Tough times ahead for subscribers of the largest wireless carrier in the United States, especially those under Verizon Wireless’ grandfathered unlimited data plans. The Big Red recently just announced that users under these plans can expect a $20 increase in their monthly bill. Subscribers will see the first monthly bill increase after November 15th of this year, although a small percentage of unlimited subscribers still on contract will not get hit with the increase until it expires.
Subscribers of unlimited data may have been feeling some pressure lately as Verizon Wireless is making an effort to try to shift these users to tiered plans with limits on how many videos and movies they can stream or how much music they can download or listen to on their mobile devices. It is no secret that the costs of delivering more data to mobile users have been steadily rising over the years, and wireless carriers are now compelled to increase their prices in order to continue providing quality data services. For instance, just last week, Sprintannounced that it is raising its unlimited data rates to $70 a month, effective October 16th of this year.
In Verizon’s case, the monthly cost of unlimited data has now been raised from $30 a month to $50 a month. Considering the voice calls and text messaging added on top of that, subscribers of the Big Red’s grandfathered unlimited data plans could easily get monthly bills amounting to around $100 a month.
It should be noted that users under Verizon’s grandfathered unlimited data plans is relatively small -- the wireless carrier has stated that these subscribers only make up less than 1 percent of the Big Red’s total customer base. These users, however, have steadfastly stuck to their plans despite already losing access to subsidized mobile devices and other benefits provided to fellow subscribers. Remember that Verizon Wireless also offers unlimited data to business and government customers, but they will not be hit with the price increase. Looking at other major wireless carriers in the US, AT&T has ceased offering unlimited data plans for some time now. As for T-Mobile and Sprint, both of them still offer the unlimited option for their respective subscribers.
In 2014, Verizon Wireless had actually tried to establish a policy that would let the wireless carrier throttle or slow down data speeds for heavy users of unlimited data. But in autumn of that year, the Big Red canceled its plans after its subscribers and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vehemently objected to the move.
Regarding the latest price hike, Verizon has pledged to work with subscribers to determine if it really does make sense for them to transition to other plans. The wireless carrier also stated that it would let its customers join in the monthly installment plans for new handsets. Before, subscribers had to pay the full price upfront for a new device. To explore Verizon options, you can browse plans and phones from the Big Red at Wirefly now.
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