More than a week ago, AT&T had announced that it was resurrecting its unlimited data plan (but with some new terms and conditions). With its biggest rival welcoming back unlimited data, could industry leader Verizon Wireless be thinking of doing the same thing? Well, the answer to this question is a clear no, at least for the time being.
As made clear by Fran Shammo, the chief financial officer of the biggest wireless carrier in the United States, Verizon Wireless currently has no plans of entertaining the idea of bringing back its unlimited data plans, even if it meant throwing in some added caveats, just like what AT&T is doing when it revived its unlimited data plan.
Unlimited data plans pose a lot of advantages for mobile users -- subscribing to one would allow them to stream as much video content and audio, among many others, as they can consume via their smartphones and tablets. But in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for wireless carriers to continue delivering unlimited data because of various cost and logistics considerations. Half a decade ago, Verizon Wireless and AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans to new subscribers. However, many of their respective subscribers still chose to stick to their grandfathered plans.
As for AT&T’s recent decision to revive its unlimited data plans, some industry watchers have opined that the move may be more of a promotional thing than a permanent or long term deal. Indeed, AT&T has not revealed how long the offer will last so those industry watchers may yet have a point.
Verizon Wireless obviously does not see any need to follow in AT&T’s footsteps, at least for now. Of course, as the number one wireless carrier in America, the Big Red can afford not to be too counter reactive to every move made by its rivals. But if Verizon does decide to bring back its unlimited data plan, will it be enough to dramatically influence the overall unlimited data landscape?
The answer to that question is rather complicated. When unlimited data plans were first introduced, a lot of mobile users were enamored with what these plans can offer. But since then, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has since come down hard on certain wireless carriers who claim to offer unlimited data but actually throttle data services when networks get congested. It is difficult to ascertain just how much the FCC has contributed to major wireless carriers opting to no longer offer unlimited data plans, considering that there are other factors such as the aforementioned cost and logistics concerns.
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