Rumor Mill: Verizon switching to usage-based data pricing before LTE launch

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is planning to institute new usage-based mobile data pricing plans, perhaps as soon as the end of this month, according to a report on Engadget, which cited an unnamed source.

The report had few details about what the proposed plans would look like, but said that the changes could come on July 29. Verizon executives have indicated numerous times that the carrier likely will switch to a usage-based data pricing model when it launches its LTE network in the fourth quarter. However, carrier executives have not hinted at plans to change 3G data pricing options.

A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment.

In June, Verizon Communications CFO John Killian indicated the company will change its pricing plans when Verizon launches LTE in 25-30 commercial markets later this year. "We will probably need to change the design of our pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate," he said at the time. He also said Verizon smartphone users typically gobble between 600 MB and 800 MB of data per month, which is similar to what AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) has reported for average iPhone data usage.

After AT&T switched in June from a flat-rate pricing scheme to a usage-based model for mobile data, speculation centered on which carriers might follow suit. Both Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA have indicated they have no plans to change their current pricing structures.

For more:
- see this Engadget post

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AT&T kills unlimited data pricing, supports iPhone tethering
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