given a period of 50 days to reenable their line on a Verizon plan. However, they will no longer enjoy the perks of having unlimited high speed data on their reactivated plan.
Reports indicate that Verizon Wireless will be notifying excessive data users by way of email message, and also through their monthly billing. The question now is: what exactly are the criteria for determining excessive data consumption?
Managing excessive data use among their respective subscribers is nothing new to wireless carriers. Perhaps the most common practice is to throttle connection speeds temporarily for the top 5 percent (or lower, e.g. 3 percent) of data users, typically during instances of very heavy volume of network traffic.
Major US wireless carriers such as T-Mobile and Sprint have adopted this approach. But it bears noting that each mobile operator will still discontinue the service of a subscriber who is in violation of the so-called fair use policy, i.e. through excessive tethering or torrenting activities.
In the case of Verizon Wireless, it still does not throttle subscribers of its unlimited plans, especially those users who own LTE capable handsets. Now introducing a compulsory migration scheme might seem harsh. Sure, the aim here is to get rid of excessive data users, but compared to throttling, kicking customers out of their grandfathered plans may be too much of a punishment.
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