Verizon To End Unlimited Data Plans

Following AT&T's and T-Mobile’s moves last year, Verizon Wireless has become the next company to ditch unlimited data plans and installed a tiered pricing plan (also known as "The Dark Side".) Sprint remains the consumer's last and best hope for unlimited data service.

Verizon’s move to tiered data pricing isn’t totally unexpected; the company has been making unfriendly ambiguous statements about the future of unlimited data. Verizon’s VP of network operations, Nicola Palmer, said earlier this year:

"Unlimited billing on data is simply unsustainable for the industry."

Similar ideas were expressed in January, when Verizon got the iPhone. The company warned that users would only be able to consume unlimited data for "a limited time."

It looks like that limited time is up.

Verizon’s data plan changes will take effect July 7, the day after Verizon’s free wireless hotspot promotion ends. Brenda Raney, executive director of corporate communications for Verizon, confirmed to CNN that the company would be moving to a "more usage based model in July" and that the changes are considered "minor."

While Verizon hasn’t released the new pricing plans, Droid Life and Gizmodo got their investigative journalist hats on and started digging.

This is the price model they came up with:

  • 2GB: $30 per month
  • 5GB: $50 per month
  • 10GB: $80 per month

Each additional gigabyte over the plan allowance will rack up a $10 charge. So, if you pay for 2 gigs and use 2.1, that’s $10 more a month. Turning your phone or tablet into a mobile hotspot will set you back $20 per month.

Currently, Verizon offers unlimited data for just $30 a month. Creating a mobile hotspot is free.

Tablet subscribers will be winners (along with Verizon) if these are Verizon’s new prices. Currently, they’re charged $20 a month for 1 GB.

Current subscribers and renewing subscribers may be able to keep their $30/month unlimited data plan.

Verizon hasn’t confirmed any of these details (they’re all from leaked internal documents) but it is a sad day for unlimited data. Save us, Obi-Wan Sprintobi. You’re our only unlimited data hope.