Verizon: iPhone data pricing to be unlimited but not for long

While analysts continue to advise customers that they may want to wait for a next-generation Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone on Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) LTE network, Verizon has now sweetened the deal for consumers to buy the CDMA-enabled iPhone 4 now.

The operator has revealed that it will offer unlimited data access for $30 a month for iPhone 4 subscribers, who can get their hands on the device Feb. 10. But Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications COO, warned that the unlimited pricing will be temporary, and that the carrier will likely follow AT&T's (NYSE:T) move to tiered pricing in the future.

"I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot," McAdam told the Wall Street Journal. He explained that an unlimited data service represents an attempt by Verizon to entice AT&T iPhone customers to Verizon. Before it introduced the iPhone 4 last June, AT&T moved from unlimited data access to a tiered pricing model--offering 200 MB for $10 per month and 2 GB for $25 per month. 

Speculation is that an iPhone will become available on Verizon's newly launched LTE network later this year. And now signs point to the fact that, while the phone might take advantage of the faster mobile broadband network in the near future, data pricing won't likely be unlimited on that network. Today, Verizon offers two USB modems with two pricing plans that offer either 5 GB of data for $50 per month or 10 GB of data for $80.

In related news, Verizon announced its fourth-quarter results, which included net subscriber additions of 995,000 during the Christmas selling season. The operator said it recorded 65,000 net LTE customer additions in the first three weeks of the service's availability, and that 41 percent of those customers were new to Verizon. The operator launched LTE services in December across 39 markets covering around 110 million POPs.

In addition, Verizon executives said the carrier has sold 86,000 tablets since launching the gadgets in October. Around 37,000 of those tablets were stand-alone iPads, and the rest were iPads bundled with MiFi devices and Samsung GalaxyTabs.

For more:
- see this FierceWireless article
- read this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- also check out FierceWireless' comprehensive Q4 2010 earnings coverage

Related articles:
Verizon sues FCC over net neutrality rules
Verizon's new CMO talks about Droid's success, LTE pricing and why the 4G debate is meaningless
Verizon ends 'New Every Two' upgrade policy
Verizon to launch CDMA Apple iPhone 4 in February
Verizon adds 1.2 million connections, margins stay steady

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